Coal Ila selected a 12yo cask for Feis Ile 2009. It was highly anticipated because it was the first single cask ever to be bottled by the distillery and because it was matured in European Oak (ex-sherry). It was distilled on December 12, 1996.
Caol Ila 1996 (58%, OB 2009, Cask #19313, Feis Isle 2009)
Nose: sparkling nose, rather minty. Fresh citrus on one hand, and darker, roasted notes on the other hand (coffee beans, freshly baked bread). Interesting duality. Smokey / peaty but in a rather subtle way, with a whiff of vanilla and Caol Ila’s typical sweatiness as well. Delicate farmy notes when slightly warmed. Chocolate notes from the sherry cask.
Mouth: mmhhh, very nice. Banana at first, sweet attack with fruity notes (oranges too) fighting the peat smoke. A serious pinch of salt and seaweed as well. Again with a toasted edge, really delicious. Finish: peppered start with some cocoa notes. The sweetness evolves into a long, ashy aftertaste.
I was really impressed by this Caol Ila 1996 and I would definitely have bought a bottle (around € 85). Just wonderful.