Caol Ila 28 Years Old WhiskyNerds Cask 13129 48% 1990
|Cask Type||Refill Oloroso|
I’ve had it in front of me while writing the introduction above, and there’s quite a lot of ashy smoke, with a fruity sweetness coming from the glass. Very promising. Tropical yellow fruit and little to no bite on the nose. I get pineapple, apple, all rather crisp. A hint of oak, with a very slight salinity. The smoke gets a bit of an engine grease scent, which I like in Caol Ila.
The palate is quite gentle, but has more oak than the nose. Still not a lot though. Mostly fruity with a smoky scent. Like eating pineapple with the barbecue dying out. A hint of grill-grease. A tad sweet, a tad dry, very gentle and no flavors overpowering anything else. A very well balanced palate. Apple, maybe some almond slices. Quite coastal too, which adds a bit of depth.
The finish veers towards the smoke a little bit more. It’s slightly drier than I expected with oak, and maybe some nutmeg. A hint of apple, and something more sweet that I can’t put a name to.
This is a gentle giant. There are no big flavors, but the balance is stellar. It has a very old fashioned style with the retained smoke and gentle fruity flavors. Nowadays, most Islay whiskies go big on the smoke and this is actually a lot nicer.
I absolutely love the whisky, and when I heard Bram and Floris were bottling a Caol Ila I knew I was in for something good. I know they love whiskies like this, and luckily I do too. Stellar stuff.
Serge Valentin (91)
Colour: gold. Nose: you do indeed get the sense there has been some sherry afoot here. Lots of dense, leathery notes of camphor, tar, smoked olive oil, preserved lemons, black olives and a wee dash of seawater. While there’s also these herbal notes in addition and many coastal fragrances like sandalwood, white flowers and gorse. Beautiful! Mouth: this is starting to approach the same profile as these early 1980s casks. Only here I feel the sherry has added something deeper and more leathery and fatty. Smoky bacon, tarry notes, ointment, old rope, hessian, camphor, putty and various cured meats. An impressive and captivating level of complexity I would say. Finish: long, herbal, sooty, tarry, fragrantly coastal and with these wonderful fading medicinal qualities. Comments: a great cask captured at a perfect age. It’s a shame we don’t see more of these early 90s vintages from Caol Ila, I think they’re really becoming terrific.
Gal Granov (90)
words Of Whisky:
Nose: Sweet and savoury with a delicate, but incredible balance. Lots of little intricacies here, that interplay wonderfully well. Briny, with hints of rubber gloves, wet pebbles, and peat smoke. There’s a touch of glazed barbecued steak as well. All of this coated by a thin layer of redcurrant and strawberry. Finally a touch of aniseed even.
Taste: Fairly salty and briny, with a touch of cured meat and soft peat smoke, followed by a whiff of cigar tobacco and menthol. A bit of licorice too, as well as a subtle spiciness.
Finish: Lingering menthol and subtle peat smoke, and finally a touch of orchard fruits. Medium to long.
very forthcoming, warm and sweet, quite thick and custardy. A lot of paraffin, hints of Tiger balm, almonds and wet hay. Stables. Olive brine. Hints of cigarette smoke. Sweetened mint tea. Light pepper and aniseed as well.
Mouth: rather big and bold, feels more than 48%. Again sweet and oily but also quitesalty. A fruity base (peach, golden apple) moving towards lemon peel, limoncello and chlorophyll. Green olives again.
Finish: long, on lemon and salt.
Punchy, balanced, with a big coastal side but a sweet fruity core as well. Quality is very high again.