Douglas Laing used to work (do they still?) with these so-called Advance Cask Samples, whisky in 200ml bottles that would (but not always) later appear in full bottles. This 10 year old Caol Ila pre-dates the split of Fred and Stuart, when Old Malt Cask was still part of Dougals Laing. Nowadays, this series belongs to Hunter Laing.
Surprisingly light and somewhat closed nose on vanilla and raw barely. Hint of white fruit and some nuts. Small salty edge. After breathing some lime shines through. Or is it grapefruit? The maritime elements develop as well. Think seaweeds and wet rocks. But mostly sweet.
The mouth feel is fine. Oily and coating. The spices and smoke come frist now and become quite loud, in fact. Yes, this is Islay for real. Then the sweetness and fruit kick in before the wood and the salt regain control. Stockfish on vanilla, should such a thing exist.
Powerful, but short finish on smoke and vanilla.
A simple, young Caol Ila. Nothing wrong with it. Au contraire.