Monday, 03 January 2022 16:52

Caol Ila 18 Year Old Single Malt Whisky Featured

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£85.93 AVG PRICE

FILTER: Chill Filtered
COLOUR STATUS: Natural Colour (Assumed)
MATURATION: Ex-Bourbon Barrel



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Review 143 - 5th January 2022

This is the first review from 18 Year Old Blind Tasting Showdown.
Drawn at random, we pulled Caol Ila 18 Year Old from the box.

A sample purchased as a Drinks by the Dram sample from Masters of Malt.

Caol Ila 18 is an Islay Single Malt matured in ex-Bourbon casks, Caol Ila as you are probably aware is a Diageo owned distillery and features quite heavily in independent bottlings. It is quite a chameleon of whisky, sometimes its ashy with its smoke, othertimes it can be quite fruity and have delicate smoke.

This the 18 Year old is widely available both in whisky retail stores and online, it can be found for an average price of £85.93 calculated from the following retailers.

Master of Malt - £87.90 (Out of Stock at time of writing)
The Whisky Exchange - £89.95
House of Malt - £79.95

It is likely chill filtered with an abv of 43%, whilst the whisky is a pale straw in colour suggesting no added colour, The Whisky Exchange do state it is coloured, but we have doubts. However, since there is no definitive statement on either characteristic, we have to score accordingly for its value, as such it gets 84.23 out of 100 for its value score.

Onto the nose, since we were experiencing a cold at the time of recording we have since renosed and tasted the whisky for a more accurate, if subjectivity can be accurate, review.
It starts with a hit of earthy peat which quickly gives away to the smell you would experience when opening a jar of beechwood smoked hot dogs; briney, with gentle wood smoke and bbq smoke meat. There is a touch of fruit, initially we got apple, but later this was more like a citrus note. There are also some honey and vanilla notes leading to some wood notes with gentle spices.

On the palate, it starts with earthy peat leading to a smoke whiff which continues to thread through the whole experience. There is quite a strong oak note with plenty of spicey heat, more white and maybe black pepper. The fruit doesn't really reveal itself too much, if anything suggesting the citrus from the nose. Into the finish there is plenty of oak and those pepper notes, its drying and bitter.

The mose notable point to mention about the palate experience is that the texture is quite watery, there is some oil present but not the level we would have expected for an 18 year aged whisky, however the oak elements do suggest some age, but again not the level we would expect.

Overall the experience was a little disappointing, the 18 year old is, in our opinion not as good as the 12 year old, it certainly fooled us as for us, some of the Caol Ila identity from the 12 year old is missing. We wouldn't buy a bottle of this unfortunately.

Onto an overall score, we have made some changes, we now score on nose, palate, value and take the average to get the overall score. (We will leave exising reviews as they are until such time as we re-review them or update with private tastings).
So the 18 year old gets 67 out of 100 or if you prefer 6.7 out of 10.




Additional Info

  • Country: Scotland
  • Region: Islay
  • Age Statement: 18 Year Old
  • Chill Filtered: Chill Filtered (CF)
  • Colour Status: Natural Colour
  • ABV: 43%
  • Cask Strength: No
  • Colour: Golden
  • Peated / Smoke: Peated
  • Cask Finish / Maturation: Ex-bourbon Matured
  • Single Cask: No
  • Mash Bill: Barley
  • Bottle Sizes: 700ml
  • Bottler: Distillery Bottling
  • Whisky Experience Level: Advanced
  • Average Price (or RRP): £85.93
  • Value Score: 84.23
  • Our Score: 67
  • Ownership: Diageo
  • Bottle Stopper: Natural Cork
  • Brand: Caol Ila
  • Packaging: Box
  • Category: Single Malt
Read 1210 times Last modified on Wednesday, 05 January 2022 23:15

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