Caol Ila

Caol Ila 2008 Pre-Octave

Caol Ila 2008 Pre-Octave (53.1%, Duncan Taylor, 2018)

  • Category: Islay single malt scotch whisky
  • Origin: Caol Ila distillery
  • Bottling: Duncan Taylor, The Octave, IB
  • ABV: 53.1%
  • Cost: ?

Caol Ila 2008 Duncan Taylor Pre-Post-Octave

What they say

For many years, Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky Ltd. has experimented in the use of differing cask sizes for the maturation of Single Malt and Single Grain Scotch whiskies. The research stemmed from a simple premise that there is more interaction between the wood and the spirit over a shorter period of time in a small cask than in a large cask, therefore allowing a more rapid “melding” of wood, air and alcohol.

What I say

Thanks to Duncan Taylor for the sample.

Distilled at Caol Ila in 2008 and matured in an ex-bourbon cask.

My tasting notes:

  • Appearance: Champagne gold (3/20), quick, medium-large tears leave medium legs.
  • Nose: Sweet and gently peaty, a little ‘sweaty’ or farmyard, grassy hay and much drier smoke and cigarette ash but with lashings of Madagascan vanilla pods being scraped a beachy/seaside and sweet shellfish note too, ozone.
  • Taste: Whipped vanilla cream by the barbecue, deliciously sweet for quite some time, the malt joins first as biscuit and then more mealy cereal, black pepper spice, charcaol briquettes and liqourice, tar and woody tobacco smoke or cigar boxes.
  • Finish: Long, sweet smoke, beechwood smoked ham, vanilla pods burning and ash.


A lovely vanilla and ashen Caol Ila, for a 10 year old this has developed a lot of subtleties that make it simply wonderful, ever-evolving on the palate gently introducing new flavours and aromas – not overpowering. Yum!

Score 86/100

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Categories: Caol Ila, Islay

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