Whisky Connosr
Shop Join

Caol Ila 15 Year Old 2002 Unpeated Style Diageo Special Release 2018

Granny Smith

2 385

@markjedi1Review by @markjedi1

28th Oct 2018


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

Show rating data charts

Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

The Diageo Special Releases is a yearly party for whiskylovers in which Diageo launches some gems – albeit with a hefty pricetag – often malts that we rarely get to tasted and often – but not always – at a respectable age or special maturation. I had the pleasure to try a bunch at a special Diageo presentation in Antwerp recently. Let me share my thought, starting with this Caol Ila 15 Year Old Unpeated Style. Contrary to previous releases, this one matured on a combination of both American and European oak.

The nose is surprisingly sweet – more than I am used to from this expression – and very mild. Granny Smith apples, honey, juicy pears and vanilla. Just a hint of the sea. Some warm almond paste, liquorice and something umami that I cannot quite pinpoint.

It is immediately very piquant on the palate. Pepper, ginger, salt. Warm and fresh at the same time. Think big mint. Loads of honey, pine resin and a sudden surge of almost tropical fruit. Think apricots and lime. Nicely oily. Good!

The finish is very long, spicy, zesty and heart warming.

It is not my favorite Unpeated (that is still the 17 Year Old that was released in 2015), but it remains a grand dram that wraps you up. Around 100 EUR.

Related Caol Ila reviews


Nozinan commented

I wonder how this compares to the 15 YO that was released a few years ago.

I had been under the impression that there was only one unseated still run and that the 15, 17 and 18 were all laid in casks at the same time. This would suggest they decided to do it again in 2002, so maybe we will have another set of 15, 17 and 18...

FOMO alert!

10 months ago 3Who liked this?

OdysseusUnbound commented

Nice review, as always, Mark. That 17 Year Old release was something else. I was lucky enough to sample it thanks to @Nozinan . Do you think the shorter maturation or the combination of different oak types make this expression less favoured than the 17 year old? Some other factor?

10 months ago 1Who liked this?

markjedi1 commented

Hard to say. Everything comes down to personal taste, doesn't it?

10 months ago 1Who liked this?

You must be signed-in to comment here

Sign in