Yet another thank you to glinsvad for sending me an Islay care-package swap. This guy is awesome, go pat him on the back and buy him a dram.
Caol Ila is one of those distilleries that seems like no one reviews, and then 5 reviews pop up in one day. Or it seems like people pay attention to Ardbeg or Laphroaig more, and then someone points out how good Caol Ila 12 is.
Well if I’m going to go on an Islay kick, I may as well include this great dram. Heck, I’ve already reviewed the Cask Strength, so it’s time to enjoy the 12. Let’s see how it holds up.
Price: $79.95 (CAD), however I received this one from a swap
Colour: Pale Post-it note
Nose: Peat, medicine, pepper, salt air, camp fire, vanilla, smoked meat, raspberry tartness
Very light nose on this, which I’m not used to. It has the usual Islay notes, with more camp fire and sweetness than others. I’m hesitant on this one. The Bowmore reviews have made me a tad gun shy.
Yes, that was a gunpowder/smoke pun, and I’ll thank you to not point it out.
Taste: Peat, grapefruit, chili powder, German salami, ham cooked with pineapple, licorice
It took awhile for this one to open up, however it really starts to have a great flavour. I find this to have more complexity once it’s really breathed a tad, and it’s smoother than other Islay’s I’ve had.
Finish: Peat, fire, peppered bacon, hot salami, anise
Medium length on the finish, and the peat and fire really ramp up in the finish. I will always recommend the Cask Strength over the 12, however the 12 has a wonderful flavour to it that I can’t argue with.
Conclusion: I’d recommend if you’ve never had the Caol Ila 12 to go for it. It’s nicely done, not too crazy, and is great to sip. Also there’s more complexity to Caol Ila than other Islay’s, while not differing too much like other distilleries have gone.
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