Ledaig Rioja Cask Finish


“Safe Haven is a Place on Earth”

Whisky Review # 1018

Country: Scotland ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ
Region: Highlands - Islands - Mull
Brand: Ledaig Rioja Cask Finish - Sinclair Series
Distilled at: Tobermory Distillery
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 46.3%
Maturation: Ex-Bourbon Casks with Finish in Spanish Rioja Red Wine Casks
Chill Filtration: No
Price range: US$ 38-50 (April 2024)
Price/Quality Ratio: ๐Ÿ‘ Good
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ‘ If you like peated Malt with a Red Wine Finish!

Color:

Light Chestnut with shades of Brown and Orange  (Natural Color)

Nose:

Young and a little Thin. The label mentions that heavily peated Barley is used but this Ledaig is certainly not a Peat monster. The Nose is quite Ashy though and ever so slightly Medicinal. The Rioja casks are noticeable bringing both Sweet and Sour Fruity notes. The Ledaig dirtiness comes through with images of an older gas station. The Nose is not bad but a bit underwhelming. There are a few off-notes but none of them are serious.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Toasted Barley, slightly burnt Buttered Toast, Salted Caramel, Earthy Peat, Industrial Smoke, Dried Fruit like Sultanas, Dates & Plums, Red Fruit Preserve, Charred Oak, Sour Red Wine, Ashes, Pepper and Ginger.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Toffee, Molasses, Vanilla, Grass, Milk-Hazelnut Chocolate, Sour Cherries, Band Aid, Soot, Tar, Gas station, Plastic, Rubber, Burnt Matches, Iron, Leather, Green Apple, Lemon, Peanut Butter, Cow Manure, Smoked Bacon, Sweaty Feet, Licorice and Cinnamon.
 

Palate:

This is my favorite part of this Ledaig. It's a little Young, Rough, Tannic & Funky but it shows character that would certainly evolve with more cask time. On the Palate we have a rather Dry mix of Bitter, Sweet, Sour and Salty notes with lots of Berries, Nuts and Chocolate.

Main Flavours:

Sweet Barley, Buttered Toast, Salted Caramel, Factory Smoke, Earthy Peat, Ash,  Red Berries, Dried Fruit like Sultanas, Plums and Apricots, Sour Red Wine, Lemon and Grapefruit, Dusty Charred Oak, Pepper, Aniseed and Licorice.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Honey, Vanilla, Molasses, Sour Cherries, Dark Hazelnut Chocolate, Nougat, Mix of Straw & Cow Manure, Leather, Tobacco, Tar, Soot, Dried Herbs, Wet Rocks, Milk, Cooked Vegetables, Cinnamon, Ginger and Cloves.


Finish:

Medium-Long & slightly Hot. After a while a mix of some Rubber and Iron notes stay a little longer in your throat. I find Sweet, Bitter, Sour and Salty notes. Quite Dry & Tannic towards the end. There's Toasted Grain, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Dried Fruit like Sultanas and Apricots, Tutti-Frutti Bubblegum, slightly Sour Red Berries and Red Wine, Ashes, Tar, Factory Smoke, Earthy Peat, Nuts, Dried Herbs, Dark Chocolate, Grapefruit, Lemon, Strong Espresso, Wet Rocks, Charred Oak, Tobacco, Rubber, Licorice, Hay, Rubber, Pepper, Ginger and Cloves.

Drinking Advice:

Added Water kills this Ledaig. Better enjoy it neat.

Rating: 7.5 (*******1/2)

Nose: 7.5 - Taste: 8 - Finish: 7

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

If the Final score is 8 or higher you can safely buy the whisky in question if and when it fits your Aroma/Flavor profile. If the score is between 6 and 8 you might want to try it out in the form of a sample or if offered at a good price. Anything below 6 should be left alone when you are looking for a nice sipping whisky. You might still like it of course & I realize pricing is an important item for many whisky fans especially when you are used to enjoy whisky in a cocktail or a mixed drink.

