So a few months ago, a lot has happened. So much so, my mind is still spinning and reeling from it all.
One of those things (which is positive) was I went to Cadenhead’s store in London. Which I’ve talked about before. It’s an adventure. The “Game of Thrones” of whisky stores.
And I ended up reviewing almost all of the samples I bought there while in England. Because I’m impatient (and wanted to beat my old record of 50 reviews while on vacation).
However I left one until I hit leaf-side (seriously, what’s ‘states side’ for a Canuck?), and it was Caol Ila 22 1991 Cadenhead’s Authentic Collection. Because of course I did.
I’m a peat head, you see. I love peat. Smoked whisky is great. Smoked cheese is good too. Smoked turkey is tasty. Smoked beef is divine. Etc, etc, ecetera.
So of course I kept this one for here. Also I didn’t want it to throw off my palette for the day. Because, as /u/muaddib99 found out this year, you never cross the peat line and the go back to other whiskies.
Yeah, that’s the rule.
Anyway, let’s see how this old, cask strength independently bottled Islay tastes.
Price: N/A in Ontario
Cask Type: Bourbon hogshead
Colour: 5Y 8/6
Nose: Cocoa, smoke, peach, salt, hickory, meringue, mint, pear
The age on this one has taken the smoke/peat and changed it to more of a earthy, nutty, and chocolate-y taste. Really good nose. Pungent in some areas, but not like an Ardbeg smoke bomb, more subtle.
Subtle like a Stealth Bomber, granted.
Taste: Pear, peat, anise, leather, chilis, noughat
Good flavours on this one, though it’s somewhat hot. Sweet, smokey, and somewhat spicy.
I wish there was a little bit more, given the age and cask strength. It feels like it may have plateaued and needed a finish or maybe more time in the cask. Water/time doesn’t bring much else out, unlike the women I used to date.
Don’t date the women I used to date.
Finish: Lemon, butter, almond butter, pepper, salty, raspberry
Better finish than the taste. Buttery, nice amount of acidity, and salty. Like salty raspberry squares, which I’ve never had but now want.
Man I need to stop eating sweets so much.
Conclusion: I could stand to lose some weight.
On the whisky? The nose is the best part. Really nice mixture and somewhat chaotic in make yet balanced in each flavour. The taste and finish don’t live up to it, but the finish is nice and buttery, and I’m a sucker for butter.
See my earlier comment about weight.
None the less, this is a nice Caol Ila, and the price isn’t too rough (especially for a 22 year whisky). I think there are better 22 year whiskies out there though, so keep that in mind.
Scotch review #337, Islay review #74, Whisky Network Review #503