Caol Ila 10 Years Old 2003 – Small Batch

Islay single malt scotch whisky

46% ABV, £75 for 70cl

Score: 86/100

CaolIla10yoCadenheadSB

What they say:

Distilled in 2003 at the Caol Ila distillery on Islay and aged for 10 years in Bourbon Hogsheads before producing 738 bottles at 46%

Nose: Initially sweet, then wet ash comes through. Quite oily, lots of sage and then some limey notes.

Palate: Soft ashy notes, Lots of creamy lemon notes, some basil and more wet ash.

Finish: Dry ash, quite flinty with a growing creaminess.

CaolIla10Cadenheads

What I say:

The final dram #5 at the WOLS Return to Drammage tasting on 15th January 2015

From Wm Cadenhead’s small batch range is this 10 year old Caol Ila expression, matured for 10 years in ex-bourbon hogsheads.

Colour:

Light gold with medium tears

Nose:

Vanilla custard, peaty peanut, swimming pool/chlorine, sea spray coated rocks in the sunshine at the beach

Taste:

Vanilla ice cream, cereal barley, sea salt and lemon oil, rosemary, peaty ash

Finish:

Medium long gentle peat with vanilla cream

Overall:

Delicious, this one split the room of WOLS tasters (as per usual for a peaty dram). Unusually I found myself really enjoying this Caol Ila expression – mostly as I associate the peaty influence with cigarette ash/smoke, however in this one it was much more restrained. Strangely one of our tasters who was a big Caol Ila fan and found he liked this one a lot less than he thought he would!