Caol Ila 17 Years Old 1996 Cask 10123 – Old Malt Cask ~50% (Hunter Laing & Co. Ltd)

50% ABV, £80 for 70cl

Score: 85/100

CaolIla17yoOMC

What they say:

A 1996 vintage Caol Ila from independent bottlers Hunter Laing as part of their Old Malt Casks series. Aged for 17 years before bottling, this is a classically peaty and earthy Caol Ila.

Nose: Initially sweet, peat, sea salt, iodine, rubber.

Palate: Peat, iodine, sea weed, earthy, leaf.

Finish: Long, dry with peat smoke and oak.

What I say:

From independent bottlers Hunter Laing & Co Ltd., comes this 17 year old Caol Ila, producing 324 bottles as part of their Old Malt Cask range.

Colour:

Pale straw gold

Nose:

Sweet, salty, peaty, menthol, tiger balm and slightly phenolic

Taste:

Peaty smoke, chilli heat, black pepper on pineapple chunks in syrup, earthy and ashen, sea weed, laverbread, liquorice root and liquorice allsorts (slightly sweet)

Finish:

Long, drying, toffee, oak and liquorice peat

Overall:

Nice example of a well-aged Caol Ila. Some interesting flavours going on in this one and the ash-like quality I usually associate with Caol Ila seems well contained under plenty of sweet and fruity flavours. Despite my love for most of the other Islay malts, Caol Ila is growing in my estimation as it is rapidly becoming the most sampled Islay distillery for us. Another great cask choice from the folks at Hunter Laing.