Compass Box No Name

Compass Box No Name - whisky review

Compass Box No Name - whisky review

This is the peatiest whisky ever from Compass Box.

As often the recipe of the blend is easy to find: around 75% Ardbeg from re-charred barrels, around 11% Caol Ila from refill barrels, 13% Clynelish (re-charred hogsheads) and a very small portion of their typical Highland malt blend which usually involves Dailuaine and Teaninich finished in Compass Box’s special French oak ‘hybrid’ casks. A lot of information actually, it turns out the only thing missing is a name.

 

 

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(48,9%, OB 2017, 15.000 btl.)

Nose: lovely elegant Islay style. Lots of ashes and hints of antiseptic bandages. Tarry ropes. All very gentle though. Underneath is a mellow fruity layer of peaches, grapefruit juice and lime. Autumn leaves and mossy notes, a little vanilla custard too. The balance is spot on. Mouth: oily but more firm and slightly sharp now, with salty liquorice, big smoke and wet dogs. Hints of clove and a little oak char. Plenty of grapefruits again (maybe more zesty though). Brine and tobacco notes towards the end. Finish: long, ashy, with strong Dutch liquorice, citrus zest and dry, leafy notes.

This reminds us of the bespoke Compass Box bottling for the 10th anniversary of The Nectar last year. Perfect pedigree, great whisky. Very good value for money as well, check Master of Malt or TWE for instance.

Score: 89/100

Article source: https://www.whiskynotes.be/2017/blends/compass-box-no-name/

anCnoc Peatheart

Knockdhu distillery has been working hard to develop a real peated range in the last couple of years. They have now launched anCnoc Peatheart, their peatiest expression so far, which contains about 40 ppm phenols (roughly in between Highland Park and Ardbeg, to give you an idea).

Note that for this expression they measured the phenol content of the malted barley (to be in line with the rest of the industry) while for previous peated anCnoc expressions they mentioned the phenols in the mature whisky.

It was matured in ex-bourbon barrels for more than a decade. anCnoc Peatheart will be the first permanent peated expression in the core range.

 

 

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(46%, OB 2017, Batch #1)

Nose: starts with some Ardbeg-style smoke, though not medicinal. Earthy with an underlying (youngish) sweetness. Apples, pineapple, hints of cotton candy. Cookie dough. Gets more heady after a while, with lemon peel and orange blossom. Hints of tobacco and tar in the background. Mouth: quite oily, with warm peat smoke alongside sweet lemon, apples and hints of toffee. Vanilla cake before it turns to drier, leathery notes, liquorice and traces of chocolate. Finish: medium long, clean, on lemons and slightly floral peat smoke.

Simply a good peated expression. It doesn’t have the medicinal Islay power but keeps it clean and fresh with nicely sweet and floral notes. The most complex of the peated anCnocs so far, and like most of the anCnoc whiskies: no-nonsense and simply well made. Around € 60 from Master of Malt or TWE for instance.

Score: 86/100

Article source: https://www.whiskynotes.be/2017/ancnoc/ancnoc-peatheart/

1996 Caol Ila 20 Year Old “Old Particular” K&L Exclusive – Scotch Whisky News

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1996 Caol Ila 20 Year Old “Old Particular” KL Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky (750ml)

SKU #1298483

Caol Ila’s whisky can be as transitive and unpredictable as the Islay weather itself; sometimes it’s light and breezy, while other times powerful and thunderous in its character. At cask strength, the salt, smoke, and peat aromas often leap out of the glass, but when tempered the creaminess and fruitiness of the spirit itself is allowed to shine, fat and unctuous in its texture. With this cask of 20 year old Caol Ila, we have the best of both worlds: a full proof, no-water-added single barrel whisky that has naturally proofed itself down to 46% after two decades in wood. The nose is an absolute dream: sweetly-tinged smoke, burning embers, with faint aromas of peach and apricot in the background. The palate is simply perfect: sweet vanilla intermixed with peat, salt, and ash, but always with a roundness of texture that’s a product of the distillery’s wide-necked pot stills. It’s a perfect Caol Ila specimen, highlighting the strengths of the Islay distillery’s personality, each with equal concentration and intensity, all in harmony and balance.

