Whisky Review #1: Caol Ila

For my first whisky review, I will be showcasing the three whiskies that I tried during my tour at Caol Ila distillery.

The three whiskies are as follows:

1) Caol Ila 12 Years Old

2) Caol Ila Moch (No Age Statement)

3) Caol Ila 15 Years Old Unpeated Special Release

IMG_20150114_132331
From left: 15 Years Unpeated Special Release, 12 Years Old, Moch.

Caol Ila 12 Years Old (Peated, 43% abv)

Colour: Pale gold

Nose: Herbal with a maritime character. Fresh and yet somewhat spicy. Hints of cured meat with just a touch of mint. Restrained smoke.

Palate: Coats the palate well, oily mouthfeel with hints of seaweed, tar and just a touch of citrus. Spice. Smoke is restrained but definitely present.

Finish: Lingering. Spice finally gives way to sophisticated smokiness. Quite satisfying.

Caol Ila Moch (No Age Statement Peated, 43% abv)

Colour: Straw

Nose: Not as herbal as the 12 Year Old. Has a lemony character to it, with some sweet undertones. Quite unlike your usual fare from Caol Ila. Very interesting nose.

Palate: Mouthfeel is somewhat drying on this one, but the lemony character carries through from the nose. Sweet peat creeps up towards the middle but is very restrained, more so than the 12 Year Old.

Finish: Medium finish and very drinkable whisky. Quite a treat for those familiar with the distillery but looking to try something new.

Caol Ila 15 Years Old (Unpeated, Special Release, 60.4% abv)

Colour: Bright gold

Nose: Wow. Clean, sweet, toffee and fruit. Worlds apart from your conventional Caol Ila.

Palate: If this was offered as part of a blind tasting, it would be difficult to classify this as an Islay whisky. Citrus is dominant here, with some toffee notes and some chocolate. Quite a luxurious mouthfeel. Even with the high alcohol content, it doesn’t overpower the other flavours.

Finish: Fairly long with more citrus and chocolate. Highly drinkable and very satisfying.

Slainte!

Brendan

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