This is the first of the Diageo special releases that swept me off my feet this year. I tried my first Rosebank that I rated highly, my first Port Dundas that opened up the gates of grain whisky and anyone who read yesterday's review would have seen my opinion on the unimpressive Knockando. However, it was the Caol Ila that was the first that truly impressed me this year. For a while now I have seen the range of unpeated Caol Ilas, however having never tried them I had no opinion on them. Recently I tried the incredible Ardbeg Blasda, a lightly peated Ardbeg that was a beautiful demonstration of the complexity behind the smoky veil of peat so I was very excited to try a Caol Ila that was entirely unpeated...
64% - 12 Years Old - Unpeated
Nose: So distinctly Islay without being peated. Chlorine without phenol, citrus fruits notably lime. Also with green apple extract and green grapes with a hint of nectarine.
Palate: Fresh green fruits with vanilla essence, creamy and mouth-wateringly drinkable.
Finish: Creamy with chocolate notes, becomes soft and elegant with water.
Overall: Despite no peating, this 'Highland' style malt is clearly Islay born. Drinkable with layers of earthy Islay flavour. A champion of this year's Special Releases.