Caol Ila unpeated.. Blasphemy I hear the diehard fans shouting..
There should always be a little surprise in every package and this Caol Ila unpeated 15 year old might just be the biggest surprise in this 2018 Special Release from Diageo.
Founded in 1846 by Hector Henderson the Caol Ila distillery is certainly more known for its peated whisky and with its 6.5 million litre capacity its fair to say the vast majority of the whisky produced is peated.
Initially intended to produce peated whisky for Diageo’s blends the distillery was re built in the early 1970’s after all the buildings other than the warehouses were demolished.
With only the Flora and Fauna bottling initially available as a single malt it wasn’t until 2002 that a core range would be releasedand a further wait until 2006 before an unpeated version was released into the market..
Todays review is for the 2018 Special Release Caol Ila 15 year old ( unpeated) which has been matured in refill and rejuvenated American oak hogsheads and ex European oak sherry butts, this is bottled at a natural cask strength of 59.1%
Nose.. A spicy burst with Cinnamon, ginger and subtle pepper greeting you before fresh orange zest, dried fruits and a little chocolate all come into play. Vanilla, toffee and Demerara sugar bring in the sweetness.
Palate.. Subtle spices lead into a nice fruity backbone, chocolate along with a little tobacco note give a different dimension and the citrus zest just gives this a little bitter attitude..
Finish.. Warming and lingering spices..
Thoughts.. Well who would have thought I’d love a Caol Ila as much as I do this one!!
This Caol Ila feels right, plenty of spices and a richness that just slides down the throat rather easily.
There is still an underlying smokey feel but that probably cones from the cask charring and although it’s faint it does still remind you this is from a distillery normally producing peated whisky..
Caol Ila 15 year old Unpeated – Its rather tasty !!