From one Special Releases whisky to another Special Release whisky. In the last few iterations of Diageo Special Releases lineups, we learned to expect two affordable whiskies in the lineup: The Lagavulin 12yo cask strength and the the one we review today – the Caol Ila Unpeated.
The 2014 edition is 15 year old version, matured in first-fill ex-bourbon casks, where all previous editions were up to 14 years).
Nose: Starts with a wave of sweet fruits and it’s very dusty (partially due to the high ABV) and heavy, creamy cereal, lemon and despite it being unpeated, I occasionally do smell some sweet peat. With a few drops of water the ABV drops down and the dusty notes turns to mineral notes with salty touch, it becomes more sweet and fruity with tropical fruits like mango and passion-fruits.
Palate: intense, mineral & salt mixed with sweet stone fruits & honey, dash of sweet peat, turns to bittersweet minerals and grapefruits. With water it’s lighter, more maritime and less sweet.
Finish: Long finish, minerals, oak wood, linger sweet stone fruits & honey.
Thoughts: An excellent whisky, really. With fruity and mineral notes and barely any peat, it’s indeed a special Caol Ila. There are over 10000 bottles of this whisky so you can still buy in plethora of shops and since I think this version is better than the previous edition I tasted (the 2012 edition), for me it’s a recommended buy if you look for some special Caol Ila whisky.