Caol Ila 18 YO (Special Releases 2017), 59.8 %

Caol Ila 18 YO (Special Releases 2017)This is the annual release of unpeated Caol Ila. A strange one this. I have not always been a  fan of the unpeated Caol Ila, so let’s see what the verdict is this time.

The Caol Ila 18 YO (Special Releases 2017) has been matured in refill American oak hogsheads. Not a whole lot more is known really. I wish Diageo would open up a little bit more on the details. Maybe next year?

You can still buy the Caol Ila 18 YO (Special Releases 2017) in the UK at around GBP 99.

Nose: Vanilla and coconut. Apple wax and notes of honey glazed nuts. Apart from that it is somewhat closed and does not reveal too much.

Taste: Full-bodied and a little rough on the edges. This is a dram that packs a punch, even without the peat. The punch is mainly “brute force” through; high ABV and some alcohol sting. Ginger and white pepper are the main flavors. Mild caramel and vanilla. Slightly fizzy in character.

Finish: Medium long finish. I had expected a longer finish actually. It dies off fairly quickly and there is really no further development.

Comments: I do not seem to fully “get” the unpeated Caol Ila. Sure, these are solid drams of high quality, but I keep asking myself “why?”. Why do we need an unpeated Caol Ila, when the peated ones are so great.

Score (84/100)

– Thomas