Caol Ila 2011 (60.2%, WDr, 2018)

Today the peat-and-wine whisky of the week (and I missed a couple weeks, I know) is a Caol Ila. Distilled in 2011 and bottled seven years later, was matured in a first fill “Grand Cru Red Wine“, whatever that means. It is bottled by the Whisky Druid, a new project of Michel Reick (the mind behind the Best Drams and Scotch Universe). I heard weird tales about this one. Some people said it had mystical thaumaturgic properties, like the hands of the old kings of France. Some others, instead, insisted that it could transform your tastebuds into melting pots of lava. Others just said it was good stuff. Therefore, when I had the chance to grab a sample I didn’t hesitate for a moment! And here I am writing down my magical tasting notes.

Nose: Uuuuh fat, sexy smoke, lemon and fat sweetness. Very different from that recent Bowmore I reviewed. A bit strawberry-like. Lovely, not much alcohol despite the over 60%. Strong, mineral, zesty, fruity. Ash. With water the smoke dominates the game more than Jaap Stam would in a match against 5-year-olds. Oily, zesty, citrusy, dirty. Kind of reminds me of a Longrow-like profile… Am I being nut? No, no nuts in here. Rather some pineapples.
Taste: Aaaaand the rollercoaster begins! Jesus, go easy on me, dude. I feel like I should call the Ghostbusters now to exorcise the smoky wine demon in my mouth. Cross those streams, boys! A bit acidic, a bit salty – but not too much. Peaches and other white fruits haunt my palate. Whooohooo, all on board the Whiskydruid train! With water it becomes more tamed, and somehow more drinkable. Mighty and smoky, grassy, full of a bottomless, cruel, dramatic peach.
Finish: Long and full of ash, no mercy for me. The smoke and the peach are hunting the empty rooms of my mind palace for ages.

Overall: Not the easiest whisky to tame, but for sure it is tasty: 87/100. I’d probably even fancy a whole bottle of this. Maybe it’s not too complex, nor a dram you’d offer to a person who’s never had a Caol Ila before. Maybe it’s not too easy to drink, maybe even a bit over the top. But in the end who cares, I like it! With this dram you’ll probably want to buckle up, and just enjoy the weird and bumpy ride.

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