Whisky Focus - Caol Ila Unpeated 12 Year Old Special Release 2011

Caol Ila Unpeated 12 Special Release 2011

12th September 2011
Caol Ila Unpeated 12 Year Old

This is the sixth release of unpeated Caol Ila and the second 12 year old release. This comes from a batch of Caol Ila which is only made once a year from unpeated malt, for blending in the "Highland Style". It was matured in 1st fill ex-bourbon American Oak casks which were filled in 1999.

Bottled at the a huge 64% ABV, it is a limited edition of fewer than 6000 bottles worldwide and has a RRP of £55.


Caol Ila Unpeated 12 Tasting Notes

Producer's Tasting Notes:

Appearance: Yellow gold. Light beading.

Nose: Quiet, approachable. Mild nose-feel, in spite of its strength. A sweet and fruity aroma: fondant and green apples. Hints of pear-drops with sweet and sour notes. No discernible smoke, but just a trace of Virginia tobacco; then the faintest olive brine tang in a room full of creamy vanilla toffee. Dusty cereals, then mint toffee followed by more vanilla and ripe fruit. Soft, fresh and fruity with water: buttery apple pie, now with a hint of breakfast cereal.

Body: Medium to rich.

Palate: At natural strength, the taste is sweet, the texture smooth and light; itís warming, but not burning, as might be expected. By turns suddenly drying, with burnt fruit cake and complex, fruity chocolate; then richer and honeyed, with lemon curd on buttered toast. Smooth at reduced strength, with reduced sweetness, light acidity and a shake of salt, lending a maritime character. Initially cool; soon hotter, with silky tannins, before chilling again with mango and cream.

Finish: Creamy and oaky; sweet milk chocolate, then burnt fruit. Hugely elegant with water and astonishingly clean.

Summary: Deceptively complex, at first hiding all that characteristic Caol Ila freshness and vigour under a smooth exterior. Masses of oaky, cocoa character and fruit tartness soon show that peat smoke isnít everything!

Other 2011 Diageo Special Releases

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