Whisky Connosr
Menu
Shop Join

Caol Ila 18 Unpeated Style, Special releases 2017

"Port Askaig by way of Campbeltown"

9 989

@cricklewoodReview by @cricklewood

24th Jul 2019

0

  • Nose
    23
  • Taste
    22
  • Finish
    22
  • Balance
    22
  • Overall
    89

Show rating data charts

Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

Either way it's been interesting to see this style evolve over the years but take note there will be no unpeated style Caol Ila in 2019!

Nose: Fresh fruit, apples, apricots, rich and a phenolic touch like the embers on a campfire. Very mineral, oyster juices and lemon with a green fruit and grass and a touch of engine grease.

Palate: Sweet, oily, juicy fruit chewing gum, stone fruit, some spicy oak & salted lemons. A bit of earthiness, tapioca/white chocolate, then settles on a slight fuel or kerosene note, salt & a bit of camphor or carbolic soap.

Finish: A touch of something like machine oil, super fruity, you can barely feel the heat, doesn't feel like 59%. Sweet and chewy oak a slight green feeling. Like tree sap. The feeling of something dirty and sweet.

Notes: This is pretty amazing, loads of porridge and fruits. A great texture, that slight peat, earthy, spice and sea shells. The oak is present, it makes it chewy. Smooth and full. A great dram. I kept thinking of Springbank while drinking this.

Related Caol Ila reviews

9 comments

@cricklewood
cricklewood commented

I realized that poor editing in my part means I didn't include the first two paragraphs of my review. For anyone who cares here it is.

Introduced as part of the Special releases in 2006 with an 8 year old unpeated style Caol Ila, we've progressively seen older expressions appearing every year. Rumour has it the unpeated Caol Ila was created as a blending tool for the Diageo stable, it would not be surprising considering how much of the output of this distillery is used for blends and sold to brokers.

I would love to be able to try unpeated whisky from some of the other Islay set. I remember seeing a photo of the control room at Lagavulin and the board used to label the malt bins had one marked as unpeated?! Do they use it to do a few runs at the end before cleaning the systems or do they vat it together with the more heavily peated barrels to use in blends?

4 months ago 1Who liked this?

@MadSingleMalt
MadSingleMalt commented

I forget which of these recent Caol Ila Unpeateds I had, but it reminded me of Springbank too! Good stuff.

4 months ago 1Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

@cricklewood Ooooooh!! I'd be well down for some of that.

4 months ago 1Who liked this?

@cricklewood
cricklewood commented

@MadSingleMalt I had the 10 yr old and found it nice if a bit intense. I'd be curious to see if the 15 and 17 yr old are close in profile to this.

4 months ago 0

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

@cricklewood I was thinking the Caol Ila, but now that you mention it, the Lag would be interesting too.

4 months ago 1Who liked this?

@cricklewood
cricklewood commented

@BlueNote it's a rather remarkable whisky, I'm going to keep my eyes open for a good price in AB for one

4 months ago 1Who liked this?

@casualtorture
casualtorture commented

Lemon seems to be a theme in Caol Ila. Thanks for the review!

4 months ago 2Who liked this?

@cricklewood
cricklewood commented

@casualtorture yes Caol Ila has a lemony, seaside vibe to it that is still apparent in this "unpeated" version. Despite it's automation and lack of "soul" in the production department, there is some damn fine make coming out of that behemoth.

4 months ago 2Who liked this?

You must be signed-in to comment here

Sign in