Again an excellent cask selection by the Caol Ila team to offer an unmasked, honest and quaffable dram that represents the consistent high quality of this distillery at its best. I understand why others score this average only (missing the special effects in such a release) but I prefer honesty over cheap thrills...
The colour is jonquiripe corn and the texture shows a sticky ring at the top of the glass that very, very late builds some fat tears without legs (a truly great oiliness indeed!). The nose offers the typical young Caol Ila notes with a strong peaty-herbal touch (from the European oak casks, I guess). Straightforward, honest and quite impressive (but nothing special).
The taste itself is exactly what one would expect from a 10-years old Caol Ila: Bold flavours of maritime peat and vanilla with some fruits, spices, herbs and more. Again nothing special, simply "you get what you expect" (in a consistent high quality). Water turns this dram more quaffable but it takes away that nice kick the high abv provides to my taste buds. Actually I like it both neat and reduced to about 46% abv.
The whisky arrives warming and not hot at all (despite 58.2% abv) on the palate and immediately coats the whole of the mouth (yes, the terrific oiliness translates into a great mouthfeel, usually). There is a minor astringent moment from heavy tannins (the "rejuvenated" casks work almost like virgin oak) but this is not too distracting. The finish is very long (as could be expected from the excellent oiliness, too) and great to chew - it releases more spices and sugars that way.