Tasting: Caol Ila 18

Dram data:

Distillery: Cao Ila
Bottler: Original Bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: 2011
Age: 18 years
Limitation: –
Price at the time of purchasing: – (sample)
Casks: –
Alcohol: 43%
Possibly Chillfiltered / Colouring added
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
On the nose I get a big hit of lovely peaty smokiness initially covering most other flavours. Some vanilla peeks through, white pepper, green apples, orange rind, orange juice, a very subtle honey sweetness in the background. The palate is oily, creamy, more white pepper, very mouth-watering and mouth-filling, a pleasant bitter-sweetness like a mixture of freshly cut grass and caramel sweets Surprisingly the peat is there but far less overpowering than on the nose, it arrives pretty late and is very well-integrated, as are the faint oak notes. The finish is rather light, an initial sensation of ginger candy smoke, but very restrained and gentle (well, as gentle as a highly phenolic dram can be đŸ˜‰ ). The sweet smokiness in the finish does however remain for a long time and some wood notes appear as the smoke gets less and less noticeable.

Verdict:
This is a more refined, aged version of the classic Caol Ila 12 year old. While just as peat-punchy on the nose it is more refined on the palate and much more gentle in the finish with more oak influence going on. Remembering my last bottle of the 12yo I think I actually enjoyed it a little bit more for its extra kick of youthfulness.

Score: 84/100

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