Liquid Sun 12 year Islay Single Malt

Liquid Sun Caol Ila 12For any Caol Ila fans out there, this one is for you.  This hearty malt is distilled at the Caol Ila Distillery, and this particular bottle was distilled in 2000 and bottled in 2012.  For a comparison, the barkeep was kind enough to supply me with a complimentary dram of the Caol Ila Distillers Edition (a 14 year old , more mature, and slightly mellow version of the standard Caol offerings). As you may or may not know, I am a fan of peaty, smoky whiskies, so I was more than happy to give this one a whirl.  One thing I’ve always enjoyed about the standard Caol Ila is it’s present yet subtle blend of flavors, it’s a great chill-out whisky.  Needless to say I was not really prepared for what this little guy had to show me.  What struck me immediately about this offering was the hearty nose; much more intense and fruity than the Distillers, as well as what I am used to from the standard as well, but in a good way. 

Surprises all around as this one ran the bases down my gullet.  It was like someone turned up the volume on a standard Caol Ila.  The mouthfeel was full and thick.  The flavors exploded out on the front, then settled back into a pleasing warmth.  The back of this whisky is a delight.  I got about a 3 second delay before a lemony flavor sprang up, and I felt like I was wrapped in a heated blanket for about 20 seconds. A relaxed “aaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh” was all I could manage.  Don’t worry about balance though.  While I wouldn’t say it was as well balanced as the Distillers, it was still pretty darn good.

A few drops of water opened up the aroma and flavor beautifully, but I was a bit reticent to add a rock, as it was the last of the bottle and I was worried it might have affected the remnants in my glass adversely.  The Caol Distillers Edition also impressed, but as I was in the mood for more of a Johnny Winter, and less of a Miles Davis, the Liquid Sun won the night for me.

I must say, the art on the bottle was not my cup of tea, but the whisky inside is definitely my dram of whisky.

-Patton Creswell

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