Thanks to /u/ziggy1283 for this sample.
We all know what they say. They say it a lot. They always say it.
“Stop picking at that in public!”
Some of them say other things like
“Oh my, you must have been invited by mistake”
Still fewer say
“One good Independently bottled Caol Ila deserves another”
At least, I think they say that.
Today, for my second dram, I’ll be reviewing Caol Ila 13 2000 Gordon & MacPhail Cask Strength. So far I’ve been quite happy with the G&M Cask Strength collection. Mostly because it’s cask strength, however also because they make everything so clear.
Big ole stag? Yup, it’s G&M. Date it was distilled? Yup. Cask number? Okay. Is it cask strength? Tell me what collection is it from and I’ll tell you. All out in the open, like Snakes on a Plane or 5 quid handjobs. Nothing to hide, and scabs everywhere.
This will be a bit of a departure from the last one. It’s aged in Sherry casks, for one, and it’s almost half the age.
If I didn’t know better, I’d say I was having my mid-life crisis, though medical science has made that happen 20 years later, so I’d just say I’m enjoying whisky.
Let’s see how it tastes, shall we?
Price: N/A in the LCBO at the moment
Bottled: April 2013
Cask: First-sill sherry
Cask #: 309560
Colour: 10YR 7/8
Nose: Smoke, raspberry, anise, sticky toffee pudding, currant, tobacco, almond/marzipan, oats, honey
And unsurprisingly from Caol Ila, we have an intricate nose. Almost like a red version of what I drank before, except it’s not that red. Maybe a lighter sherry than before? Who knows.
What I do know is I get this amazing dessert and smoke combo that usually only happens if I smoke a cake. And I haven’t smoked a cake, so this is a treat.
Taste: Pepper, strawberry salt, habanero, red bell pepper, straw, grape
Very hot. Holy damn hot. Need to give it time and patience and water.
Even after all the above three have been added in (and in generous amounts), it’s still quite hot. Reminds me of red pepper jelly. Very savoury, which doesn’t match the nose at all.
Finish: Manure, earth, ginger, peach, red chilli flakes, salt, raisin
And back to happy sweet town. With manure. But that’s not “Oh god this tastes like animal shit” more so “Oh. This tastes like animal shit smells, in that happy way I remember the farm.”
Hard to explain. To say the least, I’m not into coprophagia, it’s just… well it tastes like a bardyard smells, without eating shit.
Conclusion: Earthy, hot, sweet. This is all over the place. I love the nose, the taste hurts (yet is nice enough to go back to, like rough girlfriends), and the finish tries to marry the two and ends up shitting itself (in a good way) but not quite living up to the nose.
Which I think is normal for Caol Ila. If you’re a fan of them, buy this. It’s that good, and interesting.
Scotch review #338, Islay review #75, Whisky Network Review #504