$129.99

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Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2017/12/1996-caol-ila-20-year-old-old-particular-kl-exclusive-scotch-whisky-news/

The Whisky Exchange Whisky of the Year 2018 – Scotch Whisky News

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The Whisky Exchange Whisky of the Year 2018

Whisky of the Year has gone global! For 2017 we opened up the awards to any bottle from across the world, provided it was not cask strength, below £60 and an ongoing release. Despite my repeated suggestions that we should hold the final somewhere warm and exotic to celebrate this momentous development, the event was once again held in The Rooms at Brown’s, just a hop and a skip from our Covent Garden shop.

On arrival we warmed up with a Claymore – not the Scottish two-handled sword, but rather the winning cocktail from the 2017 Speciality Drinks Next Whisky Cocktail Classic Competition. Made from Chivas Regal 18 Year Old and Champagne cordial, it’s delicious and relatively easy to make at home – providing you ever have leftover Champagne with which to make the syrup…

So what were we looking for in the eight unidentified whiskies sat temptingly in front of us? Our Master of Wine Dawn Davies, who was presiding over the evening, gave us a few tips:

  • don’t be swayed by big flavours
  • look at the whisky’s balance
  • consider how long you think about it afterwards
  • look carefully at the finish
  • taste a couple of whiskies to calibrate your palate before starting to give scores

Everyone in the room tasted each dram at the same time, giving us an opportunity to compare tasting notes and guess at the composition and origins of each whisky.

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The drams

First up was Arran 14 Year Old, which won praise from the room for its grassy, coconut, vanilla and fruit notes, with some observing that it had a slightly tannic finish.

Nikka Coffey Malt followed, which one person said smelled like Kraken rum, while another said was a ‘grain whisky made with barley sugar’. People found it easy to drink, noting flavours of toffee, vanilla, and gooseberry, but overall this dram proved to be much less of a talking point than the Arran.

Third was Cragganmore Distillers Edition 2004, which many said had similar elements to number one. It also, however, had smoky, woody and red-fruit notes, alongside a rich velvety texture. ‘I always think of fabric in terms of texture’ said Dawn.

The next one… well. The next one was Green Spot Leoville Barton, a wine-finished single pot still whiskey which, from a tasting point of view, deservedly won a place in the final. Unfortunately, we belatedly discovered that it doesn’t meet our criterion of being an ongoing release, so we had to knock Green Spot off the top spot. Oops.

Number five was Benromach 15, in which the audience found notes of paprika, farmyards, smoke and Burgundy. As Billy observed, it was like the ‘inside of a flaming Crunchie bar’, which led us to wonder exactly what he gets up to in his spare time.

After a brief digression about chickens and Rudolf Steiner (it made sense on the night), Dawn led us on to sample whisky number six: Inchmoan 12 Year Old. By this point there was a lot of debate about which whiskies were Scotch and which weren’t. ‘It’s like Scotland being in the World Cup final,’ said one chap at my table, looking nervous. The Inchmoan, Loch Lomond’s peated spirit, was observed to have notes that ranged from nit shampoo to pot pourri, with a tannic and dry finish.

Next we were off to Islay for Bowmore 15 Year Old, which elicited quite a few ‘oooh’s when people lifted the glass to their nose. Notes identified included Bonfire Night, Marmite, red fruits and bacon, with one attendee commenting ‘it’s almost too delicate to be an Islay.’

Our last dram was Ailsa Bay, a peated Lowland whisky that wrong-footed people with its salty, leafy bonfire characteristics alongside sweet citrus, white pepper and smoked-salmon notes.

The winner

Jonathan Dimbleby was unavailable to present the pre-results coverage, so while we waited for Billy to count the votes we turned our attention to the bonus ninth dram. This one, however, wasn’t sampled blind: as our CEO Sukhinder told us, this was a Caol Ila 32 Year Old that had been selected as a show bottling for Whisky Show Old and Rare. (‘Holy sh*t’, commented someone at my table when the age and distillery were announced.)

While our focus for the eight finalist drams had been on balance, Sukhinder explained that this wasn’t always the most essential factor for independent bottlers. ‘Distillers look for something quite balanced, something that shows their character’ he said, ‘but what we’re looking for is something that tastes nice. Sometimes we’re looking for something that is perfectly balanced but sometimes you want something wild and flavourful. Overall we just look for a good whisky.’ The Caol Ila, in case you haven’t guessed, was very good indeed.

And the winner? The Whisky Exchange Whisky of the Year 2018 is Bowmore 15 Year Old, one of the two drams that were clear favourites with the audience. Runner-up is the striking Ailsa Bay, and thanks to our special offer, both are just £50 if you fancy seeing what all the – entirely justified – fuss is about.

