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A stack of Caol Ila


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Hello, that is one among our (nearly) every day tastings. Santé!



July 9, 2022



Angus’s Nook
From our correspondent and
expert taster Angus MacRaild in Scotland
A stack of Caol Ila
I’ve, figuratively talking, completely squillions of samples of Caol Ila accumulating right here. Actually, nonetheless, it’s round 20 or so. That is nonetheless rather a lot thoughts you, so we’ll simply crack on and do battle…


Caol Ila 7 yo 2014/2021 (49.5%, South Star Spirits for Campbeltown Malts Festival, port octave)

Caol Ila 7 yo 2014/2021 (49.5%, South Star Spirits for Campbeltown Malts Pageant, port octave)
Color: orangey amber. Nostril: scorching bacon, salty pork scratchings, paprika, spiced darkish ales, smoked chillies and tar extracts blended with fir wooden resins. A number of wooden, however it’s clear and well-integrated with the Caol Ila peat which feels in flip very concentrated and syrupy. Mouth: tarred bacon lardons doused in smoked olive oil and Maggi liquid seasoning (one other magnum please Serge!), additionally natural infused ointments, camphor, hessian and cherry flavoured cough medicines. Quite a bit occurring! End: good size, sooty, sweetly smoky, extra paprika, chilli, bacon and tar! Feedback: Let’s simply say that I can see why this could work in C-town after darkish… very intelligent wee choice.
SGP: 667 – 87 factors.



Caol Ila 7 yo 'Periodical' (50%, Croucher & Co, port octave, 60 bottles)

Caol Ila 7 yo ‘Periodical’ (50%, Croucher & Co, port octave, 60 bottles)
A enjoyable ‘TukTuk sized’ wee sequence from Mr Iain Croucher of North Star Spirits fame. Color: deep orangey gold. Nostril: we’re in the identical territory because the South Star bottling, not a lot port, however plenty of energetic, slightly fashionable type simmering and candy wooden spices, which works fairly properly with the smokiness right here, going into that snug bacon crisps/pork scratchings territory with different issues like smoked paprika, tar extracts, shoe polish and fir wooden resins all within the combine. Good enjoyable. With water: extra scented now, on unique hardwood resins, fir cones, juniper, chai tea and molasses. Mouth: candy, concentrated, peppery and with an oily, syrupy peat vibe occurring. Extra leathery notes, black olives and black pepper. With water: somewhat funkier with water, extra gamey, extra winey and extra earthy with strawberry wine, tobacco and bramble liqueur. End: fairly lengthy, tarry, sweetly peaty, peppery and with slightly plenty of camphor and wooden resins. Feedback: it isn’t a lot something to do with port as it’s to do with slightly large wooden flavours, fortunately the wooden is nice high quality and does not go down this cloying pencil shaving route. A enjoyable and fairly scoffable Caol Ila, if you will discover a bottle. Now, I most well-liked the C-town bottling by a snug notch.
SGP: 666 – 86 factors.



Caol Ila 8 yo 2013/2021 (60.6%, Elixir Distillers 'The Whisky Trail', cask #304580, hogshead, 291 bottles)

Caol Ila 7 yo 2014/2021 (59.1%, The Whisky Change, cask #311507, hogshead, 251 bottles)
Color: pale white wine. Nostril: it is very younger, however when your distillate is each peated and impeccable, that tends to not matter a lot. As is the case right here the place we have ample citrus juices, seawater, capers, brined gherkins and some salted peanuts. Pure, swooshing, razor sharp, fashionable peat juice. With water: takes on a properly sooty / smoky edge with some pangs of oily sheep wool within the background. Mouth: similar story. Extraordinarily pure and sharp and vividly on uncooked, acidic citrus juices, salt-rimmed margaritas, choosing brine and seawater. With water: once more it turns into smokier, sootier, extra on canvass, mineral salts and an elegantly ashy peat smoke. End: good size, deeper smokiness now, crushed seashells, heather and somewhat tarriness. Feedback: it is glorious whisky, it is simply that I really feel there are a whole lot of such bottlings on the market. Which, I additionally suppose is a praise to Caol Ila itself.
SGP: 367 – 85 factors.



