Appearance : orangey copper.
Nose : full, powerful. The particularly peppery first nose stages a very elegant floral (purple lilac, lavender), fruity (orange zest), honeyed (acacia, heather) and apricot peat. Allowed to breathe, it becomes chocolatey, iodine, salty and camphoric. Further on still, aromas of spice, wheat and ripe fruit (Mirabelle plum, Kirsch) appear alongside burnt rubber and cocoa bean. Outstanding.
Palate : lively, dynamic. A blend of gooseberry and Mirabelle plum, the attack hovers over peat fields that crash into a turbulent sea. This strong imagery is bathed in a radiant and yet cloudy light. On the mid-palate, lava ash showers the palate and citrus fruit zests (lemon, orange, grapefruit). At the end of the palate, black fruits (bramble, blueberry) showcase the Burgundy cask finish.
Overall : long, taut. Exceptionally creamy, chocolate and earthy, the start of the finish reveals impressive power. Ballechin has taken the upper hand over Caol Ila. An oily, rich, milky, floral (lilac) and fruity (strawberry) peat underscores the nobility of a finish that is also deliciously peppery. At the very end of the palate, slices of bacon and bresaola add an animal touch to the flavour palette. The exotic retro-nasal olfaction is dominated by notes of flambéed banana and mango. The empty glass is earthy, rooty (gentian), vegetal (agave) and ashy.
CAOL ILA 2011 The Accomplice Chess Investigation Series 46%
Quantity limited to 1 bottle by client.
An LMDW exclusive
Created by La Maison du Whisky for its website whisky.fr and dedicated exclusively to the Caol Ila distillery, whose initials it shares, the Chess Investigation range is composed of single casks of various maturations and vintages bottled at cask strength or lower. The fourth chapter in this Caol Ila saga, entitled The Accomplice, this version finished in a Ballechin Burgundy cask beautifully sets the scene for the complicity that unites these two single malts with strong characters throughout the tasting. This almost perfect symbiosis reaches its height on the finish when, with an altruism and magnanimity that ranks it among the greats, Caol Ila decides to head to faraway lands, leaving Ballechin the distillery keys.
Profile: the powerful first nose is very peppery, peaty/floral (purple lilac), fruity (orange) and honeyed (acacia). Allowed to breathe, it becomes chocolatey, iodine, salty and camphoric. The dynamic attack hovers over fields of peat that crash into a turbulent sea. This image is bathed in a radiant yet cloudy light. On the mid-palate, ash showers the palate. The taut start of the finish is earthy and chocolate. Ballechin has taken the upper hand over Caol Ila. An oily, rich, milky, floral and fruity (strawberry) peat underscores the nobility of a finish that is also deliciously peppery. At the very end of the finish, bacon adds an animal dimension to the flavour palette.