Drinking Experience Neat: Good but on the Young side

Drinking Experience on the Rocks: Good

Conclusion:

Ledaig means Safe Haven. It's the name of the peated expressions of Tobermory. The core range of the distillery now includes the Tobermory 12, the Ledaig 10 & 18 Years as well as the Ledaig Rioja Finish I'm reviewing today.

This expression was inspired by the story of a Spanish galleon that sank off the harbour of Tobermory more than 400 years ago. The vessel was said to have been laden with jewels. This Ledaig was finished in hand-selected Rioja casks in honor of the Spanish treasure buried off the Tobermory shoreline. The Sinclair series are named after the founder of the distillery John Sinclair (1798).

This affordable Rioja Finish might be a good introduction to the Ledaig Single Malt portfolio. It's a little Dirty but not that Dirty, it's a little Dry but not that Dry, it's a little Smoky but not that Smoky and the Rioja casks provide sufficient Sweet and Sour Fruity notes to please beginning Single Malt adepts. It's a little too Young for my taste and there are a few off-notes that show the unfinished character of this Ledaig. But at least it does show some youthful character, especially on the Palate. If you find it under US$ 50 you should give it a go unless you're not into peated Whisky with a Red Wine Finish.

Cheers ๐Ÿฅƒ

Jan van den Ende                                                                       April 25, 2024

Pulteney 2008 (Signatory Vintage)


“P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)”


Whisky Review # 1017

Country: Scotland ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ
Region: Northern Highlands
Brand: Pulteney 2008 - Distilled: 27-05-2008
Bottled By: Signatory Vintage SWC Ltd, Pitlochry on 21-01-2022
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky - Bottle # 273 of 643 
Age: 13 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 55.5% (Cask Strength) 
Maturation: Refill Bourbon Barrels with 42 months Finish in Fresh Sherry Butt # 8 
Chill Filtration: No
Sample provided by Mauricio from Brazil. Many Thanks!
Average Price: US$ 135 (April 2024)
Price/Quality Ratio: ๐Ÿ˜‘ Borderline acceptable 
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ˜‘ It's not bad but a bit too young and rough to fully convince me

Color:

Dark Amber with shades of Orange and Brown (Natural Colour)

Nose:

Be sure to give this Pulteney enough time in the glass before Nosing. And avoid to nose in the middle of your glass as the ABV is quite high. The Sherry Finish did its work and you will find lots of Dried Fruit and Nuts. You can feel the relative Youth of the Malt and there are hints of Sulphur and Metal around as well. Nothing serious though.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, German Butter Biscuits and Buttered Croissants, Dried Fruit such as Raisins, Plums, Sultanas, Dates and Figs, Salted Nuts, Cooked Orchard Fruit, (Dark) Red Berries, Tobacco, Orange Liqueur, Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Toasted Oak.     

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Honey, Vanilla, Wax, Straw, Leather, Wet Rocks, Dried Herbs, Pineapple, Hazelnut-Milk Chocolate, Metal, Cloves and Pepper. 
 

Palate:

A chewy mix of Bitter, Sweet, Sour and Salty notes. There's a dirty and unfinished feel to it although it certainly has character when considering its relative youth. The Alcohol is quite strong. 

Main Flavours:

Sweet Barley, Salted Caramel, Dried Fruit like Raisins, Sultanas, Plums and Dates, Dark Red Berries and Cherries, Salted Nuts, Orange, Charred Oak, Milk Chocolate, Pepper, Cinnamon and Cloves.   

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Honey, Vanilla, Banana, Lemon, Cooked Orchard Fruit, Straw, Leather, Tobacco, Espresso, Nutmeg and Ginger.        


Finish:

Middle-Long and Bitter-Sweet. Some Sour and Salty notes as well. It's a bit Young & Dirty and you're left with a light Metallic after-taste. The Alcohol is quite noticeable. I find Toasted Malt, Salted Caramel, Buttered Toast, Vanilla, Nutella, Dried Fruit like Raisins, Dates and Plums, Honey, Citrus, Dirty Earth, Straw & Grass, Charred Oak, Ashes, Cigar-box, Red Berries, Pepper, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves and Licorice.  