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2017/12/the-whisky-exchange-whisky-of-the-year-2018-scotch-whisky-news/

Isle of Islay 10 Year Old 2007 at The Whisky Barrel – Scotch Whisky News

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Isle of Islay 10 Year Old 2007

Single cask sherry hogshead from a secret distillery which once contained the famed micro distillery Malt Mill, on the A846 between Laphroaig Ardbeg. Freshly bottled by our chums at Creative Whisky Co. for the Exclusive Malts – just 352 bottles!

Shop – £99.95

TWB 10 Yrs

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2017/12/isle-of-islay-10-year-old-2007-at-the-whisky-barrel-scotch-whisky-news/

Ardbeg “Twenty Something” 23 Year Old Islay Single Malt at K&L California – Scotch Whisky News

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Ardbeg “Twenty Something” 23 Year Old Islay Single Malt

Here’s what I will tell you about the new Ardbeg 23 year old committee release that just landed in our warehouse: I was lucky enough to try it a few months back when Ardbeg’s distiller Dr. Bill Lumsden was in town for a promotional tour and we got the chance to eat lunch together. He pulled out a small flask and poured me a glass, asking me what I thought about the whisky without telling me what it was. I was utterly entranced by it. It was so soft and silky compared to the powerful and high proof Ardbegs like the Uigeadail and Corryvreckan. The smoke was heavy, but it was muted by rounded vanilla and creamy malt flavors. I knew it had to be old. The finish went on forever and I just sat there grinning as I licked my lips and asked him what I had just experienced. Bill smiled and said it was the upcoming Ardbeg “Twentysomething,” a new committee bottling from the distillery planned for a winter release in the states. It’s by the far the most luxurious Ardbeg I’ve tasted since the 1977 and Lord of the Isles releases of long ago and it’s a legit, top shelf single malt. I’m long past the point of being able to justify what’s worth it to whisky drinkers when they’re throwing down money like this for a luxury bottle, but if you’re worried about the quality here I can squash those concerns. It’s really good.

Ardbeg “Twenty Something” 23 Year Old Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) ($549.99)

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Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2017/12/ardbeg-twenty-something-23-year-old-islay-single-malt-at-kl-california-scotch-whisky-news/

Bunnahabhain 1980 Canasta Cask Finish at Loch Fyne Whiskies – Scotch Whisky News

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Bunnahabhain 1980 Canasta Cask Finish

A limited edition 36 year old whisky from Islay’s Bunnahabhain distillery, first filled to Oloroso sherry casks before being finished in sweet Canasta sherry casks. Only 1,200 bottles have been produced at a cask strength of 49.5% abv.

£1,800 Order Now

Orders will be dispatched week beginning 4th December

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Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2017/12/bunnahabhain-1980-canasta-cask-finish-at-loch-fyne-whiskies-scotch-whisky-news/

Bunnahabhain 2003 Pedro Ximenez Finish at Loch Fyne Whiskies – Scotch Whisky News

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Bunnahabhain 2003 Pedro Ximenez Finish

Distilled in 2003 at Islay’s Bunnahabhain distillery, this limited edition single malt spent the first 11 years of its life in 2nd fill sherry butts before being transferred to 1st fill Pedro Ximenez casks in 2014 for another 3 years’ finishing. Presented free from chill-filtration and artificial colouring at a cask strength of 54.8% abv.

£85 Order Now

Orders will be dispatched week beginning 4th December

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Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2017/12/bunnahabhain-2003-pedro-ximenez-finish-at-loch-fyne-whiskies-scotch-whisky-news/

Day 3 Kensington Wine Market Whisky Advent 2017 Gordon Macphail Connoisseur’s Choice Caol Ila 2004 – Scoctch Whisky News

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Gordon Macphail Connoisseur’s Choice Caol Ila 2004

We are big fans of Caol Ila at KWM. To quote my friend Kelly Carpenter, a great friend of the store, Caol Ila “is one of the most consistently good Scotch whiskies”. Any opportunity to feature the distillery and its whisky in the KWM Whisky Advent Calendar is a welcome one. We didn’t have a Caol Ila last year, but we did feature a Caol ila from Gordon Macphail in the 2015 edition on Day 18.

