On the nose, we got honey aged in a burgundy cask, then put into a dragonfly wing chalice. The woodiness/resin note is so high register, it’s either from a Dragon Blood tree or it’s half way to being turned into a solvent. And it’s snaking its way through a pipe organ.
Speaking of pipe organs, on the mouth, it’s St. Peter’s keyboard cleaner. OK, that’s more like speaking of churchy things. Still, the mouth evolves into a Twinkie made by a Cordon Bleu chef with the help of three discerning children. And it’s on the mouth that we realize how affordable it was. Perhaps Diageo wrongly assumes Caol Ila’s value lies in its medicinal peat notes. Interestingly, this dram offers a peat bite without the peat, which is a bit like thinking it was a werewolf, when it was an angry poodle named Fifi. In other words, the mouth is so spectacular, it’s disorienting, but in a way that makes one simultaneously thankful.
The finish is a fiery, strange mix of peppermint and cinnamon. Or maybe it’s just a pine needle tomahawk–you know, because that’s the logical alternative to a weird mix of peppermint and cinnamon. Or maybe space is just corduroy. Wide wale corduroy. (Did I mention it was disorientingly good?) Imagine surfing on the wide wales, making fast cuts, but being perfectly balanced in your crouch on the board.
The Caol Ila 17 Year Unpeated 2015 Limited Edition is studying abroad–Done right, it will take one out of her comfort zone and lead to mind-expanding perspective shifts and a new appreciation of the world outside her own culture.
–Our thanks to Diageo for the sample!