Caol Ila 18 yo
18 years old
Ex-Sherry casks, mostly second fill.
Often over-looked when we talk about Islay, especially in comparaison of Bowmore, Laphroaig and Lagavulin, Caol Ila is nonetheless a brand that puts quality first. Their age statement range is quite liked among aficionados and offers a different expression of peat. Their different casks finish are highly praised, including their distiller’s edition that is regarded as one of the best made from Diageo !
Color : mix of gold and copper.
Nose : full peat mode activated ! Apple crumble and maple sugar. Smoke. Just a little bit.
Palate : the peat is quite present, because of the vegetal and moisture flavors, with a small smoke all in restraint. Some notes of dried fruit, including apricots and cranberries. Creamy on the palate.
Finish : a final on the bottom of the palate, short in depth but lasting a long time. The flavors associated with sherry are more pronounced: milk chocolate, cranberries, red fruits.
Comments : very good dram, well balanced between its flavours. But not in a way that makes the whisky fade and boring. When I think of a peat introduction for my non-aficionados friends, I usually go with Highland Park. But Caol Ila could be a good go-to instead.