Caol Ila

SMWS 53.198 Wasabi on a California roll

Caol Ila 18 Years Old 1995 53.198 Wasabi on a California roll (59.1%, SMWS, Refill Sherry Butt, 510 Bottles, 2014)

  • Single malt scotch whisky
  • 59.1% ABV
  • Score: 84/100


What they say:

An image of an old derelict wooden pier by a pebble beach on a hot sunny day with ageing lobster pots. Fresher notes appear with time; steamed fish with spring onions, fennel, sage and thyme. The taste is crispy clean, salty and herbal, peach and lavender butter on sourdough bread and a cup of Earl Grey tea. With water aromas of slightly burnt salty pretzels, sun dried tomato bread and pistachio-crusted fish with a lavender honey sauce. The taste has a candyfloss sweetness and a sparkly tropical Starburst juiciness followed by the long finish of wasabi paste on a California roll.

Alcohol : 59.1 % – Distilled: August 1995 – Outturn: 510 – Age: 18 Years – Cask type: Refill Sherry Butt

SMWS Tasting panel light

What I say:

SMWS 53.198 Wasabi on a California roll sample received as part of a bottle share organised by Ben from Ben’s Whisky Blog


Light gold, medium/heavy tears


Malty, sweet honey, smoke, germolene, seaside, sushi, nori, like French-kissing a smoker


Earthy peanut, peaty, wasabi paste, sweet honey and golden syrup, peanut brittle, toasted sesame seed, salty


Medium/short, sweet with peat smoke


This 18 year old Caol Ila expression from the SMWS (SMWS distillery #53) is one of the first from Caol Ila that hasn’t tasted of cigarette ash. Despite hints of it on the nose, their is such sweetness in this dram that it is almost satay like when combined with the peat influence on the palate. This one tastes better than it noses, and is not over-peaty on the finish, a great session or panel dram.

Categories: Caol Ila, Islay

Tagged as: , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.