Caol ila 1996 Distillers Edition
Rich, layered, and never the same
30th Nov 2010
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Tasting Notes by badams
I picked up an (overpriced) bottle of this beauty at an airport and have not regretted that purchase for a second. Caol Ila has been among my favourite distilleries for a while, and this new expression has raised my appreciation of them even more.
The nose is peaty, but not overwhelmingly so (unless you don't like peat, in which case you're going to hate this one). The scent seems to subtly change with every inhalation, though hints of dried fruit and nuts tend to emerge more often than not.
The taste is equally complex. The maturation of this 1996 Distillers Edition is finished on Moscatel sherry casks, which leaves a strong imprint on the whisky's flavour: there's an immediate burst of sweetness reminiscent of dessert wines and white grapes, followed by the peaty impact of the whisky's full-bodied palate. Every sip contains the same sweetness and peat, but is layered with different flavours every time: citrus, nuts, dried fruits, sherry, grapes, the flavours just keep on coming.
The alcohol, at 43% a bit above average, leaves a light sting on your tongue, and the peaty aftertaste lingers pleasantly.
Overall this is one impressively fine whisky, instantly earning a spot in my top 5 favourite drams of all time.