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Whiskybase

Caol Ila 1997 - Unpeated Style

Overall rating
86.13/100
votes
161
Category
Single Malt
Distillery
Bottler
Distillery Bottling
Bottling serie
Diageo Special Releases 2015
Vintage
1997
Bottled
2015
Stated Age
17 years old
Casktype
Ex-Bourbon Casks
Strength
55.9 % Vol.
Size
700 ml 750 ml
Barcode
5000281041889
Added on
19 Oct 2015 9:34 am by mds51
ColoredNon-chillfilteredCask Strength

Average value

€ 111,52

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365 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Caol Ila 1997 - Unpeated Style

27 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 86.13 points

  1. Archer scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    A little less wood, a little less dry, that's it. The nose is already very appetizing for an unpeated Caol Ila. Unfortunately, palate and finish can not quite keep up with the promising nose.
    • Nose
      OK, unpeated style. If that's not smoke, which tickles my nose, then it's at least tasty maritime notes. Sea salt, sun-dried seaweed, rusty anchor chain. Something tart spicy behind, thyme maybe or bay leaves, anise, ginger. Acts very fresh overall, the focus is the maritime, plus a splash of lemon juice for the fruit.
    • Taste
      He has a lot of power and shows that too. The spices from the nose - minus ginger, plus pepper - romp with a fruit pulp of apples and pears for the bet - and win. The spice leads, soon has wood next to it, now fine herbs, makes the mouth dry. Even later daszustoßendem honey and some toffee and bread dough succeed in no repression.
    • Finish
      Medium long to long, dry, peppery, (spicy), woody, slightly citric sweet.

  2. markjedi1 scored this whisky 86 points Connoisseur

    A grand Caol Ila that warms up your insides. Winter dram!
    • Nose
      The nose offers loads of sweet barley sugars, caramel, vanilla, speculoos and some crème brûlée. Maritime hints? Sure, but in the background. Some citrus peel with a salty lining. Some wet earth. Fresh young apples with a drop of honey start to dominate after a few minutes. It becomes sweeter all the time and even flirts with tropical fruit.
    • Taste
      On the palate, salt and citrus dominate unmistakably. Bittersweet on grapefruit and lime, loads of salty elements, upholstered with a green spiciness which gives it some punch. Think mint, pepper and some woodspice. The ABV makes it powerful, but not scorching. This is perfectly drinkable without water. And very tasty indeed!
    • Finish
      The finish is wonderfully long, warm, a touch smoky (must be from the wood) and bittersweet at the death.

  3. hs305 scored this whisky 86 points Connoisseur

    [May, 2017]  I had this dram during the Manager's Masterclass tasting at Caol Ila open day (Feis Ile).

    This is a sublime dram compared to the standard (peated) Caol Ila style but it shows very nicely the fine profile of this malt.  It is barley sweet and quite spicy imbedded in a heavy wooden structure (that in fact is a little too oaky for me).  But the complexity of this whisky is astonishing as is its smooth and mellow mouthfeel and finish.  A must try for every Caol Ila lover simply to experience the "naked" (unmasked) distillery character of this (still) underrated hidden gem.  And use some water on this as it will release a lot more aromas and flavours - it is an excellent swimmer!

    Nevertheless I like the more powerful peated (and sherried) versions a lot better...

    PS:  Whoever clicked on the "smokey" tasting tag must have mistook the release - there is no smoke nor peat in this edition at all hence they named it "unpeated"...
    • Nose
      88 88
    • Taste
      86 86
    • Finish
      87 87

  4. St. Pauli scored this whisky 83 points Connoisseur

    The nose was great, but unfortunately the rest couldn't quite catch up. I found this one way too dry and think that a shorter maturation would have been much more favourable.
    • Nose
      88 88
      Colour: yellow gold
      The nose is certainly maritime. It's not smokey, but some elements from the coastal heritage of the distillery are there: brine, kelp, even some fish. Next, there is some almond, vanilla, barley sugar, ginger bread, and cooling mint. It's a style that is rarely present in the whisky landscape, and it fills this gap with dignity as far as the nose is concerned.
    • Taste
      83 83
      Now it's fresher and fruitier, having lost most (if not all of) the coastal element. There is yellow fruit (peach) and white fruit (apple), plus some citrus (lemon). Further, the wood has delivered vanilla, but also dry nutmeg and ginger. At the end, there may be a pinch of salt.
    • Finish
      79 79
      Rather dry and woody, with a salty tang. There is plain wood, a lot of ginger and nutmeg, a hint of tinned peach, and brine and kelp.

  5. hillgod scored this whisky 86 points Member Senior

    • Nose
      83 83
    • Taste
      85 85
    • Finish
      88 88

  6. MadScientist scored this whisky 86 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      87 87
    • Taste
      86 86
    • Finish
      86 86

  7. Macheye scored this whisky 86 points Expert Senior

    I find Caol Ila 1997 17 year old Unpeated Style to be both tasty and also fairly complicated. This is not simply a whisky with one of its distinctive characteristics removed - the absence of peating allows for some of the underlying character to shine, whilst still remaining firmly grounded in its fruity, malty and slightly grassy roots. It takes water well if you’re looking for increased fruit and sweetness, but works equally at 55.9% where the earthy and spicy flavours really pop. It might be different to the Caol Ila norm, but it’s still pretty scrumptious all the same. Worth trying.

    https://www.thedramble.com/tastings/caol-ila/caol-ila-1997-17-year-old-unpeated-style/
    • Nose
      Malty, fruity and woody. Barley and cereals are immediate and are supported by a medley of fruits – pear (as one would expect), ripe apples and gooseberries. Older wood comes through quite strongly – hints of brass polish and varnish, warehouses and years old decking. Honey and vanilla are joined by some bakery aromas – a touch yeasty in fact – waffles. In the background there’s both wet soil earthiness as well as some minerality – almost peat smoke, (even though this is from unpeated barley). The addition of water increases the sweetness levels, adding more honey, it likewise adds some underlying grassiness.
    • Taste
      Malty again with a good arrival that delivers much of what the nose promised. Roasted peaches, apricots, apples and pears, again with some bakery/breadiness – rather akin to a mixed fruit crumble. These sit with earthiness that is much more umami than the previous wet soils – think forest mushrooms. Woodiness levels are quite high – older, dusty, but now with some slight sourness in the mid-palate. Spicing comes through strongly with ginger and real pepperiness from both black pepper and bell pepper. A few drops of water once again heightens the sweetness, and in this instance reduces the earthy qualities.
    • Finish
      Medium in length and bringing peppery wood. Water changes the finish, reducing spice and adding in some coastal qualities – salt and minerality - shingles and slate.

  8. JacobaEd scored this whisky 85 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      84 84
    • Taste
      85 85
    • Finish
      86 86

  9. rpvdwel scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      86 86
    • Taste
      88 88
    • Finish
      87 87

  10. Archer scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      88 88
    • Taste
      87 87
    • Finish
      86 86

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