Caol Ila 1990 28 Years Old (WhiskyNerds)
The last few WhiskyNerds releases have been an absolute hit, for me personally especially the two Springbanks they released. So it goes without saying that I’m always very much looking forward to what they have up their sleeves next.
As rare as WhiskyNerds releases have been, their latest Caol Ila 1990 28 Years Old is now their third release in the last six months or so. I know their quality threshold is high, so it’s a pleasant surprise to find out that they managed to find a fair amount of whiskies that meet their standards, in such a relatively short period of time.
This Caol Ila matured in a refill Oloroso sherry cask, and and only 192 bottles are available. Here, for example.
Caol Ila 1990 28 Years Old (48%, WhiskyNerds, C#13129)
Nose: Sweet and savoury with a delicate, but incredible balance. Lots of little intricacies here, that interplay wonderfully well. Briny, with hints of rubber gloves, wet pebbles, and peat smoke. There’s a touch of glazed barbecued steak as well. All of this coated by a thin layer of redcurrant and strawberry. Finally a touch of aniseed even.
Taste: Fairly salty and briny, with a touch of cured meat and soft peat smoke, followed by a whiff of cigar tobacco and menthol. A bit of licorice too, as well as a subtle spiciness.
Finish: Lingering menthol and subtle peat smoke, and finally a touch of orchard fruits. Medium to long.
The balance is there, the complexity is there. It doesn’t have that certain je ne sais quoi that earlier WhiskyNerds bottlings had, but overall this is a beautiful whisky.
A quick comment on the price though. Whereas the WhiskyNerds’ first few releases where all fairly affordable—such as their GlenDronach, but especially the Inchmurrins—this Caol Ila is definitively not. At 550 euro, I’d say it is priced at the very top of today’s market.
It’s certainly out of my price range, and I suspect that goes for many other people as well. That’s a shame. I hope they return to searching for whisky that has a better price to quality ratio.
Sample provided by WhiskyNerds
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.