My Caol Ila 12 review
So after making a decision based on all the responses to my "Islay." post, I went a head and picked up the Caol Ila 12. I popped the cork, poured a dram, and let it sit for 10 minutes. These are my impressions:
Color: Pale straw, doesn't look like much. I hate flashy appearances anyway so who cares.
Nose: Beautiful balance of peat, smoke, sherry, apples, and cream. Nothing sticks out here, I'm pleasantly surprised by this. I was expecting a peat bomb but this is not it. Maybe the Bowmore has turned me to Islay for good.
Palate: Oh heavens, how gorgeous this is. I couldn't help but think of a good Riesling with sharp acidity wrapped in a sweet blanket. Someone once said a good champagne is like a sword wrapped in luxurious cream. This is the most "bubbly" Scotch I've ever had! Flavors I pick flavors like raisin, white wine like flavors-Alsace comes to mind for some reason, and smoky peat. This Scotch is very "fresh". Very nice.
Finish: Medium yet crisp, there's a "zip" I had mentioned I was looking for and this has it. I get a bacon fat flavor on the finish. While the Bowmore 12 is more "full", it's a bit boring compared to the Caol Ila. It's like you're waiting for something to happen and it never does. Not so with the Caol Ila! I like them both though, they both have interesting aspects to them.
I think I love Islay, if I try to drink my beloved Glenlivet 12 I'm bored to death now. What would be a step up from Caol Ila? Lagavulin? Ardbeg?
Thanks for all your suggestions everyone, they're much appreciated!