Mar 11, 2015

Caol Ila 12yo...

Caol Ila 12 yo (43.0%): I don't know why I am talking about hipster culture for two posts in a row but while staring at this bottle sitting on my desk I couldn't help but entertain myself with some possible near future predictions. Do you remember a few years ago how hipsters got bored all of a sudden with the craft beer movement and switched to PBR and Miller High Life? Next thing we knew all the bars in Brooklyn were filled with tall boys from mega beer factories. That was a little awkward, wasn't it? Years after I still don't have any logical explanation for it. If that thing ever happens to the whisky industry (which I think that it's very likely actually considering the prices going up every day...) Caol Ila 12yo will definitely be one of the choices of the new bohemian generation after that. It has been a consistent and reliable whisky for years and years with a bold yet approachable flavor profile. It's not cheap but pretty affordable, has a great plain, unstylish and simple look and (thanks to Diegeo) their distribution net is unbelievable. Almost every bar all around the world carries a bottle. But at the end of the day we have to face that we are talking about a mega distillery, a death star, so to speak. Caol Ila is one of the biggest Scotch malt distilleries in capacity (9th) and certainly the biggest on Islay. It works non-stop 49 weeks in a year to supply the incredible demand of Johnnie Walker blends and Bell's. It has been one of my favorite three distilleries from the beginning and still is. Color: Light yellow gold. Pinot Grigio. Nose: Close your eyes and try to visualize the lonely and awkward wait on the dentist chair when he is prepping his tools, the smell of iodine tincture soaked gauze rolls, a newly opened pack of band aids and the medicine cabinet you forgot its door open. Now push back all of these images to to early eighties, late seventies... Gosh, this nose brings me back to my childhood: Bicycle inner tubes, seaweed washed off to the beach, rubber masks and snorkels (before silicon age) and diesel fuel. Wet hemp rope, green peat, soccer game on the beach and sweat... Palate: Thin engine oil, peppermint Altoids (red tins) and sticky and oily soot. Green olives, dirty martini and sea salt-milk chocolate. Cracked black pepper corns, Mediterranean salt, burnt vegetable oil and linseed oil. Finish: Not so long. Roasted hazelnuts, crunchy malted barley and sweetened lemon juice. Overall: After so many years this dram still rocks! So, solid and dependable, a classic... It is pronounced but delicate at the same time. You know what? This might be my desert island dram... Maybe it should... Good for every season and occasion. It is a must have for everybody's whisky cabinet. Good to know that we will never run out of this dram...

Caol Ila Distillery, November 2009