Caol Ila is the big distillery on Islay and we see many releases in the market from various independent bottlers and we love it!
Today’s review is on a Caol Ila 13 Year Old bottling from The Single Cask Ltd. which was bottled for Northern Whisky Society which I’m member of it since it was founded and also helps managing. As a co-admin I of course was involved in the process of selecting and approving this cask but trust me – the notes are accurate and good thing I don’t dish out marks for whiskies.
This Caol Ila was distilled 28.02.2007 and then matured in Bourbon cask for over 12 years before being finished in Koval cask (From Koval Distillery in Chicago, USA) which probably held Rye whisky and then also briefly held Peated Glenturret (Ruadh Maor) before it was used for this Caol Ila finish process. It was eventually bottled on 16.10.2020 and this 100 Liter cask yielded 137 bottles at 55.7%
Caol Ila 13 Year Old For NWS (55.7%, Cask #303472B)
Nose: Sweet peat smoke combined with herbal smoke and wet peat smoke. Also some coastal side with sea breeze, brine, seashore and shells and seafood. Smoked meat, vanilla and honey, green herbs perfume, lemony, velvety and caressing.
Palate: Peat, bonfire smoke, wet ashes, honey, chiseled with hard backbone, hard candies, honey, a touch of green fruits and seashells, smoked peaches and apricots.
Finish: Medium, green fruits led by pineapples, honey, lime, sweet smoke and smoked meat.
Thoughts: Even though I’m biased, I think it’s a lovely Caol Ila. The Finish in the Koval cask after the peated Glenturret (Ruadh Maor), bestowed additional layers of smoke on top of the natural Caol Ila smoke and it works great there. Happy with this cask selection for the club. Slainte!