In celebration of the first five years the German whisky shop McWhisky.com released a commemorative Caol Ila. In fact, such bottlings become fewer because it is becoming hard to get desired casks as an independent bottler, esp. peated Islay drams. Hence, this was done in cooperation with Gordon & Macphail. Let’s taste the pale peatster:
Caol Ila 10 y.o. Gordon & Macphail 2005 – 2015 for McWhisky, Bourbon Hogshead, 223 btl., 56,4%
Comment: Very austere and clean at first, wonderfully spirit-driven. The main aromas aside from medium-intense peat and discrete sulphur are apple skins, freshly tanned suede, olive oil, pepper and chili, juniper, camphor, coal and lemon zest. I am also getting more etherial elements like thyme, rosemary, burning mountain pine needles. Almost no wood here. In second row there are chalk, pear schnaps, ozone and coal gas, green tea and grapefruit. Now let’s taste this really complex dram: wow, it has a Talisker-esque pepper-catch, hot stuff like a peated chili. The coal turns sooty in the mouth. It is good, but water makes it great – it renders more complexity and balance, fruit, chalk and more, in fact, it becomes less Caol Ila, more like a mix between Ardbeg and Bowmore. Great length in a wonderful finish that leaves you asking for another glass. A great pick by Daniel Kamm and the McWhisky-Team – exemplary Islay!
Score: 84 / 86 with water