Sunday, October 24, 2010

Whisky review: Caol Ila 1978 25 yr

It's 3:30pm on a Sunday and I'm drinking whisky. What an awesome weekend.

Caol Ila (pronounced "cull eela") is an Islay distillery, meaning it lives on the Scottish island of Islay, off the southwestern coast. Islay (pronounced "eye-luh") is known for producing peaty whiskies. Its land area is only 240 square miles and it has eight distilleries. Needless to say, this island has its priorities straight.

This particular whisky is a cask strength quarter-century-old peated offering, distilled in 1978 and aged in American and European oak (and I'm guessing this means ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks, though American oak can be used for sherry as well). It's a distillery bottling, so it should be in the true Caol Ila style.

Let's give it a try.

Caol Ila 1978 25 yr, 59.4% ABV
Single malt Scotch whisky (Islay)

Appearance: Golden straw.

Nose: Embers of a dying campfire, brine, sweet barbecue, bacon. Great nose for anyone who likes meat...and whisky.

Palate: A bit hot (due to its cask strength). Sweet fruits mixed with tar. Mouth-coating, oily, almost sticky.

Finish: More tar, more smoke, brooding, long with saltiness lingering.

Rating (of 100): 91. Great nose, and this is a thick whisky that makes me just want to light a grill and get cooking. Too bad I have no grill. But I do have whisky, and that will suffice.

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