Caol Ila 17 year old Unpeated– #Diageo Special Rel. 2015

Going back and tasting a few of the remaining SR 2015.. This Caol Ila is the second affordable whisky of the range (after the excellent Lagavulin). this is the 10th edition, and the whisky was distilled in 1997, aged in ex-bourbon casks , priced at 90 quid. Previous Unpeated CIs were excellent, and I was really looking forward to trying this one, the oldest yet (17..). Unpeated Caol Ila may sound like lacking to those who never tried any, but rest assured if you EVER tried an unpeated malt from this big Islay distillery, you’d change your mind in a minute. 55.9% abv, and an affordable price make it one of the best VFM malts in this year’s Special Releases.

Caol Ila 17 Year Old 1997 Unpeated (Special Release 2015) , 55.9% , £90 caol-ila-17-year-old-1997-unpeated-special-release-2015-whisky

Nose: A very promising entry with deep waxy notes followed by ripe orange and mandarin, juicy and zesty with barley sugars and some salty caramel. I could swear I’m detecting some smoke even though this is not a peated dram. A hint of cereal and dried Fig too but not sweet more a hint of eau de vie.

Palate : Big and mouth coating : fresh wood and coconut bits with dark chocolate,  nuts and sultana. It’s rich and the waxy notes are here add well. There is also a peppery bite, with Brazil nut, earthy feel to it, ending on a dry salty note.

Finish : the faintest hint of  smoke, but no doubt it  is here as long with the chocolate,  salty edge,  and a big handful of nuts, as well as crushed dry chilly.


This is an excellent dram, tasty, complex, powerful and full of vigor, not smoky, but there’s some wee smoke there, and the ex-bourbon casks were really doing a good job. At 90 quid, this is a no brainer. do yourself a favour and get a bottle of this nectar. It’s still available here (and other places too).

Score: 90/100

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