When Bert Bruyneel launches a Caol Ila, you had better get your skates on. Mostly the bottles are sold out before I even get the change to order one. This is one of those releases – albeit 580 bottles strong – that I missed. Thanks to a buddy in Holland (yes, I do have friends there, believe it or not) I was able to get my hands of a sample. I’ll try it head-to-head with the new release from 2019. Funny detail: the label says Coal Ila, but the misprint was discovered too late.
Wonderful nose on tobacco, old books, toffee and fresh figs, followed by vanilla and cookie dough with the chocolate chips just put in. Delicious. A hint of barbecue (the day after) and only mildly coastal on sea weeds. Like I said: delicious.
The arrival is oily and spicy. Immediately it’s a battle between three parties: sweet sherry with dark and sweet fruit and tobacco, ballsy peat and a big salty note from the spirit. No… wait… battle is not the right word, for they do not fight each other. On the contrary: they are perfectly matched. They stroll through the surf, hand-in-hand, while the bonfire on the beach behind them slowly dies.
Very long, mildly piquant and softly drying finish that makes me slouch on the couch.
Delicious Caol Ila, despite the young age. And even though you can taste that, it is nearly impossible not to love this. And to think it was for sale for only 70 EUR. No wonder they were gone in the blink of an eye.