70cl // 64.3% ABV
A fabulous cask strength release from Caol Ila, this was bottled for the 2011 Feis Ile (Islay Festival). We first tried this in the cold and rain at Caol Ila’s blustery distillery day. It was just what we needed to stave the cold!
Nose: Lemon Sherbet, fresh and zingy peat, and just a little hint of Raisin, provided by the superb Sherry butt from which this bottle was drawn.
Palate: Textbook Caol Ila, but with a strong backbone provided by the Sherry cask. Much akin to the distillers’ edition, but at full and unadulterated cask strength. Sterling stuff. Huge Cinder-Toffee sweetness creeps in gently, but doesn’t overpower.
Finish: The peat gives way somewhat to a butterscotch, salted caramel flavour which persists beautifully, interweaving itself with the smokiness to provide one of the best Caol Ilas we’ve tried in ages.
Overall: An absolute belter of a bottle, this one, and no surprise that the queue for the bottles took a full hour from start to finish, despite the remoteness of the location.