Review | 2009 Caol Ila 6 Year Old "Faultline/Seven Grand" Single Malt Whisky


2009 Caol Ila 6 Year Old "Faultline/Seven Grand" Single Rum Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky


Scotch. Rum. Caol Ila. Faultline. Seven Grand. Cask Strength. 

The six simple things that make me happy. For those outside of Los Angeles or unfamiliar with DTLA, Seven Grand is a whisk(e)y bar from 213 Hospitality near the corner of Seventh and Grand!  They have an exceptional selection of whisk(e)ys from around the world and a wonderful space to enjoy a dram. 213 also has the DTLA rum bar Cãna in their portfolio as well. Faultline is the house label for K&L Wine Merchants. They have an outstanding track record of selecting barrels for their scotches and rum bottlings. 

Don't delay for a second if you see a Faultline offering that interest you. If you do the few hundred others that are, will buy up the lot. I highly recommend the Spirits Journal blog to keep up. David Driscoll is a gifted storyteller that goes on many journeys worthy of a story. Check out some of our other inspirations under Persona Grata

Caol Ila is one of those labels that is inconsistently available in the US market. I think Diageo pours it all into JW Double Black - "their smokeyiest blend yet." The distillery tends to be a bit different from the rest of the Islay labels - less prone to special releases and massive peat ppms. If you can find an unpeated Caol Ila, try it - a true treat. The standard 12 year always has a spot in my home bar although I am more likely to serve a Lagavulin due to availability. When this project first crossed my path, I jumped at the chance to get a young whiskys with an interesting finish.

The Spirit

The Faultline/Seven Grand bottling of a six year Caol Ila was enough to get me to buy it. The rum finish meant I spent my lunch hour swinging by the Hollywood location. Scotch and rum make great companions.  Scotch tends to dominate and in a cocktail, I use it as a supporting note.

After drinking this spirit and also having had the Balvenie Caribbean Cask, a rum cask is not going to add much complexity to the finish - just a slight hint of sugar. The peat and sea that mark a Caol Ila are high points and usually the only points. A bold flavor like sherry has the power to infuse its qualities into the whisky and at times dominate. I tend to pick second fill sherry butts whiskys for this very reason. A sherried whisky is often defined by the type of sherry used - Oloroso, Pedo Ximenez, Amontillado, etc. The origin of the rum cask would seem important in hind sight. A bold Jamaican rum might hold up in the chorus traditional Scotch flavors. 

I would like to see a rum finished in an Islay cask. The smokey hint would be the perfect finish for a nice copper pot still rum. Mr. Driscoll or Mr. Seale please take note. 

The artwork is fantastic. It plays into the nautical flavors and travels of the spirit and barrel.

If K&L runs out, Seven Grand has half of the 256 bottle stock reserved. A connoisseur should be able to order a dram in DTLA or San Diego.  

Tasting Notes

Color:  Soft Golden Hue

Proof: 116

Nose: Peat, fruits, vanilla, orange

Taste: Bright fruits, zest, cardamom, smooth for the proof

Finish: Sea spray, brine, earth, light smokey, hogo, light sweetness

Notes: Well balanced and smooth given the cask strength and age 

Score: 89


No Bananas Today Improved

1 oz. Hamilton 86

3⁄4 oz. banana syrup

1⁄2 oz. El Dorado 15

1⁄4 oz. Islay Scotch <-- I would use a cheaper, less unique single malt.

1⁄2 oz. lime juice

1⁄2 oz. Giffard Crème de Banane du Bresil 

1 dashes Angostura bitters

1 dashes Tiki bitters

Banana chip garnish

* Make a simple syrup with 1 banana with 3/4 cup water and 1 cup sugar. Heat all ingredients until sugar is dissolved. Let cool. Strain Solids.  


Post Notes