Our Day 5 whisky, like that from 2 years ago, is a Gordon Macphail Connoisseurs Choice Caol Ila. In this case a 2004 vintage. Unlike most independent bottlers, Gordon Macphail fills their own casks, rather than simply acquiring them on the open market. The family firm, now in its 4th generation has a wood policy that is among the best of any whisky firm in Scotland. In the last two years we have selected and bottled 4 Kensington Wine Market exclusive casks of Caol Ila from GM. Every time they send us a flight of samples to select a cask, we struggle to select just one…

Caol Ila is Scots Gaelic for the “Sound of Islay”, the body of water separating Islay from Jura. Caol Ila, the largest of Islay’s eight operating distilleries has spectacular view of the Sound and the island beyond. But even though the view from the still room is second to no other in Scotland, Caol Ila has been modernized and expanded so many times that it is without question the island’s least interesting distillery to tour. Established in 1842 the distillery changed hands many times over the following century until it was acquired by Distillers Company Limited, one of the forbearers of industry giant Diageo, in 1927. The distillery has run ever since, with but three short breaks, including the War years, 1942 to 1945 due to wartime barley restrictions. It was also closed between 1972-4 and 2011-2, in both cases for major upgrades to add capacity.

As with past editions of the Kensington Wine Market Whisky Advent Calendar, Gordon Macphail whiskies will be featured on a number of occasions this year. We will dig more into their history in the posts ahead. For this post we will simply say that they have a well-deserved reputation for the quality of their whisky and their unrivaled depth of maturing stocks of Scotch whisky. No one has bottled older whiskies than the 75 year old and three 70 year olds that the firm has released in the last 5 years.

About the Connoisseurs Choice line (Courtesy Gordon Macphail): “In the 1960s George Urquhart, one of the first of four generations of the Urquhart family to shape the future of Gordon MacPhail, pioneered a range of single malt Scotch whiskies, which he selected, matured, and bottled. In doing so, he effectively invented a category in a market previously focused entirely on blended whiskies. The ‘Connoisseurs Choice’ range broke innovative new ground, giving a platform to many of Scotland’s single malt distilleries from across all regions, some of which had never before been bottled as a single malt. Over the past five decades, we have maintained our belief that every distillery has a personality of its own. The collection of whiskies in the ‘Connoisseurs Choice’ range is constantly evolving, aiming always to highlight the unique characteristics of the individual distilleries.”

We love the fact that the Connoisseurs Choice range is bottled at 46% without added colouring. While this 2004 Caol Ila is not presently available in the market, Kensington Wine Market has a pair of store exclusive Caol Ila casks available at the time of writing. There is GM Caol Ila 2007 KWM Cask, a 10 year old Refill Ex-Bourbon cask bottled at 58.6%, $122; and the 14 year old GM Caol Ila 2002 KWM Cask, bottled at 52.5% from a First Fill Ex-Bourbon Barrel, $145.

Connoisseur’s Choice Caol Ila 2004 – 46% – First 2nd Fill Ex-Bourbon – Andrew’s Tasting Note: “Nose: classic young Caol Ila, sweet, meaty and malty with a whiff of smoke; juicy orange and melon, chewy bacon dipped in maple syrup and vanilla icing. Palate: creamy, round, coating and malty; wow, layered, it creeps up on you; scallops cooked in butter and more chewy bacon dipped in maple syrup with a side of orange juice; we can’t completely ignore the savoury smoke, it is there but hidden under the more decadent tones. Finish: the smoke is more assertive on the finish as the sweet syrup and punchy orange notes pull back; still creamy and malty. Comment: damn this is great Caol Ila, but we didn’t bring it in because of our aforementioned casks… we’ll have to rectify that! – $TBA

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2017/12/day-3-kensington-wine-market-whisky-advent-2017-gordon-macphail-connoisseurs-choice-caol-ila-2004-scoctch-whisky-news/

20 Year Scotch Sensations – Caol Ila & Bowmore at K&L California – Scotch Whisky News

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Impressive, Can’t Miss 20 Year Scotches Aficionados Will Adore

With the gift giving season just around the corner, we’re rolling out a pair of 20 Year Islay bottlings that are sure to impress the Scotch lover in your life. Bowmore and Caol Ila are two of the more recognizable names in the world of Scotch, each known for their own distinctive style and approach. These single barrel bottlings were hand-selected by our spirits team and are priced at a fraction of what you’ll find elsewhere. But the remarkable price is only part of the story here, as this pair count among the best we’ve had from these illustrious distillers.

The Bowmore leaves you awestruck with its potency, richness, and depth. The Caol Ila for its part offers a magical infusion of smoke, maritime notes, sweet vanilla, and orchard fruit. Both deliver impeccable balance and charm from the very first sip to the last. Perfect for gift giving (or as a special treat to yourself), these limited production bottlings are welcome additions to any collection.

