The nose on this dram is wild–and fruity. It smells like a fermenting mango improbably stuck inside a plum (it was a rather plump plum and using some butter helped). There’s also a note of apricot nectar pollinated by a rambunctious wren from a clover field–or perhaps by an emu in a tutu. I’ll leave it up to you, dear reader, to decide which (I can’t imagine that you would buy this whisky or refrain from doing so if it was one and not the other–though I have underestimated our readership before and lived to regret it).
The mouth is ever so slightly just short of transcendent. Why is Caol Ila so ridiculously good unpeated? I imagine discovering this is akin to the experience a cow has when she finds a salt lick in a mountain meadow. I have found a whisky lick. The mouth here is a gobsmacker: it’s a Phillip Glass concerto for spicy papaya and 343 instrumentalists.
The finish arrives, and overloads the senses with an all-encompassing set of bright spices. It’s like using all 64 crayons in the box to draw a house and a family. It makes me imagine a tandoori swordfish dish that has yet to be created, but among its many spices is a Martian Malabar pepper that arrived on the back of a comet. This would handle all of Marvin the Martian’s anger issues once and for all.
On the scale of galactic sensory overloads,
The Caol Ila 15 Year 2016 Limited Edition is 2001: A Space Odyssey’s “Star Gate” Sequence–It’s psychedelic and wild and amazing and beautiful. It’s everything you could ask for from a trip to outer space.
–Our thanks to Diageo for the sample!