Category Archives: Caol Ila

Caol Ila 2005 11 yo by Gordon & MacPhail

24 drams till Christmas 2016 #13: Caol Ila 2005 11 yo by Gordon & MacPhail

Caol Ila 2005 11 yo by Gordon & MacPhailDram data:
Distillery: Caol Ila
Bottler: Gordon & MacPhail
Distilled: 21.01.2005
Bottled: 20.07.2016
Age: 11 years
Limitation: –
Casks: 4 First-Fill Sherry Butts
Alcohol: 57,3%
unchillfiltered and uncoloured
Whiskybase link

Young Caol Ila. You can’t go wrong with intense, young Caol Ila, right? Let’s have a taste of this one, from Gordon&MacPhail’s Cask Strength Collection.

Tasting notes:
Colour:
 light gold
The nose is very intense on the first nasal contact! Intense, phenolic peat smoke with alcohol, vanilla and white pepper/horseradish sharpness! Whoa! But I like it! Exactly why we love young, heavily peated whisky! Let’s wait a few minutes… Ah ha! Ginger, peaty apple compote and something spicy… used mulled wine spices? To be honest, I would’ve guessed ex-bourbon maturation, but the leaflet says first-fill ex-Sherry butts. On the other hand… it could’ve been dry sherry, there is a dryness… With water: same general profile, but less alcohol! Let’s see what the palate has to offer!  Continue reading

Tasting: Gems of Scotland Caol Ila 7 yo 2008 - 2016 cask 311050

Tasting: Gems of Scotland Caol Ila 7 yo 2008 – 2016 cask 311050

Tasting: Gems of Scotland Caol Ila 7 yo 2008 - 2016 cask 311050Dram data:
Distillery: Caol Ila
Bottler: Morrison & Mackay
Distilled: 05.06.2008
Bottled: 15.01.2016
Age: 7 years
Limitation: 414 bottles
Casks: Hogshead 311050
Alcohol: 46%
unchillfiltered and uncoloured

Tasting notes:
Colour:
new make with a slight copper sheen
The nose is dominated by slightly mellowed-down heavily peated new make. In a good way! A pinch of alcohol with dried orange peel and fresh ginger, raw fire, still warm peaty ash, brown sugar and a spent old vanilla pod rubbed on a slate platter. The cask managed to take away the roughness of the new make and add just a smidgen of flavours – at least third-fill wood in my opinion. Continue reading

Caol Ila 1995 20 yo by Cadenhead’s

Tasting: Caol Ila 1995 20 yo by Cadenhead’s

Caol Ila 1995 20 yo by Cadenhead’sDram data:
Distillery: Caol Ila
Bottler: Cadenhead’s
Distilled: 1995
Bottled: 10.2015
Age: 20 years
Limitation: 564 bottles
Casks: Butt
Alcohol: 57.7%
Unchillfiltered, uncoloured
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
white wine
Seems like yesterday since I last tasted a refill-Butt 20-ish Caol Ila. I was very fond of the last one so there’s certainly no harm in trying another! The nose is… rather gentle and delicate, actually. Very little alcohol despite nearly 58% ABV with a light and delicate peat smoke – almost a Bowmore-ish flowery note (burning lavender and violets?). Slightly damp cotton candy, diluted honey, almost faded Italian orange blossoms, citrus juice with bits and peel, an oak board in a florist’s shop and highland honey so faint you’re wondering if the bees made it through the summer. Continue reading

Caol Ila 1993 21 yo by A.D. Rattray

24 drams till Christmas tasting #15: Caol Ila 1993 21 yo by A.D. Rattray

Caol Ila 1993 21 yo by A.D. RattrayDram data:
Distillery: Caol Ila
Bottler: Dewar Rattray
Distilled: 19.07.1993
Bottled: 11.08.2014
Age: 21 years
Limitation: 311 bottles
Cask: Refill Butt 11144 (Part)
Alcohol: 56,8%
unchillfiltered; natural colour
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour: white wine
The nose has an astonishing amount of peat smoke left for a 21-year-old dram! Peat smoked salted herring with tang, cigar ash, burning hard wood and latex gloves on much more mellow sweet notes of cake icing with a dash of lemon, honey and malt extract with vanilla pudding. Hm… the label says “sherry butt” – probably american wood and 3rd fill, so there’s no trace of sherry left.
Continue reading

Tasting: Caol Ila 1984 30 years Rum Cask Finish by Riegger’s Selection

Caol Ila 1984 30 years Rum Cask Finish by Riegger's SelectionDram data:
Distillery: Caol Ila
Bottler: Riegger’s Selection
Distilled: 04.1984
Bottled: 23.10.2014
Age: 30
Limitation: 360 bottles
Cask: Rum Cask Finish
Alcohol: 56,2%
unchillfiltered; natural colour
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
straw
In the glass is a (hopefully) nice Caol Ila from the mid-80s, distilled at a time, when many distilleries sadly closed down forever during the last big downturn of the Scotch industry. Let’s get started! The nose is surprisingly fresh from the get-go! I haven’t looked up the details but I guess this was at least a 2nd fill cask. Alcohol, salt spray, a slight hint of menthol, citrus peel and -juice, industrial cleaner (hey, what?) all mixed together with earthy, dirty peat smoke and a whiff of cough lozenges. Continue reading

Tasting: Caol Ila 1996/2012 cask 14611 by Ian MacLeod’s Chieftain’s Choice

caolIla_1996_IMDram data:

Distillery: Cao Ila
Bottler: Ian MacLeod / Chieftain’s Choice
Distilled: 10.1996
Bottled: 03.2012
Age: 15 years
Limitation: 308
Price at the time of purchasing: – (sample)
Cask: Hogshead 14611
Alcohol: 50%
Possibly Unchillfiltered / Natural Colour
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour:
ripe barley. On the nose I get a huge initial hit of alcohol followed by fiery, spicy smoke, pepper, citrus oil and limes. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

Tasting: BigPeat Tweet tasting

IMG_20140515_170614I was selected as one of the lucky tweet tasters for the Douglas Laing @DLaingWhisky #BigPeat tweet tasting hosted by @TheWhiskyWire on the eve of the 21st of May 2014. Big thanks to DouglasLaing, Steve Rush and all the fellow tweet tasters for the great evening! Worthy of a repetition in my book!
In preparation for the tasting we all received a lovely little package from Scotland (see picture on the right). It contained five mystery samples (which were tasted blind) and a few assorted goodies like a bottle of rainwater, peat cones (to fill the air with lovely peat flavour), an Islay pebble to chill our dram on hot summer days and a mystery key to Big Peat’s house (still waiting on this mystery to be solved…) – all in all a very lovely package – very well thought out!

Without further ado, here’s my tasting notes for the five drams: Continue reading