 KL Bowmore

1997 Bowmore 20 Year Old “Old Particular” KL Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) ($149.99)

There are two things that are consistent about Bowmore: the whisky is almost always awe-inspiring and rare editions will most often cost you a pretty penny. The stalwart of Islay is the spiritual home of smoky whisky, known equally for its grace under a peat fire. The Bowmore 25, one of the distillery’s most magical expressions, routinely hovers between the $400 -$500 price point on the open market, but for this holiday season we set out to find a more affordable version for our customers who want something special, but not quite that expensive. This cask strength 55.7% 20 year old single barrel edition, while lacking any sherry influence, still manages to offer an incredible amount of sweetness from the refill oak hogshead, coupling with the clean flavors of malted barley and vanilla. The richness overtakes the palate initially, which is rare in an Islay whisky with this much smoke, dominating the flavor profile right off the bat. The peat and campfire notes don’t begin until almost halfway through the process, combining sea salt and maritime elements with caramel and ash on the finish. There’s plenty of Islay influence here, but it’s beautifully balanced by the whisky’s inherent maltiness. In a nutshell, it’s textbook Bowmore with maturity and power for a fantastic price. It tastes exactly the way the distillery itself smells when you enter it, haunting the senses with equal parts malt and smoke. Our cask is a chance at true single malt royalty for a reasonable entry fee.

David Driscoll | KL Staff Member | Review Date: November 03, 2017

I’ve tasted old Bowmore whiskies with heavy peat, heavy sherry, heavy smoke, and heavy funk, but I’ve never tasted one with this much sweet malt and vanilla. That’s not to say this edition goes easy on the smoke, however, because there’s definitely plenty of phenolic goodness to light the way home on the finish. This 20 year cask is maritime whisky at its finest. It reminds me of walking the streets in Bowmore near the distillery for the first time years ago, grabbing a plate of fresh oysters at the Harbour Inn across the street, then ducking into Duffie’s for a quick dram. In a sense, it’s a nostalgic whisky. It reminds me of what got me into whisky in the first place, a sense of wonder and complexity at how a golden liquid like this could taste so damn good. If you’re in search of that feeling, that sense of excitement that may have been lacking from your single malt consumption as of late, I invite you to find that feeling again in this bottle.

Jeffrey Jones | KL Staff Member | Review Date: November 03, 2017

What I like about the Bowmore offerings is that they are balanced and nuanced. This single cask is no exception. It begins with nice smoke and sea aromas that are not heavy or over-powering. In the mouth this Bowmore is concentrated and complex, with rich and round flavors and hints of smoke coming through. There is a nice long finish. I tasted this with a splash of water.

Andrew Whiteley | KL Staff Member | Review Date: November 02, 2017

Getting single casks from major distilleries like Bowmore just makes me so happy. It’s a unique way to look at the components of a particular distillery and dive into what makes them so special. This 20 year old Bowmore is no exception. The nose is exquisite. It’s loaded with sea spray, sweet fruits, and extinguished campfire. I feel like I can reach out and touch the wet malt on the floor just as the dry smoky air starts to fill the room. It’s clean and pure, powerful whisky. The barley song is loud and clear. All of the pieces are there to be examined, yet harmoniously balanced into a whole single experience. This whisky perfectly shows why single malts are so compelling. They are a fascinating way to watch the whole movie, frame by frame, as they age.

Gary Westby | KL Staff Member | Review Date: November 02, 2017

This fantastic refill hogshead of Bowmore has all the complexity that one would expect from a 20 year old Islay, balanced by fresh sea air. This is not a heavy dram, but rather an expansive one, and has the rare peacock’s tail finish that I prize in the finest of drinks. It seems to expand after each sip, with the flavor coming on stronger after each sip. I like this best diluted down to about 40%, so I’ll get almost a liter of pleasure out of my bottle!

Alex Schroeder | KL Staff Member | Review Date: November 02, 2017

I’m a huge fan of the Bowmore whiskeys, mostly because they display their Islay characteristics with subtlety and grace. The peat is always a soft undertone to the malty complexity. This single cask from Old Particular is faithful to that mission. Flavors of toasted cereals, orange citrus oil, vanilla and briny smoke are robust and sweet on the palate, with incredible integration. Normally sensitive to higher alcohol levels, at 55.7% abv this was very enjoyable neat for me. If you enjoy these Old Particular single cask offerings, this is definitely a winner.

