Not being an expert by any means i tend to stay with the recommendations on this site etc.however this means i started with the more popular single malts(particularily the islays) and i have been reluctant to go towards the slightly less popular islays as im concerned they will be of a lesser standard.
Anyway..the sterotypical armchair expert collared me in the shop today and pointed me towards the caol 12year old assuring me it will not dissapoint.Which leads back to my origonal question on wether or not the favourites on this site in particular are fairly uniform or are there a few trend breakers who dont have the ardbegs,lags and laphroaigs at the top of the islay tree.
p.s i tend to like 'in yer face,barnstorming,blockbuster,rich,smoky'whiskys as a rule.is the caol which is sat there waiting for me to open gonna impress?
bloodyalways wrote:...is the caol... gonna impress?
I'm sure it will!
While the 12YO isn't a 'bog monster' along the lines of the Kildalton trio of whiskies (Ardbeg, Lagavulin and Laphroaig), it most certainly IS one of the best balanced whiskies around, bar non. You'll taste fruit as well as lots of seaside flavours, and will probably really like the oily texture too.
Diageo 'did good' by finally (after so many years of not marketing this distillery's make as aggressively as it should have) bringing Caol Ila into the limelight.
If you really want to be blown away by CI try getting a hold of the 25yo 1978-2004 (59.4%). It certainly is among the top 10 whiskies I have ever had.
Probably not a compliment but it reminded me of the asda own special islay. But i actualy quite enjoy that aswel.
As others have mentioned, it is a little more balanced, and by no means a peat monster.
Strangely, I have found myself at times smelling a slightly grassy note when I pour myself a dram of 12.
But the CI hits me right in the middle. The peat is strong but not angry, the depth of flavor is inviting and it rewards further inspection. I always want a little more and I always taste a little bit more every time I try it. I find it very well balanced.
Payday is tomorrow and I'm off to buy a cask strength 6 year old CI. Should be interesting!
The Third Dram wrote: You'll taste fruit as well as lots of seaside flavours, and will probably really like the oily texture too.
which is very apparent, I get blackcurrant immediatly as the spirit hits the tongue followed by the seaside flavours which become more salty as the bottle goes down. I have an IB also - the Wee Dram 10yo bottling which is also as good.
A cracking dram IMO. Difficult to say though whether it's my favourite.
Also have a soft spot for CI 18, a dram of which was handed me by my best man as we got into his car after our wedding in 2007!
sinclair wrote:Have always enjoyed Caol Ila, even the strange Distillers Editions.
"Strange," it may be. But I find the DE to be a very 'circumstance dependent' sort of spirit. As an example, I poured some DE last night following a meal of poached trout served with a German Riesling, and the whisky, with its wine cask influenced element, provided a seamless flavour continuim that was absolutely perfect.
In contrast, the drier and more assertive releases of Caol Ila, such as the Cask Strength, make for superlative aperitifs,
v1p wrote:For me Caol Ila 12 is the best midshelf whisky.
This is where I'm at with Caol Ila as well. I wouldn't go so far as to say it's my favorite Islay overall, but I can't think of a better Islay value than Caol Ila 12. I suspect I'll always have an open bottle of this available at my house.
Gov wrote:Willie JJ wrote:Traditionally the main islay malt in White Horse was Lagavulin. Might be different these days though.
I think its now Caol Ila.
I'm not so sure about that. I just got a bottle in North Carolina and it states on the back label that Lagavulin is at its "heart". Diageo wouldnt make that claim if it werent true. I paid $18 for this recent bottle.
And its a damn good blend by the way.
As for the OB's, I agree with many of the old comments above. Not my favorite Islay, but it's always a damn fine dram.
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