There’s a whole series of new Single Malts of Scotland releases on the way (apart from a dozen of US exclusives), but for now we’ll shed a light on a Caol Ila 2011 that was launched early this year, from a (seemingly very inactive) sherry cask.
Caol Ila 8 yo 2011 (61,3%, Single Malts of Scotland 2019, sherry butt #300158, 434 btl.)
Nose: a bit of a dirty, buttery, slightly sulphury note in the background, although this disappears. Deep sooty notes, hints of tar. Burning leaves on a bonfire. Some mentholated notes and lemon peels add freshness. Dough and mashed potatoes. No sherry to be found.
Mouth: sweet onset (that’s the sherry alright), then big ashy notes and dried Mediterranean herbs. Plenty of briny and smoky notes. Still a slightly musty / vegetal note that I’m not very fond of. Grapefruits, green pepper. Light caramel. When you add water it suddenly shows a scented lavender note.
Finish: medium, still sweet, ashy and peppery.
Not my favourite Caol Ila expression, but I understand the need to bring something different from this distillery, known for its generally millimetric precision. Still available from The Whisky Exchange.