Sherried Caol Ila can be great. Last year’s Feis Ile bottling – the first official single cask ever – was excellent. This new version is slightly younger but shares the same European oak maturation.
Caol Ila 10 yo 1999 (61,9%, OB 2010, Feis Ile, sherry cask #305646)
Nose: freshly toasted bread with salted butter. Roasted malt and peat smoke. Nutmeg. More maritime than last year: seaweed, tarry ropes, fishnets. Some iodine and bandages. Quite dry – the sherry is very shy until you add water, then it becomes much more fruity with cooked fruits (tangerine, pineapple). I find this one more typical (also less surprising) than its older brother, but it really unfolds with water.
Mouth: in line with the nose, with added citrus sweetness. Strong peat with a thin chocolate coating. Growing saltier towards the end, on olive juice and cocoa.
Finish: salty / sweet. Long and ashy.
This Caol Ila seems more powerful than the 2009 Feis Ile edition. Sharper and less sweet. Very good but I prefer last year’s cask. Original price: around € 90.