At the 2002 Festival during the Port Ellen Maltings tour , it was noted in the Control room that one of the hoppers storing the malt had “Caol Ila Highland Style” on it , they were very cagey when asked what it was . Skip forward to the 2005 Feis Ile and in Billy Stitchells Masterclass we were given a try of Unpeated Caol Ila New Make and 4yo , i wasn’t overly impressed ! After skipping a few releases i had a try of the 10yo Unpeated in the Port Charlotte Hotel , I was Impressed !
Bottled at a whopping 65.8% abv in 2009 , it’s a lovely Golden Syrup colour , At first the strong alcohol tingles the nasal hairs , it’s quite fruity when you get used to it , there’s a slight spiciness along with Coffee . Wow ! incredibly strong across the palate , there’s just a hint of mint humbugs , needs water…….. With Water (quite a bit) The nose and palate becomes fruity and spicy , also an oakiness comes into it , the finish is hellishly long with tinned fruit cocktail .
A Devilish dram , definitely needs the water to calm it down but it’s well worth the fun of trying it un-diluted , Still impressed with it as much as i was that first time in the PC Hotel !