The Feis Ile always provides Islay distilleries the opportunity to release limited edition whiskys. In 2009, this cask had been selected at Caol Ila and sold on the spot. Did the sherry bear fruits on these island lands…
Nose : we have a quite discreet peat. We smell seashell (oyster, mussel) alongside seaweeds while the smoke is nearly absent. There is also a rather dissonant note of wet dog. On the whole, the youth stands up. Afterwards, it moves on fruits without any sherry connotation. There are bananas, white fruits (pears, white grapes) with pepper and acacia honey. Then and only then, we have sherry markers : orange, dried fruits (almonds), caramel. The opening brings nougat, sage, coriander and chlorophyll chewing-gum. It’s quite enjoyable although wet dog notes spoil a little the party. Once this aspect partially left, the nose is fairly good. Water gives it more body with caramel, spices (pepper) and marshmallows.
Mouth : the alcohol is too much present and partially covers the light smoke, the seaweeds, the oyster shells, the lemon, the pear, the pepper, a little orange and chlorophyll. The second part of the mouth brings back the honey , the almonds, the malt, the marshmallows and a pinch of lilac. The ensemble is very dry. The water amplifies this phenomenon. We identify the candied orange, the caramel, the lilac, the black pepper and the almonds. There is a more distinct presence and a more consistent mouth even if the harmony isn’t transcendental.
Finish : the candied oranges, the honey, the pepper and the malt form a quite long finish with a smoke, still understated but more « Caol Ilian ». The persistence is good but not outstanding. It keeps the same flavors with a little return to grace of the chlorophyll and a small smoky retro-olfaction. The water increases the length and the persistence.