Thursday, 27 December 2012

24 Days of Christmas Whisky: Day 4!
















Caol Ila


Caol ila 12 Year old










My wife purchased an extremely awesome Christmas present for me this year. A calender. A very special calender.

A calender made of whiskies!

Entry level whiskies, old whiskies, cask strength whiskies, whiskies from around the world.


I'd tasted a few of them before, some I'd reviewed before, but now I was finally moving into new whisky territory.

Caol Ila 12 year old!

I'd been lucky enough to try a single cask offering from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society that was awesome, but was very keen to try the entry level as I'd heard nothing, but good things about it.

That and I'm a big Islay fan, loving every single distillery that I'd tried from Islay, Ardbeg, Lagavulin, Laphroaig, Caol Ila.

Very very pale whisky in it's little sample bottle.

Pour it into it's glencairn.

And now a nose.

A grin crosses my face. God it smells good.

Smoke, but it's a sweet smoke, hints of toffee, peat, fruit, some citrus, but I swear I'm getting a wee bit of red fruits, raspberries maybe. Hints of brine (yes yes I know that Caol Ila isn't actually aged near the sea, but that's still what I pick up!)

Underneath that there is the faintest phenolic aroma, something slightly medicinal, but much less then say Ardbeg.

Time for a taste!

Sweet smoke, peat and then quite a bit of salt. It's an interesting play between smoke, sweet and salty.

It's not bad, but definitely not the most exciting Islay I've ever tried, mind you as an entry level single malt, they don't tend to be the most interesting, but Ardbeg and Laphroaig were quite a bit more complex, or at least I remember them being quite a bit more complex.

A decent peaty finish with salty charcoal finishes the whisky.

Interesting. And definitely a whisky that I enjoyed, I think I prefer Ardbeg 10 yr old over this, but it's still a nice change of pace and an interesting variation on the typical Islay whisky.

I haven't found this bottle in any of the local bottle shops, but I'm guessing that a bottle would normally run around $90 or so, which isn't a bad price for the whisky that you're getting and definitely not a bad price for what I would almost term entry level Islay single malt.
If you haven't tried this distillery yet, it's definitely not a distillery you should pass up!

 Nose:        21/25
Taste:        21/25
Finish:        19/25
Balance:     20/25

Overall:      81/100

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