This latest tasting was provided by none other than the big Islay man himself - "Big Peat" (kindly assisted by Douglas Laing & Co.) Founded in 1948, Douglas Laing & Co. are "whisky specialists". As mentioned on their website they aim to steadfastly create a quality, handcrafted selection of the finest blends, with an extensive range of single and ‘vatted’ malts together with some old grains gleaned from their large stocks, gathered and replenished over many decades.
For the night in question they dished up a fantastic assortment of goodies including 5 mystery drams to be sampled on the night.
They also went all out to set the scene by including some "Peat Reek" cones, to be burned whilst sampling, along with a pebble to chill the whisky and some authentic Islay rain water. Top marks for presentation!!
Now, onto the whisky.
For starters we headed to the north east of the island of Islay to the Caol Ila distillery. This was showcased via the "Young & Feisty" Provenance bottling by Douglas Laing & Co. Bottled at 46% ABV it is a no-age-statement whisky but we were informed that it was distilled in 2009 and bottled in 2012. Young indeed. We were also told that it is a bottling from 2 refill hogsheads.
Nose - Light grassy notes arrive first. Clove rock, lemon, orange and peppery heat. The peat takes a while to arrive but when it does it's subtle and earthy. Understandably there's not much wood influence going on here and over time a distinct bacon note comes through.
Palate - Instant peat that turns into sweet malted barley with the peat turning into a light smokey background. This is not as harsh as the nose, or age, would lead you to assume. Very smooth for such a young whisky. Mint, menthol, more orange and more clove.
Finish - In my opinion a touch short but undeniably clean and refreshing with a gentle warming heat.
Overall this is a lovely young whisky that is full of life. A great start to the evening indeed.
Well after that fine start you can only imagine how excited I was as to what lay ahead in the tasting and over the next 4 nights I shall bring you the next 4 drams with a short introduction to each. Believe me they're worth hearing about.
Also, for these updates, I shall be providing links to the whiskies and also those who kindly brought them to my door. A huge thank you to all once again.
Well, until next time,
Caol Ila "Young & Feisty" by Douglas Laing & Co. - http://www.robbieswhiskymerchants.com/item/216/DouglasLaingCompany/Caol-Ila-Young--Feisty---Provenance-Bottling.html
The Whisky Wire - http://www.thewhiskywire.com
Douglas Laing & Co. - http://www.douglaslaing.com/home.php?DOC_INST=1