Caol Ila 6 yo 2015/2021 (57.6%, Lady Of The Glen, hogshead with PX Octave finish, 57 bottles)

Caol Ila 6 yo 2015/2021 (57.6%, Woman Of The Glen, hogshead with PX Octave end, 57 bottles)
Color: gold. Nostril: rounder, oilier, extra on gravel, diesel, puffer smoke and black olives. Gruff, agitated and unhealthy tempered peat smoke – which is definitely fairly enjoyable. Additionally bacon jam, which I typically discover in these flash sherry completed younger Caol Ilas. With water: chilli oil, paprika, canvass, tar and salt-cured meats. Mouth: yup, smoky bacon crisps, tarry rope, iodine and camphor. Additionally pickling juices and black pepper with an encroaching sawdust observe. With water: nonetheless very punchy with this sense of chilli-infused peat smoke (or peat smoked chillies) and in addition earthy and vegetal elements too. Enjoyable however a bit disjointed. End: slightly lengthy, on tarry rope, bitumen, plaster, smoked chilli and seawater. Feedback: a brute. A number of enjoyable however ultimately a bit tiring.
SPG: 478 – 80 factors.



Caol Ila 8 yo 2013/2021 (60.6%, Elixir Distillers 'The Whisky Trail', cask #304580, hogshead, 291 bottles)

Caol Ila 8 yo 2013/2021 (60.6%, Elixir Distillers ‘The Whisky Path’, cask #304580, hogshead, 291 bottles)
Color: gold. Nostril: was this an ex-sherry hogshead in some unspecified time in the future? There’s some distant feeling of earthiness, smoked beef and sport inventory. I additionally discover wee leather-based and tobacco touches together with smoked paprika and a few dried herbs. A bit left subject and a departure from many different Caol Ilas of comparable age. With water: extra chiselled and saline now. Numerous seawater, olive brine, frying pancetta and a dab of iodine. Mouth: similar feeling of very distant sherry affect. Lean mineral, leathery notes with hints of smoked darkish chocolate, chilli powder, sport salami, mineral oil, boot polish and tarred rope. Massive, fats, greasy kiln smoke and coal scuttle impressions. With water: fatter, broader and extra rounded. A softer and extra peppery peat smoke and a complete lot extra medicinal vibes coming by means of. Wonderful! End: lengthy, deeply tarry, properly fishy, very salty and with extra pickles, brined olives and smoked chillies. Feedback: a deviant, but glorious younger Caol Ila. Love this slightly salty, animalistic sherry ‘feeling’.
SGP: 467 – 87 factors.



Caol Ila 9 yo 2012/2021 (58.3%, Lady Of The Glen, cask #311196, hogshead + Xynisteri White wine finish, 307 bottles)

Caol Ila 9 yo 2012/2021 (58.3%, Woman Of The Glen, cask #311196, hogshead + Xynisteri White wine end, 307 bottles)
Xynisteri being the principle white grape from Cyprus, I haven’t got any expertise tasting it as a wine, however Caol Ila + dry white wine is a tad scary… Color: shiny straw. Nostril: thus far all feels fairly snug and classical with this contemporary ashy smokiness, citrus juices seawater and a surprisingly floral aspect that brings to thoughts gorse flower, heather and pollen. Very enticing and slightly elegant. With water: crushed seashells, dried seaweed, seashore sand and rockpools. A extra aromatic and properly coastal instance I’d say. Mouth: I could not let you know if there was a lot affect from the wine case, it is nonetheless a fairly straight Caol Ila. A number of pickling malt vinegar, chip fats, inexperienced peppercorns in brine, anchovy paste and issues like pickled tarragon and lemon juice on oysters. Very coastal and shiny. With water: anchovies once more, smoked olive oil, sandalwood, somewhat hessian and wee sooty and inky touches. End: lengthy, getting grassier now, on lemongrass and preserved lemons with some capers and inexperienced olive notes coming although within the aftertaste. Feedback: It is true that we’re typically evaluating a few of these bone-dry Caol Ilas to equally taut and bone-dry white wines, so maybe it isn’t such a scary combine in spite of everything? Sure, Angus on the keyboard.
SGP: 366 – 87 factors.



