Colour: The NL is a shade darker than the BE, but not really significant.
Nose: Both have this adorable, very complex and creamy aromas
profile that is so typical for 30+ years Caol Ila from that time. The
NL is a little smokier and offers more sea notes while the BE has some
fruity aromas (apples) in addition. Water is not needed. On the nose I
vote a draw, both are simply great.
Arrival: The BE has a remarkable big arrival on the tongue,
mouth-coating and oily. The NL is fat and oily too, but not as sticky
as the BE. So this round goes clearly to Belgium.
Body: Both creamy (toffee), complex and very balanced with a light,
old-style smokiness. The NL has some flavours that remind me of salted
popcorn or honeycomb while the BE offers tropical fruits, spices (black pepper,
salt) and a hint of dark chocolate. Both are very delicious with a
slight advantage for the Dutch this time.
Finish: Remarkably long on both sides. The NL is nicely creamy here
while the BE offers more vanilla and wooden notes. Another slight advantage for the Dutch again..
With water the NL gets much smoother while the BE shows a little more
oakiness, but I like the more sharp profile better when both are neat.
All in all this is a draw, so both the Belgians and the Dutch did a
marvellous job when selecting their cask. Well done!
quite oily and maritime at first. the peat has been subdued by age/maturity. fish oil. still some peat but it's melted into the background.
wH20 some green notes show.
matches the nose quite well in that it's very oily and maritime in the attack as well. then, some smoke, some ink, some olive notes then the briney tarry ropes you hope for from a good old peated malt. still has some oomph to it. great depth.
water brings out a little more sweetness.
not incredibly long (medium length) but very clean and satisfying, mellowed peat and slight brine.
Finish gets a little longer with water.
Delicious whisky but the form, particularly the finish, won't let me put it above 90.However it has a nose I rarely find in modern malts. Much oilier and brinier than modern whisky. Reminds me of a 79 conn choice Ardbeg. Probably should have come out of the cask a year or two earlier, but its still great. 90pts
Did this head to head against Cadenhead Small Batch 31 yr 52.1%
There are only two kinds of whisky. Good whisky, and that other kind.