A good while ago, I was given an almost empty bottle of this JWWW’s Caol Ila Single Cask. There were around 2-3 drams left, and after the first one I wasn’t too impressed to be honest. Okay, to be fair it was in a quite busy and loud environment. But after that first encounter, the bottle went into my stash for about 6 months. Now, the strength is quite low, which makes one wonder if this is natural cask strength or diluted on purpose. If you consider the hefty retail price tag (~200€) that this bottle was carrying, it’s quite mysterious to why the strength is so low. After retasting however, I found it not weak or „smooth“ at all. Let’s see…
Caol Ila 1997 / 19yo
Rich bonfire smoke, the seashore, wet gravel, freshly cut ginger, lime, green apples, vanilla pods, ozone, chlorine. A swimming pool on islay? With time it gets more salty and herbal, even some hints of liqourice appear. Trademark Caol Ila and not shy at all!
Mineral and earthy. Subdued and mature peat, pink grapefruit, appleskin, ginger again. You could even call this refreshing 😉 A nice velvety texture. Some herbs and a little cooling menthol lurking in the rather short finish.
Despite the low ABV this one doesn’t feel watered down at all. The mouthfeel is rich and soft at the same time. This CI needs a bit of attention and time to spend with. Maybe you should not drink this after a cask strength malt. The original retailprice was a little shocking, though. /87