Caol Ila 10 yo 2011/2022 (57.5%, Whisky Nerds, cask #5846, sherry hogshead, 326 bottles)

Caol Ila 10 yo 2011/2022 (57.5%, Whisky Nerds, cask #5846, sherry hogshead, 326 bottles)
Color: deep gold. Nostril: flinty, earthy and gamey in profile. A number of impressions of gun steel, toolbox rags, copper cash, pure tar and wee animalistic elements. I am very a lot a fan of this type. Additionally slightly plenty of soot, peppery peat smoke and charcoal embers. With water: somewhat sweeter now with some treacle, cough syrups and menthol tobacco notes. Mouth: pure tar, black pepper, cured sport meats, frying pancetta and smoked crimson chilli. Trendy type and excellent. With water: will get extra resinous, extra salty and earthier. A barely soiled smokiness, black olives in brine, tarry rope and camphor. End: lengthy, tarry, earthy, salty and filled with salted liquorice and anchovy paste. Feedback: fashionable sherry and fashionable peat that tango properly collectively. One other glorious one.
SGP: 576 – 87 factors.



Caol Ila 10 yo 2011/2021 (61.9%, Elixir Distillers 'The Single Malts Of Scotland', cask #300162, sherry butt, 612 bottles)

Caol Ila 10 yo 2011/2021 (61.9%, Elixir Distillers ‘The Single Malts Of Scotland’, cask #300162, sherry butt, 612 bottles)
Color: white wine. Nostril: very tight and pure, on spirit vinegar, seawater and mercurochrome. A handful of inexperienced olives bobbing in brine and a few extra aromatic touches of pink sea salt and mineral salts. Completely distillate pushed! With water: rather more in direction of this aromatic aspect now, extra of those beautiful tub and mineral salt vibes, extra dried seaweed, gentler medical embrocations and emotions of seashore sand and driftwood. Mouth: similar feeling of singularity and purity, however there’s additionally weight and texture within the mouth which is the proper foil that forestalls it tipping over into complete austerity. Emotions of smoked olive oil and kipper smoke. With water: somewhat fatter, sootier, peatier and extra on issues like shellfish, pasta water and umami paste. End: lengthy, slightly tarry now, nonetheless fairly saline, on pickling juices, ointments and salted liquorice. Feedback: straddles just a few completely different profiles that may be discovered inside fashionable Caol Ila. A stunning instance which rewards somewhat endurance and a fastidiously deployed pipette.
SGP: 366 – 88 factors. 



Caol Ila 10 yo 2010/2021 (57.9%, Elixir Distillers 'The Single Malts Of Scotland', cask #319920, hogshead, 317 bottles)

Caol Ila 10 yo 2010/2021 (57.9%, Elixir Distillers ‘The Single Malts Of Scotland’, cask #319920, hogshead, 317 bottles)
Color: white wine. Nostril: instantly sweeter and rounder, though that is nonetheless one other pure profile total, it is simply that after that butt… some fantastic shoreline aromas, mineral salts, gorse flower, dried herbs, eucalyptus oils, tiger balm and putty. With water: will get saltier, extra umami and some notes of malt vinegar on some sizzling chips with smoked sea salt. Mouth: once more only a notch sweeter, extra in direction of salted honey, a drop of petrol, some citrus juices, tea tree oil, wintergreen and pickled tarragon. Drops of iodine, camphor and tarry rope. Love this profile. With water: a drop of limoncello on an oyster. Tar extracts, hessian, mineral oils, shoe polish, peat embers and inexperienced peppercorns in brine. End: lengthy, peaty, barely mentholated and piney, again in direction of gorse flowers, embrocations and all kinds of coastal ‘stuff’. Feedback: sweeter total than the 2011, however with that comes extra roundness and somewhat extra advanced peat flavour. Love this one simply as a lot! Eminently pleasurable juice for seashore bonfires and the like.
SGP: 566 – 88 factors.



I feel that is sufficient for right now. We’ll attempt to do the remainder in time for subsequent weekend. Slante!










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