KL Caol Ila

1996 Caol Ila 20 Year Old “Old Particular” KL Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky (750ml) ($129.99)

Caol Ila’s whisky can be as transitive and unpredictable as the Islay weather itself; sometimes it’s light and breezy, while other times powerful and thunderous in its character. At cask strength, the salt, smoke, and peat aromas often leap out of the glass, but when tempered the creaminess and fruitiness of the spirit itself is allowed to shine, fat and unctuous in its texture. With this cask of 20 year old Caol Ila, we have the best of both worlds: a full proof, no-water-added single barrel whisky that has naturally proofed itself down to 46% after two decades in wood. The nose is an absolute dream: sweetly-tinged smoke, burning embers, with faint aromas of peach and apricot in the background. The palate is simply perfect: sweet vanilla intermixed with peat, salt, and ash, but always with a roundness of texture that’s a product of the distillery’s wide-necked pot stills. It’s a perfect Caol Ila specimen, highlighting the strengths of the Islay distillery’s personality, each with equal concentration and intensity, all in harmony and balance.

David Driscoll | KL Staff Member | Review Date: November 15, 2017

One of my all time favorite whiskies was the old distillery edition of the Caol Ila 18 – a beautiful rendition of the Islay single malt that packed equal weight and richness of texture with all that peaty goodness. It wasn’t a cask strength edition, which is what really made the difference for me. If a distillery can manage to find the sweet spot with water, I’m all for reduced spirits in bottle. The beauty of this 20 year old Caol Ila is that it’s at cask strength, but has naturally reduced itself to the perfect 46% ABV (exactly where many distilleries will reduce to). The result is the closest thing I’ve ever tasted to that legendary 18 year bottle that is now just a memory. The nose is simply haunting; an enticing combination of vanilla, creme brulee, and campfire embers. The whisky rolls over your tongue with creaminess and texture, but it leaves a trail of peat smoke in its wake. If you want the perfect Islay whisky, this is it. It doesn’t get much better than this. Buy three if you can afford it.

Andrew Stevens | KL Staff Member | Review Date: November 22, 2017

If you are a fan of Islay whisky just buy this, seriously this is just absolutely beautiful Islay at a wonderful age. I have said on more than one occasion that Caol Ila may be my favorite Scotch once it has had a chance to age because it just always seems that somewhere right around the 20 year mark this whisky just all comes together and sings. This bottling is no exception and the price is fantastic for what you are getting. Light fruit, honey, ash and smoke on the nose lead to an incredibly balanced palate. Here an immediate strong core of just doused campfire smoke carried the young sweet fruit, honey, and seaside notes effortlessly. The balance is amazing and the finish is surprisingly soft and mild. Just delightful!

Jeffrey Jones | KL Staff Member | Review Date: November 22, 2017

This cask of Caol Ila was a lucky find because it has so much to offer. There are pleasant smoke aromas that should please any fan of single malts from Islay. My first thought when I tasted it was that this cask is really something special. There is such a nice mixture of smoke, sea-like flavors and malt, and it is concentrated and intense. I tasted this with no additional water because it was 46% ABV when bottled which probably helps explain the lovely concentrated flavor.

Andrew Whiteley | KL Staff Member | Review Date: November 22, 2017

It’s my favorite time of year here at KL. Not only are we hitting our stride in the busy season for wine, but it’s finally whisky season. I wait all year to see what David has hidden up his sleeve. As the market for fine malts gets tighter and tighter we still manage to procure things like this. 20 glorious years in barrel has brought the full proof down, integrated the smoke and salt, and let the barley shine through. The end result is one of the most approachable and lovely Islay whiskys I’ve tasted this year. The big brash smoke of Caol Ila’s youth has been tempered with age into an assertive and confident dram, and the salt air of Islay permeates the glass. Fresh fruits of a distant land waft in and out. The palate is smooth and lingering. There is a touch of sweetness on the back end and a little piquant spice. This is a no brainer for the whisky lover in your life during the holidays…even if that whisky lover happens to be yourself.

Alex Schroeder | KL Staff Member | Review Date: November 16, 2017

This might be the deal of the holiday season in Scotch whiskeys. After tasting it, I’m almost tempted to use the word perfect to describe it. It showcases the beautiful Islay brininess and smoke as a subtle undertone to the rich, sweet malt profile. The flavor punch from the full strength, single cask is incredible, balanced, and fully integrated. Definitely my top pick for holiday Scotch.

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Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2017/12/20-year-scotch-sensations-caol-ila-bowmore-at-kl-california-scotch-whisky-news/