Caol Ila 15 Years Old Unpeated Style Special Release 2016 61.5% nv
|Serie||Diageo Special Release|
|Distilled date||Not Specified|
Gal Granov (84)
Nose: Starts sweet and spicy, with pine resin on the one end and some ]sweet creamy vanilla, and pastries on the other end. There’s a wee smoke underneath all (Yes, I know this is ‘unpeated’ style). I’m also getting a lot of sweet dough and icing sugar (yes, I know it’s Hannuka, so maybe some sufganiot as well), there are some farmy notes, too which add another nice dimension to it, and after all this is an Islay, right? Ok, not bad. But..
Palate: Big and spicy on entry, with pepper, chilly. Oily and thick, with a layer of sweet sugar candy, more sweet dough, vanilla, and a touch of grapefruit, toffee, malt and milk chocolate. Not quite what you’d expect from Coal Ila, is it ?
Finish: Quite pungent, and peppery, going a long way, some more chocolate sweetness as well.
Conclusion: It’s not bad, you know? But it’s not really exceptional either. I don’t know, but something is lacking, and I find it not as good as some previous unpeated expressions from CI. Since the Lagavulin 12 is THAT good and price wise they are very similar, I find it hard to justify buying this one. However, some people really like this profile..
Nose: fairly fruity (sweet lemon, grapefruit, apples) with lots of pine needles, grassy notes and an alcoholic kick. Light iodine, giving it a faint medicinal touch. Maybe not peated but there’s something of baked bread in the background. Not bad. Mouth: grains and grapefruits really. Perhaps a bit more towards toffee now, also chocolate and coffee, but that’s not uncommon at this strength. Rather pungent actually. White peppery and a prominent herbal side. Hints of brine. Sweeter with water, but not that flavoursome. Finish: long, on peppery oak and dry cocoa powder.
This is another 5-6% stronger than last year’s edition, and it only drives it more towards grassy notes, pungent pepper and hints of coffee. It’s straightforward and really not bad, but I’m sure they have more interesting (peated) production available for the Special Releases.