Islay Whisky Classics No.27 – Caol Ila Natural Cask Strength

At the beginning of time i had a bit of a hate – hmmm relationship with Caol Ila , i didn’t like the Flora and Fauna 15yo , i was unsure about a Cadenheads 16yo Caol Ila i bought from Oddbins in the 90’s but then i joined the SMWS . A naughty little 7yo opened my eyes to the Caol Ila Distillery  , 53.50 and things just went off from there . Then UDV changed the Caol Ila range , was not impressed with the 12 or 18 but luckily they also released a No Age statement ‘Natural Cask Strength’ bottling……

Caol Ila Natural Cask Strength

This one is the second or third release ,  i think , at 59.3% , the colour is Pale Straw , so a youngish bottling or not very active casks , The nose is medicinal , peat smoke on a sea shore , also grassy / meadowy . There’s also a hint of creamy fudge in the background . On the palate there’s an explosion of peat , coal fire , tar , pepper , cloves , spices , creamy fudge , a veritable feast of Islay peated drams . The finish is incredibly long , hot , spicy , cloves , peat and ash .

Yowzzer , this hits the spot ! I’ve often said if it wasn’t for Ardbeg , Caol Ila would be my favourite Islay distillery and this provides the reason why . A true classic from Diageos biggest distillery  on gods own little Isle ! A low to mid 90’s on the marking scale for sure .


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