Caol Ila 18yo (+/- 2009)
Caol Ila is quickly climbing my list of favourite distilleries, even though I wouldn’t describe myself as a peat lover. But there is something about the clean an crisp style of Caol Ila I very much like.
It is not a high profile distillery, and mainly produces for the Diageo blends, but the single malt whisky from Caol Ila (both official and independent bottlings) usually is of a very high quality. Today it’s time to review the official 18yo expression, one that was bottled a little over six years ago.
Caol Ila 18yo (43%, OB, +/- 2009)
Nose: Not too much peat, more farmy actually with some sweetcorn and toffee. Some citrus in the background, orange and tangerine. Very clean.
Taste: Wood smoke and earthy peat with licorice and a pinch of both salt and pepper. Soft aromas of pink grapefruit and caramelized oranges. Pretty rich in flavour.
Finish: Lengthy with plenty peat smoke and some oak as well.
It’s balanced and fairly rich, but lacks something that gives it a little extra. Still a way above average, very good whisky.
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.