|Serie||Cask Of Distinction|
|Bottled for||Wu Dram Clan, Bram, Floris & Pierrick|
|Cask Type||Refill American Oak Hogshead|
|Condition||In Original Wooden Box|
Caol Ila 32 yo 1990/2022 (51.5%, OB, Casks of Distinction, Wu Dram Clan, Pierrick Guillaume and The WhiskyNerds, refill American oak hogshead, cask #6223, 181 bottles) The final bouquet, in other words. We’ve got a few other old CIs yet-to-taste, but they’re all unavailable in shops and so they can wait, according to WF’s unpublished yet official set of rules. BTW, Pierrick Guillaume was the manager at Laga and CI. Colour: gold. Nose: amazing what Caol Ila can generate when it ages, such as so many kinds of oils (pumpkin first, then sunflower and grape pips), and flowers (geranium), and fats (lardo di Colonnata), and nuts (pecans, almonds), and old things (books, furniture, waxes...) What it hasn’t quite got anymore is smoke, having said that, I would suppose it got transmuted in some way. The kind of gentleness that only proud old malts can display. With water: as almost always, more wool, chalk, also soft figs (the big ones) plus overripe apples and beeswax and mead. Mouth (neat): great old wine territories. Eucalyptus, chalk, acacia beignet, orange cordial, Fernet… The texture is rather incredible, almost muscular this time. With water: careful with that pipette, Odette! Indeed this is not pastis and I’m not sure anyone should add any waters to this ole glory. Lovely nut skins yet, walnuts, but some bitterish woods in the back, some tea tannins coming to the surface, and bitterish leaves and stems popping out. Conclusion, no water ought to be added here. Finish: long and lovely when neat. Adios, water. Patchouli, lime tea, smoked salmon, yuzu, caviar… Comments: hard to taste. In truth it is a little f****r that does whatever it wants and that literally hates water, blistering barnacles! Blundering bazooka! Orang outang! Cercopithecus! Vegetarian! Miserable molecule of mildew! Sycophant! Putin! Steam roller!...
n our glass today is the Caol Ila 1990 selected by the Wu Dram Clan, Bram and Floris (WhiskyNerds) and Pierrick Guillaume, former distillery manager of Caol Ila. They’re good friends and they had the opportunity to try different cask samples during a joint visit to Scotland in 2021. The cask of choice was the refill American oak hogshead #6223.
Nose: as expected, perfectly elegant. There’s a nice minty / pine freshness, mineral notes, medicinal ointments and hints of camphor. Soft, creamy vanilla, lemons and peaches as well. Some leathery notes and dried herbs. Gorse. Cold wood smoke in the background.
Mouth: definitely more intense now, with a nice oiliness. It starts with plenty of coastal notes (iodine, smoked oysters, brine) and a hint of petrol). Then some green, peppery notes and crushed sea salt. A good dose of smoky notes in the back. Mid-palate a burst of fruits comes out, mainly grapefruit and lime notes, but also creamier and sweeter fruits like apples. Overall very clean, with a nice balance of tart and mineral notes.
Finish: long, tighter, with the smoke coming forward, alongside coastal salinity and lingering fruity notes.
It is striking how close old Caol Ila and old Port Ellen can be at high age. This certainly reaches the same heights, with a lovely combination of coastal intensity and sophistication. Beautiful whisky – I hesitated between 91 and 92.
Caol Ila 32 Years Old Cask Of Distinction for Wu Dram Clan: A Sublime Journey Through Time
Caol Ila, nestled on the rugged shores of Islay, is known for producing whiskies that embody the island's maritime charm and peaty allure. The Caol Ila 32 Years Old Cask Of Distinction for Wu Dram Clan, a collaboration for Bram, Floris & Pierrick, is a testament to the artistry of the distillery and the dedication of independent bottlers. Distilled on June 25, 1990, and bottled on July 18, 2022, this 32-year-old expression, matured in a Refill American Oak Hogshead (Cask 6223) at 51.5% ABV, is a rare gem that invites whisky enthusiasts on a sublime journey through time.
Maturation in Refill American Oak Hogshead:
The choice of a Refill American Oak Hogshead for the maturation of this Caol Ila expression speaks to a commitment to showcasing the distillery's spirit in its purest form. The extended 32-year aging process allowed the whisky to interact intimately with the oak, resulting in a delicate balance between the peaty Islay character and the influence of the seasoned cask.
Pouring a dram of the Caol Ila 32 Years Old Cask Of Distinction for Wu Dram Clan unveils a liquid masterpiece that captures the essence of Islay. The nose is an intricate tapestry of peat smoke, maritime brine, and a subtle coastal breeze. Delicate layers of citrus, vanilla, and honeyed sweetness dance in harmony, promising a multi-dimensional tasting experience.
On the palate, the whisky unfolds with a velvety texture and a symphony of flavors. The peat takes center stage, delivering a refined smokiness that has mellowed with age. Waves of brackish seawater, seasoned oak, and a touch of tropical fruit add complexity, creating a palate that evolves with each sip.
The finish is a lingering embrace of warmth, with the peaty embers gradually fading into a gentle, oak-induced spiciness. The high alcohol content of 51.5% ABV amplifies the depth of the finish, leaving a lasting impression on the senses.
Limited Edition Rarity:
With only 181 bottles available, the Caol Ila 32 Years Old Cask Of Distinction for Wu Dram Clan is a true collector's item. The collaboration with Wu Dram Clan, Bram, Floris & Pierrick adds a personal touch, making each bottle a unique expression of Islay's heritage and the shared passion of whisky enthusiasts.
The Caol Ila 32 Years Old Cask Of Distinction for Wu Dram Clan is not just a whisky; it's a testament to the enduring legacy of Islay's distilling tradition. With every sip, you're transported through decades of maturation, experiencing the evolution of flavors and aromas that define this exceptional expression. For those fortunate enough to savor a dram from this limited release, it's not just a moment of enjoyment; it's a connection to the craftsmanship, dedication, and shared appreciation that make the world of whisky so special.
Nose: The nose combines maritime influences with mineral touches and a subtle farminess. There’s a faint coastal spray and hints of dried seaweed, accompanied by wet pebbles, soft notes of diesel oil, some pine needles and gentle whiffs of hot asphalt, but also birch smoke, beeswax, sunflower seeds and tinned peaches. The balance is just…
Taste: Great oily mouthfeel and a little less elegant than the nose. Hints of chalk, walnuts and olive brine with more peat smoke than the nose suggests. Still not a peat bomb by any means, mind you. Touches of plaster, menthol and damp leaves, as well as pink pepper corns and lime zest. There’s some honey, and stewed pears too.
Finish: Lingering coastal, briny notes with some subtle smoked fruits. Long.
Refill American oak for the win. Just a gorgeous example of a well-aged malt whisky perfectly in tune with the cask. And a quality you can only ever achieve after years-and-years of maturation. But let's not forget the high standard of Caol Ila's make. The largest distillery on Islay. One of the largest in Scotland too. But for the contingent of whisky drinkers that tend to value small (craft) distilleries over big factories, Caol Ila have proven time and again that size doesn't matter...