Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Tasting: Maltbarn. Caol Ila 13 yrs.

Maltbarn. NO. 58
Caol Ila – 13 yrs

Single Malt Scotch Whisky.
Non Chill-Filtered/No added colouring

Distillery: Caol Ila
Bottler: Maltbarn
Region: Islay
Age: 13 Years Old
Proof/ABV: 55,5%
Distilled: 2003
Dk price: $129USD/900Dkk.  
Release: Limited 175 bottles release
Cask: Sherry

Points: 89/100

Caol Ila has been in production almost constantly since it was built by Hector Henderson in 1846. Caol Ila lies quite isolated directly on the shore of the Sound of Islay, in the northeast corner of the island, where Caol Ila (Gaelic for Sound of Islay) also takes its name from. Caol Ila has only experienced two nonproducing periods, in 1930 – 37 and again during parts of WW2, because of wartime restrictions on the supply of barley to distillers.

In 1972 the entire distiller was torn down, only the warehouses remained, and a new larger distillery was built in the same original architectural style, and the stills was extended from two to six, to meet increased demand from the blenders.
Roughly around 90 - 95% of Caol Ila’s whisky goes into blends such as Black Bottle and Johnnie Walker.

Caol Ila is owned by Diageo who luckily decided to start releasing officially Caol Ila bottling somewhere around 2006, until then it was only producing whisky for blends.

Caol Ila’s current core range consists of a 12, 18, 25 years old single malts, now and then some Distillery Editions also sees the light of day.

Oh how I love that unmistaken Caol Ila nose: Medicinal, iodine and tar. Fresh salty sea water and sweet bonfire smoke. Heaven on earth

Sweet and oily. Incredible complex and full bodied. Big bold smoky notes that you almost can chew on. Caramel mingles with white pepper, and old black cherry.   

Medium long finish that fills your mouth with cigar smoke and English licorice.

Overall impression:
Well executed Maltbarn. Perfect balanced, and the Sherry cask works wonders with the Islay smoke.  

Review By: Hasse Berg

Photo by: Goldendrops.dk (All rights reserved)

Son of Winston Churchill has kindly been granted permission to use the photo in this review.