Our introduction to this Caol Ila Distillers Edition could be copy-pasted from the Lagavulin Distillers Edition we reviewed not long ago. In the latest 2022 edition they dropped the vintage or any other age statement, even the batch indication. We’ll have to look for an L-code to know which version we’re getting.
While this used to be a +/- 12 year old expression, Caol Ila effectively opens the door to making it younger – I cannot think of another reason. One thing that hasn’t changed is the use of Moscatel seasoned casks for their Distillers Edition.
On Instagram Salim brought a funny typo to my attention. The label states Caol Ila, Port Asking, Islay. It happens to the best.
Caol Ila Distillers Edition (43%, OB 2022, Moscatel seasoned American oak finish, L2272CM005)
Nose: the classic briney notes and coastal peat are mixed with apricots and sweet lemons. Then also seaweed and damp ashes. Hints of dough and hay as well. It is fresh and clean, but also really light and a little boring.
Mouth: much rounder than a classic Caol Ila, with caramel and lemon candy, as well as pears. Hints of sweet oak. Then it turns to ashes and smoke with peppery notes. Some bread crust and milk chocolate towards the end. There is always a salty tingle too.
Finish: rather short and sweet. A hint of vanilla and lingering smoke.
Like the Lagavulin, this is a fine whisky. It seems the Distillers Editions became gentle introductions to the core range though, with a low ABV and increased sweetness. I could sip this in a bar, while not paying too much attention. However there’s so much excellent Caol Ila on the market that this comes out as an unremarkable expression. Available from The Whisky Exchange or Whiskysite.nl for instance.