Thanks to /u/xile_ for the sample.
Now to start a new review series I’m calling “Caol Ila doesn’t sound like anything I can make a joke about and I need to name a series oh well just don’t write what I just said, yes this part.”
Up first, a year or so ago we had a tasting. Now it was a heroic type tasting, and I was hitting that point where reviewing equals no. In a moment of great decision making (given I was feeling it) I made the decision to pour my last sample in a sample bottle. And then decided to save it up for some other Caol Ilas.
As you’ve been hearing, this pack rat mentality is now at an end as I attempt to do multiple review series to get through samples. Hopefully, before my wife and I decide to move in a few years. Maybe.
Suffice to say, being the youngest of my samples, I finally pulled out Caol Ila 12 2003 Adelphi. As an Adelphi, I can tell you the year it was distilled and what distillery it came from. Otherwise? Maybe the year.
So… how about that local sports team, eh?
Let’s see how this tastes before I subject you to more awkward small talk (there’s a reason writing is my medium of choice), shall we?
Price: N/A at the LCBO
Cask Number: 301266
Colour: 7.5Y 9/6
Nose: Ash, yeasty, bread, cocoa
Initial ash? Yup, it’s a Caol Ila. No lime though. It’s more on that peated, yeasty/sour note.
Some of the chocolate is there, though with more water. And it’s cocoa over chocolate. Less sweet, more bitter and earthy.
Taste: Caramel banana (very strong), tobacco, orange zest, lemongrass
Caramel banana, much like down at the Cabaret, dominates here. And if she says she dominates, I am not arguing with her. You do you, honey.
Ahem, moving on.
On the outside of that very dominant (and proud and powerful) note, there’s some grassiness. It’s more complex here than the nose. Lots of citrus notes to round it out.
Finish: Melon, pecan, ash, oak, lots of butter, poor boy rolls (which I was told the name of, yet from Googling the name is actually “sea salt French rolls”)
Lots and lots of butter. Water brings out even more butter. Continues a balance between cereal, fruit, and ash that went throughout.
The more I sip this, the more I enjoy the finish. It’s long, and that well developed salty bread is amazing.
Conclusion: Finish is where it’s at, otherwise just a stronger-than-normal Caol Ila (not that that’s a bad thing). Basically, they took the standard release, and the reason this couldn’t be used in the standard OB is that the finish was just so good.
And maybe Caramel Banana. But I haven’t asked her, as I’m shy.
Water really makes this a bit of a monster. It’s interesting, however, I don’t think I need a bottle of it. Glad I tried it and would order this at a bar.
Scotch review #932, Islay review #248, Whisky Network reviews #1485