Showing posts with label Caol Ila 1995 (Anam Na H-Alba). Show all posts
Showing posts with label Caol Ila 1995 (Anam Na H-Alba). Show all posts

Caol Ila 1995 (Anam Na H-Alba) Review

“Very Nice and Mature Islay Whisky”

Country: Scotland
Region: Islay 
Brand: Caol Ila 1995 (Anam Na H-Alba)
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: 17 Years
ABV: 51.4 %
Sample provided by Tom from Germany. Many thanks!

Colour: Golden Straw

Nose: Lovely Sweet Peat, Cold Campfire Smoke, Ashes, Wet Grass, Salted Butter, Diesel Oil, light Iodine, Shell Fish, light Menthol, light Rubber, Vanilla, Sugar, Sweet Barley, Dried Herbs, Barnyard, Lemon-Pepper, Milk Fat and some Fruity notes. Difficult to say but think of Pineapple and Banana. Nice combo of Sweet and Peat. I like it! The Alcohol is quite present so you need to feel your way around it.

Taste: Sweet Peat, Cold Smoke, Tar, Ashes, Sweet Barley, slightly Bitter Oak, light Honey, light Vanilla, Lemon-Pepper, Salt, Apple Vinegar, Caramel, Aniseed and light Metallic notes.  

Finish: Long, Dry and Bitter Sweet with Peat, Cigar Ashes, Espresso Coffee, Sweet Barley, Salt, Lemon-Pepper, Menthol and Mineral tones.  

This Caol Ila accepts a little Water but as usual I prefer it neat. 

Rating: 89

Nose: 22.5 - Taste: 22 - Finish: 22 - Overall: 22.5

General Remarks: The Caol Ila Distillery was founded in 1846 and is located close to Port Askaig on Islay. It was bought by DCL in 1927 and through some mergers is now part of Diageo. The distillery was completely rebuilt in 1974 and only one old Warehouse reminds us of former days. Traditionally, Caol Ila is an important component of Blends like Johnnie Walker, Bell's and White Horse. But during the last 10 years Diageo has made great efforts to position the Distillery as a Single Malt as well. The Caol Ila I'm reviewing today was distilled in 1995, matured for 17 years in a Bourbon Hogshead and was bottled in February 2013 by Indie bottler Anam Na H-Alba from Germany. Around 150 bottles went to the market and I was lucky enough to get a sample. This Single Cask is not Chill-Filtered, does not contain E-150 and was bottled at Cask Strength. The Bottles were sold at around US$ 105 a piece.

Drinking Experience Neat: Very Good

Conclusion: Very good Islay Spirit. On the Nose, the combination of Sweet and Peat is nicely done. I like young peated Islay a lot as it's Dirty and Rough. But I really love the combination of Mature Peat and Sweet tones you'll find in longer matured peated Islay whiskies. This Caol Ila could have scored even higher but for a few small details. There's a slight Bitterness of the Oak on the Palate and in the Finish and I found a very light Metallic off-note on the Palate. Still, this is a very nice Islay Whisky and I wouldn't mind at all having a full bottle of this Caol Ila in my cabinet. If you find it, buy it. You won't regret it!

Jan van den Ende                                                                March 18, 2015