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The well known community site Whiskybase launched its own shop recently. Not long after that, their first own bottles were released under the Archives label. I had previously tasted their excellent Littlemill, which made me decide to put all the samples I had received from owner Menno (thanks!) on my tasting table. First one to tackle is this young Caol Ila.
It has a very clean nose on ashes, pipe tobacco, wet stones, oysters, lemon juice and seaweeds. It reminds me a bit of the 10 Year Old from A.D. Rattray that I had about a year ago. Very accessible, despite the high ABV.
On the palate, this peaty fellow explodes, releases all the coastal elements and barely giving the citrus any chance to surface. Very feisty and typically Islay. Peatheads will love this. Adding water is totally unneccesary.
The finish is nice and long, smoky and ends in a briny twist. Wonderful.
This is simply a magnificent Caol Ila, even at this young age. Feisty, clean and powerful! I cannot stress enough how much of an underappreciated Ileach this is. It truly deserves more attention. Cost around 60 EUR.