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Caol Ila 15-year-old - Unpeated Style

Overall rating
84.51/100
votes
113
Category
Single Malt
Distillery
Bottler
Distillery Bottling
Bottling serie
Diageo Special Releases 2018
Bottled
2018
Stated Age
15 years old
Casktype
American Oak Hogsheads / European Oak Butts
Strength
59.1 % Vol.
Size
700 ml 750 ml
Bottle code
L8071 CM005
Barcode
5000281051666
Added on
01 Sep 2018 10:12 am by thebase
Cask Strength

Average value

€ 108.75

23 × in wishlist

113 × member ratings

237 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Caol Ila 15-year-old - Unpeated Style

28 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 84.51 points

  1. hs305 scored this whisky 86 points Connoisseur

    [December, 2020] I really appreciate Caol Ila as one of the few distilleries which deliver a consistent high quality all the times with almost no sub-standard release so far and this unpeated edition is a good chance to explore the unmasked profile of the Caol Ila stills...

    ...which is a nice encounter but at the same time it displays how the standard Caol Ila profile benefits from the peaty aromas added. This is a flawless and nice malt but somehow this profile is very exchangeable (which the peated Caol Ila is not) and not very interesting. Worth a try but certainly not at these rather high price points - go for a sample instead of a bottle unless you are very sure you will like the "naked" Caol Ila.
    • Nose
      86 86
      The colour is pale gold and the nose offers an impressive fruity-sugary-vanilla profile with significant wooden notes. It is fresh and smells a little younger than 15 years actually but not in a bad way. The fruits retreat somewhat upon oxidation and more herbal and (Manuka) honey aromas pop up so hurry with your first sniff. This is a flawless and nice nose but it is completely unspectacular - so the peat does a great job in enriching this profile in the standard Caol Ila recipe.
    • Taste
      85 85
      The taste is chewy and sweet with again significant wooden notes which are a borderline case to my taste buds (wood-heads might rather enjoy these strong tannins). The sweet barley sugars sooth the bitter-herbal woods as do the honey and fruity flavours, the latter are stronger than with the nose. Some water turns the nose more shy and punchy while the taste gets more peppery-chili hot before the sugars balance this out again. A further reduction releases more bitter wooden aromas in the nose but smooths the taste again while another splash flattens both. To be honest, I clearly prefer the neat dram despite its high proof of 59.1% abv.
    • Finish
      86 86
      Despite the high proof this dram arrives nicely on the palate with a warming and coating texture covering the mouth instantly. No distracting impressions, even the peppery moments are very appropriate. The finish is long and adds more bitter-wooden as well as some hot moments which are okay but the dram would be better without them. Towards the end the tannins of the wood provide an impression of cold ashes just as if this dram was peated (but it is not, obviously).

  2. PuddingmitHaut did not rate this whisky Expert Senior

    Nice fresh number. I can well imagine for summer.
    Even if I don't like playing with water otherwise, it was worth it here.
    • Nose
      Light and fresh. First vanilla, then the typical Caol Ila lemon. And that will prevail for now. Also supported by the alcoholic freshness. With a little time and later water then more balanced. The citrus fruits are still present, but they leave more room for the vanilla-honey sweetness.
    • Taste
      Fresh, woody, sweet, the citrus fruits are more complex than they are on the nose, not more lemon juice, but now orange, melon, pineapple ... There are also oak notes from fresh wood and bring some spice and peppery. And the sweetness also plays with honey and the vanilla notes.
      With water, the individual aromas and the change between them become more apparent.

