Caol Ila distillery celebrated its 175th anniversary with a 24 year old limited edition. Not much information about the casks involved, I’m afraid. Going by the official tasting notes, this could be a common bourbon version though.
All available bottles were gone in the blink of an eye and as often these distillery celebrations were only shipped to UK addresses anyway. Given the size of Diageo I think they should really look into wider e-commerce options.
Caol Ila 24 yo ‘175th Anniversary’ (52,1%, OB 2022, 3000 btl.)
Nose: fresh and bourbonny indeed. Seaweed and ashes with some very bright fruity notes – think lemons and unripe stone fruits. Fisherman’s net and wet stones. A metallic edge makes it even more lean. Faint leathery notes and walnuts. Tiny hints of almonds too. I had to think of middle-aged Port Ellen, high standards.
Mouth: oily and coastal again, but somehow holding back a little. A slightly narrow profile on powerful brine, white pepper and fairly moderate smoke. Then a light waxy note, hints of grapefruits and lime. Some buttery vanilla. Tart herbs towards the end, again showing a metallic edge.
Finish: long, with vanilla sweetness, a little honey and more of these typical maritime notes.
The nose of this Caol Ila is very convincing. However, on the palate it loses one or two points as it becomes sharper and much more simple, focusing entirely on coastal notes. A decent anniversary bottling, sure, but maybe not an absolute must-have. It will be difficult to get hold of a full bottle now anyway, but you can still buy a sample from TWE if you like.