Softened by time

It’s sunday, it’s freezing outside and the sun is on it’s way down to the horizon; how many reasons does one need to raise a dram? So with that in mind I decided to put two magnificent Islay Single Malts next to eachother and have a little N&T for myself ­čÖé

Caol Ila 12 and 18 y.o.

Now I must admit that I don’t have the keen sense of smell and taste as the people who write down the tasting notes, by far! However I do notice a┬ádifference in both smell and taste between these 2 fine whiskies.
The Caol Ila 12 y.o. is sharper on the nose, and has that typical heavy┬áIslay peatiness (in other words “I love it!”), where the 18yo has a little less peat and smoke, more sweetness and a much longer lingering finish.

Because of my poor senses, here are┬áMichael Jackson’s (not the singer!)┬átasting notes for your convenience.

Caol Ila 12yo

: Juniper. Garden mint. Burnt grass, but soft.
Palate: Lightly oily. Soothing at first. Lots of flavour development.
Finish: Spicy (nutmeg, pepper). Warming. Very long.

Caol Ila 18yo

Nose: fragrant. Menthol. Markedly vegetal. Vanilla pod. Creamy.
Palate: Firmer. Much bigger. Much more expressive. Sweeter. Leafy sweetness. Spring greens. Crushed almonds. Rooty, cedary.
Finish: Some peaty bitterness. Big. Long, warming.

Time to find another reason to raise a dram! ­čÖé


New additions

Two fine new additions to my modest collection of Single Malt whisky’s:

  • The Bunnahabhain Toiteach (Gaelic for ‘smoky’) is an Islay Single Malt, but unlike most Bunnahabhain malts, and more like other Islay malts,┬áthis one has a gentle hint of smokeyness. (hence the name Toiteach)
    Bunnahabhain Toiteach is a non-chillfiltered malt with 46% alcohol.
    Official tasting notes:
    ┬á– Appearance: A light golden hue glows from within
    Nose: Charming peatiness with a subtle nose prickling strength emanates from the dram
    Palate: Immediate waming peaty flavours drift towards a slightly sweet sherry influence with delicate peppery notes
    Finish: Good robust length with extremely pleasant aftertaste
  • The Glenlivet 18 years is a Speyside Single Malt, so quite different in taste from the Islay mentioned above. It’s a superb gentle malt, perfect after-dinner dram.
    Official tasting notes:
    Colour: Old gold, with ripe apricot hues.
    Nose: Fragrant, elegant, complex with a sweet oakiness reminiscent of an antique shop. Oak leads the way to heady floral fragrances of Freesia and Peony. Toffee notes emerge in time along with butterscotch, mint chocolate and summer fruit pie.
    Palate: Smooth and velvety, with a firm foundation. Sweetness is immediately followed by a tantalising burst of spices and bitter oranges drying out on oaky notes.
    Finish: Lasting, oaky and gingery. Distant smoke. A dry austere touch.