Well, I do make such observations or connections via my chronically misfiring brain snapses. Like all the time, and in spite of the risk of rejection and the stink-eye gaze from my wife, family, peers, co-workers and even you, and living out my days in a straight-jacket, while listening to ABBA muzak in an egg shell white walled institution, I am gonna voice one right now.
I was thinking about adventure/thriller writer Jack Higgins and at the same time I was pondering the German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, and realized a profound insight about the two men of the pen from different centuries: They both were able to come up with awesome titles for their entertaining tomes!
A Sampling of Nietzsche Titles
Beyond Good and Evil
The Dawn of Day
. . . and my favorite . . .
Twilight of the Idols
Check out these Jack Higgins Book Titles
East of Desolation
The Judas Gate
. . . and my other favorite . . .
The Last Place God Made
I was thinking about these titles and what they are about? Truth! It must be truth. Beyond good and evil, there must be truth. Right? At the dawn of day, it is Mistress Truth who is there to remind you that your headache and upset stomach is the dowry you received when you became betrothed to one of Dionysus' maidens the night before.
Gentle peat. Still smoking, charred beach wood and a sweetness, grassy with a hint of seaweed.
Salty, cold orange pekoe tea, light peat notes, and smoke. Think branches piled for a small beach-side fire. Not overpowering. Salted cod too.
Tart apple, tangy green seaweed, and the final note is salt. Heavy salt.
Caol Ila is a distillery on Islay that is not as well known as the others like Lagavulin, Ardbeg and Laphroaig. Why? Probably because their 12 year old single malt has only been available since June 2002. You see, Caol Ila's principal business is producing single malt for the purpose of blending. You will taste Caol Ila in two fantastically great blends: Johnnie Walker Green and Black Bottle. Some say Johnnie Black, but Diageo aren't talking (well, not to me). It probably is present in other blends too.
So, what is the truth about this single malt, as I stand at the twilight of the idols and east of desolation?
Price Point - Be Wary
I paid a lot of money for this bottle. $80 to be exact. So, my expectations were elevated. I was disappointed. While Caol Ila is a pleasant smoky and peaty single malt from Islay, it lacked complexity of flavor. If there is a word I overuse on this blog, it has got to be "complexity." Seriously lacking here.
A regular reader told me he picked up a couple bottles on sale for $29 (he lives in the US). At $29 I would be singing the praises of this malt as a great value for money play. But, at $60 plus, I cannot say that. On the plus side, it is smooth, balanced, with no bitterness. Well put together, just missing a certain pizazz or Elvis Presley karate move that malts should have at the price point I paid. Even you lucky Americans should be cautious about picking this bottle up if it involves paying in excess of $50.
While I was drinking Caol Ila, I couldn't help but think to myself that Talisker 10 years is twenty dollars cheaper and delivers a similar flavor profile, but far more interesting and rewarding drink experience.
If you do not want to hop to the Isle of Skye from whence Talisker comes from, you can stay on Islay and try Laphroaig Quarter cask. Again, cheaper and superior. As for Ardbeg, it is saltier and more pronounced than Caol Ila. The latter is really easy drinking. No wonder it is used for blending.
Online praise is everywhere for this malt. Ralfy rated this malt 89 out of 100 and was very pleased with it. So were many others. Me, I am going out on a limb here and probably will attract heaps of criticism, but oh well, comes with the territory, though I hope I don't end up instituionalized like Nietzsche.