** Carbol soap **
No Feis Ile this year due to corona (spicy detail: not one case has been registered on Islay), but Feis Ile releases of course. Then online via a special website. The fans were on their back legs - rightly so! - because for 'tax reasons' Diageo only sold the bottles to customers with a delivery address in the UK Fortunately, I know a few people who wanted to help me out of the emergency and so I managed to manage both this Caol Ila and the Lagavulin get 2 bottles. At three o'clock this Caol Ila, limited to 3,000 bottles, was sold out. The malt first matured on refill bourbon hogsheads and then got a finish on Amoroso-treated Hogsheads (and let that be the type of barrel used for the Distillers Edition of that other valve from the Diageo stable: Talisker). Now hope - but I am reasonably confident - that it is also very tasty.
Although the DNA of Caol Ila (citrus, seaweed, peat) is clearly present, it is mainly the large dose of sweetness that surprises me here - pleasantly surprised, let me be clear. Lemongrass, Haribo bears, wine gums and candies. Then some green herbs, something floral and soft medicinal notes follow. Carbol soap. Surprisingly subtle and very summery - for a Caol Ila. Wonderfully different from what I am used to from Caol Ila.
Oh yeah! It arrives nice and well seasoned, even a bit creamy and very clean. I suck on a pineapple cube while I'm in the kiln. A big floral touch is now at the very front that makes me frown for a moment. It won't turn into carb soap, will it? But no, luckily he doesn't get soapy. In fact, after those top notes he suddenly becomes quite maritime. Pepper and salt appear, are smoothly drowned out by ginger, while the smoke - which was so subtle on the nose - now spreads throughout your mouth, making it nice and warm. Not much is left of the subtle of the nose, but it is all great.
In the finish, the Amoroso barrel no longer stands a chance. Now the malt shows its true nature again: salty, peaty, smoky and absolutely fantastic.
I had high expectations and they were fully met - at that short moment in time where it threatened to go to FWP. A delicious, somewhat atypical Caol Ila to enchant you.