Tasting: Caol Ila 1996/2012 cask 14611 by Ian MacLeod’s Chieftain’s Choice

caolIla_1996_IMDram data:

Distillery: Cao Ila
Bottler: Ian MacLeod / Chieftain’s Choice
Distilled: 10.1996
Bottled: 03.2012
Age: 15 years
Limitation: 308
Price at the time of purchasing: – (sample)
Cask: Hogshead 14611
Alcohol: 50%
Possibly Unchillfiltered / Natural Colour
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
ripe barley. On the nose I get a huge initial hit of alcohol followed by fiery, spicy smoke, pepper, citrus oil and limes. In the background I get notes of mint, vanilla, green apples, unripe banana, traces of malt. Very spicy and light, not much sweetness going on here. A drop of water mellows the spirit a little bit and tames the extreme citrus notes. On the palate I get a tingling sensation on the tongue, bonfire smoke, cough lozenges, slight maltiness (not too sweet), oak spices, oily, burnt vanilla – not much fruit going on here either, although a bit more orange and slight apricots appear after some time in the glass. It remains quite hot and fiery even with a good spoonful of water. The finish is once again pretty smoke-fiery and spicy with notes of hot chili sauce funnily enough. Slight remnants of oak, very faint maltiness – what remains for a good length is a strong smoky alcoholic sensation with a spicy twist.

Verdict:
A very fiery-hot expression of Caol Ila from a rather inactive cask. Very interesting, actually, normally a cask like this would most likely end up being “finished”. A tad too light for my personal taste, but a very interesting experience nonetheless (first time I had a fizzing sensation on my tongue from a malt….!).

Score: 83/100

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