This Caol Ila is a rare, unpeated version, aged in American oak hogsheads, that appears regularly in the Diageo Special Releases. This is the oldest unpeated Caol Ila released in the series to date.
I’ll be straight up here: This is my favorite Caol Ila ever.
The nose is rich with fruit, roasted grains, nuts, and — unpeated or no — an ample amount of campfire smoke in the mix. Has aging all that time next to regular Caol Ila led to cross-pollination? The palate is spot-on, offering everything you’d want to see in this style of whisky. A core of beautiful syrup is balanced with more gentle fruits, some floral elements, and a delightful amount of spice that starts off slow but builds to a lovely crescendo as the finish arrives.
Notes of fresh nougat, honeycomb, lavender, and lilac are all in effect, weaving in and out of an impressively bold body that finishes on a resprise of wispy smoke and notes of dried flowers. Incredibly complex and engaging, it’s well worth the asking price.
A / $100 / malts.com