...and actually, it does! The profile is completely different to that of the 2010 (missing both the maritime and OBF aromas) and the 2010 wins on the nose while I like both the taste and the finish of the 2018 (2nd batch) better. This is mainly because of a more impressive flavours mix with heavier phenols and more herbal and spicy impressions. Well done, both Caol Ila (congrats to all the staff that produced this very fine dram) and Diageo (for selecting these fine casks and a heartfully thank for - until now - not increasing the price for us drinkers). Highly recommended to all lovers old style Traditional Scotch Islay drams, I will stack some bottles for my retirement...
The colour is amber and hence significantly darker than the 2010 (but remember, Diageo uses caramel to adjust it and because of German laws this is stated on the backlabel in german "Mit Farbstoff (Zuckerkulör)"). The nose offers a fine herbal and peat-driven profile with rather shy sweet aromas that take a while to enfold, finally. It is all very balanced and delicate but far away from the great 2010's nose with much more phenols, maritime notes and an adorable OBF. Nonetheless, still the 2018 owns a very fine nosing profile, no doubt. Give it at least 10 minutes (better 20) and it will reward you for your patience (and adding some drops of water is good for additional two points in my book)...
The taste is much more smokey-peaty than the nose but the sweet barley sugars and honeys counter this greatly. It is multi-layered with herbal and waxy flavours join in later, after that delicious fruits show up and finally the spices kick in. Hey, this is great movie on my palate without any flaw or off-note at all. I like this taste a little better than the 2010 actually but the two are very different and hence hard to compare. Some water opens up the nose nicely and turns both the taste and finish smoother and sweeter, but actually I like the neat dram better (except for some drops to improve the nosing experience).
The dram arrives warming and instantly coating on the palate with a tasty phenol-driven mouthfeel and no distracting moments. The finish is very long and adds an additional layer of delicious chocolatey flavours (both dark and white). It vanishes in slowly fading waves with just a minor bitter touch from the phenols (what is the best bitter note I can imagine, so this is rather an asset). Both the mouthfeel and finish are (a little) better and more impressive than the 2010 (that still is on a very high quality level).