Caol Ila 15 Years Old 1998 Unpeated 2014 Special Release (60.39%, OB, Special Releases, 1st Fill Bourbon Casks, 10668 Bottles, 2014)
- Single malt scotch whisky
- 60.3% ABV, £75 for 70cl
- Score: 84/100
What they say:
This limited edition cask strength single malt comes from a batch made just once a year, from unpeated malt, for blending in the Highland Style. It has a surprisingly clear maritime character that stays fresh and light throughout.
It releases the familiar Caol Ila mix of sharp citrus, chewy cereals and dried fruit mixed with barley sugar sweetness. Heady, herbal and sweet, it’s like a Victoria sponge filled with cream and strawberry jam.
What I say:
Another unpeated Caol Ila special release (see Caol Ila Stitchell Reserve 2013 Special release ~ 50% (Diageo) ) but this time with an age statement of 15 years old and at cask strength.
Amber gold, medium/fine tears
Honeyed, icing sugar, Scottish tablet, cereal barley, vanilla, coconut, refreshing citrus and pine (disinfectant), milky bar buttons sweeties, creamy white chocolate
Vanilla, molten white chocolate, fruity, yellow grapefruit zest, orange, peach skin, honeyed cereal barley, faintly oaty
Medium, malted barley and pencil shavings (new oak), fresh with sweet and sour elements
A definite improvement over the 2013 Stitchell Reserve, here the unpeated Caol Ila is really starting to display why it makes such a great blending malt with plenty of cereal bite and some zesty fruitiness to go with it. At 15 years the cask influence has intrdocued plenty of vanillins too, adding further dimensions to the palate.