As we have Islay whisky festival Feis Ile going this week, this is great moment to taste some bottlings from this event. Unfortunately I couldn’t participate there this year. I‘m with all my heart there now. I am tasting one of my all time favorites – Caol Ila. Big bow and thanks to Justina (https://mywhiskydiary.net/blog/) for the samples! It’s my first time for Feis Ile bottlings!
I will take 3 year in a row. All are cask strength, so let‘s take them by chronological order from ‚oldest‘ release. First we will have Caol Ila 15 year old - Feis Ile 2013, then Caol Ila 12 year old - Feis Ile 2014 and Caol Ila 17 year old - Feis Ile 2015. I love mature and undiluted Caol Ila malts. I just adore that maritime, salty narrow style with elegant smoke.
First one – strong and fresh. Mellowed with water - maritime saltiness together with balanced smoke are graciously present. Even more narrow, than expected, but in a good sense. I love it. Maybe it’s just me and my period of un-sweet malts.. But even with ignorance to my preferences, this whisky is just flawless (and narrow).
Second one, the youngest. Obvious cask influence – vanilla notes are going well with maritime, lemony character. Really big difference from the former. If we can call these differences big enough – we have the same spirit, right? Good example about cask/oak influence and drink held there before pouring whisky. This one is more fruity, more fresh and more medicinal. Also very fine.
Third one, last year release. Eldest in the pack, matured similarly as 2013 – ex-bourbon->mostacel cask->ex-bourbon again. I was telling sometimes that I love Caol Ilas from 19 year old. From today that opinion has changed towards youth. Last malt is the narrowest. Maritime, smoky and lemony. Just that. Very good.
I loved all three. First one just a bit more. I‘m happy for this chance!