  3. Misterioso scored this whisky 90 points Expert Senior

    In my opinion, the unpeated Caol Ila `s are unfortunately significantly underrated and this one very special. But he needs decent water to really play his strengths. But then he rewards with a rich and wonderfully differentiated spectrum of flavors. Since there is no smoke (at least no superficial smoke, because so completely smoke-free are the unpeated Caol Ila's not) on the flavors you can here, first of all, the wonderful sweetness of the Brennereicharakters perceive very well. It smells like a fresh, warm butter croissant with good honey. It is accompanied by fresh notes of a sour apple and subtle notes of lemon, which go from ripe lemon to grapefruit to fully ripe sweet orange juice. Then I find a clear vanilla note behind the still marzipan and a little coconut come out and a maritime touch discreetly to the sea, salt and seaweed. I also still notice a trace of smoke, and this caol Ila is definitely the least smoky unpeated.
    In the mouth, I first took the wonderful and balanced sweetness of the Brennereicharakters was. The sour fresh apple has turned into a sweet juicy apple over which a little cinnamon sugar has been sprinkled and the citrus is now a ripe and juicy grapefruit. Associations with a wonderful Provencal tart au citron appear, as well as bright dried fruits such as apricots, dates and figs. The whisky lies wuderbar oily on the tongue and brings with strong thinner a strong flavor cargo with it.
    The finish is long, becoming increasingly dry, astringent, with a distinct nuttiness and pepperiness.
    A wonderful whisky, varied, fresh, balanced and without any junkiness, which brings out a huge variety of flavors by varying the addition of water.

  4. Gous scored this whisky 83 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      84 84
    • Taste
      83 83
    • Finish
      83 83

  5. dapoinbua scored this whisky 82 points Expert Junior

    well, well, well... i had a sample of this in my whisky christmas calender (thanks wifey) and was looking forward to trying this. the stuff i read and heard about it was not all positive, but still i thought it will be something interesting, as i am a huge caol ila fan.

    unfortunately, this somehow shows how boring this destillate can be without the peat. i mean this is almost 60% abv, but the flavor profile is more of a watered down obstler (thats what we call a fruit spirit in austria).

    the nose keeps your expectations high, with some honeyed hay, almost bruichladdich-like. but as soon as the fluid hits your tongue, it only goes downwards. not that this is exceptionally bad, but it is no good either. i would not mind having a few drams of this. however, i would not buy a bottle.
    • Nose
      85 85
      the alcohol is strong in the beginning, after that some honeyed hay, bit of cowshed, milk chocolate and some fruit but nothing distict. rather restrained on the nose. very gentle. after some time cotton candy come through.
    • Taste
      81 81
      sour but not freshly sour, rather acidy. also a bit pukey? rather flat. very chemical, maybe some fusel? starts off as if it would become very interesting but then suddenly nothing happens. i dont know... somehow weird. i like weird, but this is not the kind of weird i like. this is more like boring weird.
    • Finish
      79 79
      very short and disappointing. howevery it leaves a nice mouthfeel which stays rather long. still, not my cup of tea.

  6. Foudos scored this whisky 84 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      85 85
    • Taste
      83 83
    • Finish
      84 84

  7. GIORGOS scored this whisky 84 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      84 84
    • Taste
      84 84
    • Finish
      83 83

  8. DannyDram scored this whisky 81 points Expert Senior

    Pear, apple peel, hay, malt, honey, rhubarb, vanilla, leached wood. Pepper spiciness, not quite balanced, warming, oily, slightly sweet, astringent. Almost a medium body, intensity scratches the middle area.
    • Nose
      80 80
    • Taste
      81 81
    • Finish
      81 81

  9. Stefan_Hartl scored this whisky 86 points Expert Junior

    12/11/2020

    It is very closed without water. By adding water you get a fruity-fresh and sweet-spicy malt. Interesting to try a Caol Ila without smoke.
    • Nose
      Extremely closed without water. A light fresh citrus note, the hint of some wood smoke and something maritime like algae fresh from the sea. With a little water, the fruitiness and sweetness increase significantly. The citrus notes are now joined by green grapes and apples. In addition, vanilla and honey.
    • Taste
      Very creamy mouthfeel with citrus fruits and peppery oak, pineapple and a little honey.
    • Finish
      Lemon, honey and spice combine with dark chocolate to create a pleasant, medium-long finish. At the very end still earthy and mineral notes.

  10. WhiskyPEATer scored this whisky 83 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      83 83
    • Taste
      82 82
    • Finish
      85 85

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