A sherry-forward edition of the yearly Diageo Special Releases unpeated Caol Ila. While whisky from the distillery is usually very smoky, this yearly release looks at the distillery's other, less well-known side: unpeated spirit. The 2018 bottling was matured in refill and rejuvenated American-oak hogsheads and ex-bodega European oak butts, which give a balance of elegant vanilla and orchard fruit, and richer, sherry oak flavour.
Flowery forests: honeysuckle and bracken. Sweet pine and brine notes follow along with a touch of meatiness. Then the sherry-casks make themselves known: raisins and sultanas, chocolate and a touch of citrus peel.
Stewed apples and sultanas lead, with fruit cake not far behind. Rich spice builds along with old oak and pleasantly musty damp forest notes.
Juicy raisins and a touch of menthol.