Caol Ila 17 Year (2015 Special Release)

Single Malt

Caol Ila // Islay, Scotland

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  1. paulandmyla

    Tasted
    4.75
    4.75 out of 5 stars
    A buttery front with a taste of vanilla in the back. This is a fantastic flavor with only a faint hint of smoke.
  2. Daniel-Nathan

    Tasted
    4.25
    4.25 out of 5 stars
  3. LCPfraTN

    Tasted
    4.0
    4.0 out of 5 stars
  4. jcjones

    Tasted
    4.5
    4.5 out of 5 stars
    Beautifully warming Delicate nose Not overly peaty or smoky, but smooth
  5. allmax

    Tasted
    3.0
    3.0 out of 5 stars
    Xiamen Library
  6. ludvigt

    Tasted
    4.0
    4.0 out of 5 stars
  7. ScotchingHard

    Tasted
    5.0
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    33 open bottles in my collection ranked through multiple blind tastings. Counting them down! #4: Caol Ila Unpeated Style. Single Malt Scotch. 55.9% ABV. 17 years. B2015 Paid $173 If I buy this again, it will have to cheaper. This bottle can be found for $130-150. More likely, I will try another edition of the Caol Ila Unpeated Style (this is a yearly Diageo special release). 8 months ago, I opened this bottle and didn’t like it. It tasted like dust, limestone, and stingy tonic water. I think I described it as backbone without a soul. I used a fair amount in mixing experiments afterwards, before giving it another chance. It got better. A lot better. So much better that this is the first of four 5-star whiskies that highlight the end of this countdown. The buttery, lemon pie notes took a while to emerge, but they now punctuate an exquisite nose. When I had a freshly opened bottle, there was no fruitiness except for citrus to speak of. Now, as I kill off this bottle, there is a fruit basket! Apples, apricots, lemons, limes, plums. All is balanced very nicely with a rich vanilla, baking spices, and brine. The finish feels carbonated. I still get some tonic water. I also get hints of peat, despite this being “unpeated.” An apple flavor lingers, like hard cider. Add some water to make it less tonic-y and sweeter. I should’ve known better than to rush to judgement with Caol Ila Unpeated. This expression gets released every year by Diageo, and they wouldn’t do this year after year after year if it wasn’t a hit (just look at the $900 NAS Clynelish from a few years back for an example of a special release fail that they stopped making). Still, Lagavulin 12 is the special release that is slightly cheaper. 8 months ago, I would’ve told you the Laga is a million times better. Today, I tell you, it is only slightly better. MARK: 93/100 PREVIOUSLY, ON BATMAN: #5: Paul John Peated Select Cask. $84. 55.5% ABV. NAS. 92/100. #6: Redbreast. $96. 43% ABV. 15 years old. 92/100. #7: Yamazaki. $74. 43% ABV. 12 years old. 92/100. #8: Lagavulin. $70. 43% ABV. 16 years old. 91/100. #9: Benromach. $65. 43%. 16 years. 91/100. #10: Talisker Distiller’s Edition. $72. 45.8%. D2000/B2011. 91/100.
  8. David-Rogina

    Tasted
    3.0
    3.0 out of 5 stars
  9. odysseusunbound

    Tasted
    5.0
    5.0 out of 5 stars
  10. LeeEvolved

    Tasted
    4.0
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Here’s another review from the pre-Whiskyfest, hotel room bottle share: the Caol Ila 17yo Unpeated special release. This style of whisky is distilled by them a couple weeks out of every year to show off their malt’s flavor without using peat. I had a bottle of the 15yo Unpeated a few years ago and I wasn’t really a big fan, so I wasn’t expecting much. I was pleasantly surprised this time, though. This is bottled at or near cask strength at 55.9%. It’s yellow gold and forms quick, long legs in the tasting glass. I don’t believe there’s color added nor is it chill filtered, but I don’t have the bottle in front of me to verify that. On the nose, plenty of lemon zest and oak, with some salty and grassy notes mingling throughout. There’s some subtle citrus notes of orange playing in the background as well. It smells light and airy provided you don’t get too far down in the glass and pick up the heat from the ABV. The palate brings out spicier notes of ginger, pepper and oak, but also some lighter notes like olives. The mouthfeel is oily and somewhat thick. It leaves the peppery notes clinging to the tongue and turns the finish dry really quickly. Between that and the high ABV it feels exceedingly hot and even drier than it actually is and for that I have to deduct some points. This one could probably use some water to tame it, but that’s not my style. Perhaps Caol Ila should’ve blended this one down to 48% and I could’ve enjoyed it more, too. Thanks to @Telex for letting me bring a pour of this home so I could evaluate it on its own, instead of having to rate it up against the big boy bottles we split in the hotel. It didn’t stand much of a chance there, but on its own I kind of enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. I still think Caol Ila’s peated lines are where it’s at, but this one wasn’t half bad. 3.75 stars, rounded down to 3.5 because these bottles are rather pricy. Cheers.
  11. Results 1-10 of 32 Tastes