Asta Morris had a success story last year with the excellent Caol Ila 2011 (AM055, see my tasting notes). Now a sister cask is on its way to stores: 185 will stay in Europe, the rest is going to Hong Kong…
There’s also a very young Ardmore 5yo if you’re into more sherry + peat.
Caol Ila 7 yo 2011 (55,9%, Asta Morris 2019, sherry cask, 245 btl.)
Nose: this time I’m mostly struck by its relative elegance. Peaty and heavily sherried, yes, but also very balanced. Charcoal, camphor and soot, with lovely tobacco notes and worn leather. Also cinnamon pastry, figs, praline and a nice sweet almond coating. But also fresh grapefruit notes, mint tea and a hint of eucalyptus which really lifts it. Complex and very well integrated.
Mouth: quite rich, with an oily texture and a big sweet side. A peaty bite, prunes and orange syrup. Milk chocolate and a hint of cigar smoke. Ginger and light medicinal notes. Some alcoholic punch but again nicely integrated.
Finish: long, on tarry peat, sweetened coffee and a hint of cough syrup.
Another great cask, slightly more balanced and elegant in my opinion, without compromising its sheer power. Great stuff. Around € 70, still very reasonable. A must-have bottling.