50.8% ABV - Moscatel Cask finish - AW 15th Anniversary Edition
Bottled by Berry Bros & Rudd
Abbey Whisky recently celebrated their 15th year in business - it's a pretty big milestone. And to mark the occasion, Mike treated Emma to a slap-up fish supper, a possible pay-rise, and a bunch of flowers - tight git. But the thought was there I guess!
But what they also did was to select a special cask of whisky to mark the occasion. And it's an absolute bobby dazzler (that's a spoiler...)
The liquid was distilled in 2010, and initially matured in a first fill bourbon hogshead before being transferred into a hogshead cask that previously held Moscatel sherry.
The impact of this sherry cask is just fantastic.
It was bottled through independent bottlers Berry Bros & Rudd and it comes with a commemorative wooden badge (that smells of a whisky cask)
Appearance: Deep amber, beautifully thick & slow oily legs
Nose: Fruit Salad chews that have been dropped in a coal scuttle. A slight oaky dryness appears through the smoky cracks before giving way to a huge wave of wonderful sweetness with wisps of strawberry sherbet, custard cream biscuits, a tease of oily hydrocarbon, more mouth-watering Caol Ila sweet-peat, and a handful of warm coins.
Palate: The peat-smoke that comes through is that beautiful trademark balance of medicinal savouriness and lovely sweetness that this distillery does so well. With the influence of the Moscatel cask, there’s sweet sticky figs with double cream coupled with sweet-glazed crisped smoked streaky bacon. Fruity oiliness coats very corner of the mouth.
Finish: Ridiculously long – what a finish! Thick, rich and mouth coating with sweet smoked bacon and after-dinner sherry notes that leave the mouth feeling warm and satisfied.
Conclusion: Stunning. Caol Ila just seems to work with any type of cask it goes into, and this is no exception. And I’d say that Caol Ila is possibly my favourite Islay distillery. A very befitting 15th Birthday cask selection by Mike & Emma at Abbey Whisky. This is super-limited to just 126 bottles, so if it’s still available, now is the time to grab one.
Available exclusively through Abbey Whisky for £108 (at the time of writing this review)