Caol Ila’s Fèis Ìle 2014 bottling was selected by new distillery manager David Wood who carries on Billy Stitchell’s great work. Matured in refill American oak hogsheads, 1,500 bottles have been released.
Nose: A little peanut brittle gives way to a smokier version of the Islay sea food van including a touch of oil from the engine. (I’ve just confirmed that it was the whisky as I was actually stood next to the van when we first opened the bottle!) Lemon slices, plenty of very sweet seaweed, moving into hints of menthol then ‘lemon and lavender’.
Palate: Initially substantial, but you soon realise this is a velvety whisky, not one with loads of oomph. Creamy vanilla and sort of ‘fizzy’ coastal oak with a little smoke.
Finish: Sweet Caol Ila smoke.
Overall: A yummy Caol Ila that’s a little sweeter than their core range.