Caol Ila 2007 (Whisky Agency vs. Beacon Spirits)

I’ve seen several Caol Ila 2006 and 2007 releases from independent bottlers lately. This is probably the most recent vintage I’ve tried from this distillery.



Caol Ila 2007 - The Whisky AgencyCaol Ila 8 yo 2007 (53,7%, The Whisky Agency ‘Good Vibes’ 2016, bourbon hogshead, 324 btl.)

Nose: highly grassy and mineral, with raw wool, limestone and Matcha tea. Hints of moss and soaked grains. Sea spray and peat. Lots of lemons, subtle kiwi and pears. Slightly sharp and youngish but pleasant. A little mint after a while.

Mouth: sweet peat, sweet barley, with raw wool and iodine. Quite some almond roundness too. Sea salt and pepper. Leafy notes and herbs, as well as hints of walnuts.

Finish: long, sweet and salty. Hints of hay and a chocolaty finale.

Punchy, straightforward whisky, as young as you can go without bottling immature spirit. This has traces of Laphroaig (smokier than other Caol Ila), albeit in a juicier way. Very clean and simply flawless. Around € 105.

Score: 84/100



The second one was selected by a new Belgian bottler called Beacon Spirits. The company is founded by Patrick Proth, who is a trainee distiller and sommelier, passionate about spirits for a many years already. His first batch includes a Tobermory 2007, a Speyside Finest 1975 and this Caol Ila 2007 but also a single cask 9 years old cherry spirit distilled in Germany.



Caol Ila 2007 - Beacon SpiritsCaol Ila 2007
(51,2%, Beacon Spirits 2015, 168 btl.)

Probably half a cask. Nose: unexpectedly different, after the TWA version this comes across more candied. Kirsch, even light whiffs of strawberries, mixed with the more common lemons and pears and very clean, focused peat. After some breathing they grow towards each other, but this one stays less vegetal and less porridgy.

Mouth: a more gentle attack, but then it bursts open with lemons and lime juice, as well as some green apple. Very bright, juicy, coastal. Maybe light traces of vanilla and some Szechuan pepper. Perfect in its simplicity.

Finish: long, ashy, peppery and citric.

This is slightly less powerful, and also a bit more narrow, but clearly brighter, juicier, more elegant. My favourite. Around € 95. Not sure about the availability.

Score: 86/100