The Whisky Exchange has an endless stream of interesting exclusives. Recently this Caol Ila 2014 landed on our desk. It is a single hogshead, bottled after 7 years of maturation.
Caol Ila 7 yo 2014 (59,1%, The Whisky Exchange 2021, hogshead #311507, 251 btl.)
Nose: rather full and meaty. Campfire smoke and steak on a smouldering barbecue. Some iodine and liquorice. Then classic maritime notes, oak char, wet plaster and buttery notes. Pilsner too. Underneath there is some green apple and pastry sweetness. A deviation from the crisp and crystal-clear profile we’ve come to expect from young Caol Ila, but interesting nonetheless.
Mouth: above-average peat levels and medicinal notes for Caol Ila. This is quite intense and powerful. On the other hand it shows plenty of depth too, with more of these barbecue notes, deep wood smoke and nice hints of dark chocolate. Then warming ginger and black peppercorns, burnt citrus peels, as well as some vegetal hints. In the end some oaky grip.
Finish: long, spicy, with pepper, lemon and a chalky note.
A heavier version of Caol Ila. One for the true peatheads, I’d say. While I wasn’t the biggest fan of the bulky nose, it definitely impresses on the palate. Available from The Whisky Exchange.