Friday, January 28, 2011

Caol Ila'

One more post about Scottish whisky before we get too far removed from Burns Night. 

We did a comparison tasting of the different ages of the same whisky from Islay off the southwestern coast of Scotland.  I have an affinity for whiskys from that area.  Neither the 12 year old nor the 18 year old was a shy fellow.  We cut each whisky with a dash of water. 

The 12 year old was strong with iodine, peat and wood smoke in the nose.  Distinctive taste of Islay with those three aromas coming together with some smoke.  The end result and the finish was a touch on the harsh side, but still quite tasty.

The 18 year old had definitely lost its harsh edges.  The nose was different in that the smoky aroma was less wood and more peat, and there was a hint of salt spray in the nose.  The taste was much more mellow and smooth, the additional six years in cask working some magic.  There were caramel notes in the taste along with a small hint of honey.  The Islay character stayed true to form.  Nice, long finish to this whisky.

A a pronunciation note: Cull e-lah is as close as I can come.

$48 for the 12 year version and $75 for the 18 year old.