Drinking Advice:

I added a little Water and although it certainly helps to control the Alcohol it also robs this Malt of its original character. Better sip it neat.

Rating: 7.5 (*******1/2)

Nose: 7.5 - Taste: 7.5 - Finish: 7  

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

If the Final score is 8 or higher you can safely buy the whisky in question if and when it fits your Aroma/Flavor profile. If the score is between 6 and 8 you might want to try it out in the form of a sample or if offered at a good price. Anything below 6 should be left alone when you are looking for a nice sipping whisky. You might still like it of course & I realize pricing is an important item for many whisky fans especially when you are used to enjoy whisky in a cocktail or a mixed drink.

Drinking Experience Neat: Good
 
Conclusion:

Pulteney was founded in 1826 by James Henderson in the town of Wick. It is owned by Inver House Distillers, a part of Thai Beverages Group. The distillery produces 1.3 million litres of alcohol annually. The core range consists of the 12, 15, 18 & 25 Years and the peated Huddart.

Certainly not an easy one to judge. On the one hand this relatively young Pulteney shows character albeit it a bit Rough and Dirty. On the other hand it can't hide its Youth and there's an immature feel to it. In my opinion it could do with a few years extra cask time and a lower ABV. As presented it's interesting enough to enjoy a sample but not quite good enough to justify buying a full bottle. At least not at the current price level.

Cheers ๐Ÿฅƒ

Jan van den Ende                                                                         April 18, 2024

Aberfeldy 1996 (Exceptional Cask Series)


“The Price of Love”


Whisky Review # 1016

Country: Scotland ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ
Region: Southern Highlands
Brand: Aberfeldy 1996-2016 - Exceptional Cask Series - Distilled: 12-03-1996
Bottled For: La Maison du Whisky (Anniversary Edition)
Type: Single Malt Double Cask Scotch Whisky bottled on 11-10-2016
Age: 20 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 52.8% (Cask Strength)
Maturation: 1st Cask # 02075 -11 Years - 2nd Cask # 4 French Red Wine Finish (Chateau Neuf du Pape) 9 Years - 198 bottles
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 350-425 (April 2024)
Price/Quality Ratio: ๐Ÿ˜ It is quite expensive. 
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ‘ If you like Red Wine Finished Whisky you should try this one!

Color:

Chestnut with shades of Orange, Red and Brown (Natural Colour)

Nose:

Be sure to give this Aberfeldy sufficient time in the glass. The Alcohol is quite strong so avoid Nosing in the middle of the glass. The Red Wine cask left a powerful mark and it's hard to tell what type of cask was used during the first 11 years. The Dried Fruit notes suggest a Sherry cask but on the other hand it's not that Sweet so I go for a Bourbon cask. If you have any info on this please let me know! The Nose is a mix of Sweet and Sour notes with a bit of Salt in the background. Lots of Dark Red - and Dried Fruits. Quite nice!

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, Buttered Toast, Salted Caramel, Treacle, Dark Red Berries and Sour Cherries, Dried Fruit (Sultanas, Plums, Raisins), Orange, Mulled Red Wine, Straw, Dusty Casks in a Dunnage Warehouse, Cinnamon and Ginger. 

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Toffee, Vanilla, Brown Sugar, Honey, Peach, Dark Chocolate, Dusty Road, Cake with Cream, Nuts, Leather, Tobacco, Marzipan, Pepper, Mint and light Licorice.   
 

Palate:

Potent delivery thanks to the strong ABV. The influence of the Red Wine cask is strong but certainly not unpleasant. The Palate basically follows the Nose but is a little more Edgy. Wood and Spices come to the front. Sweet and Sour are the main drivers but there's this subtle Saltiness that I really like. 

Main Flavours:

Sweet Barley, Treacle, Brown Sugar, Salted Caramel, Dark Red Berries & Cherries, Dried Fruit like Raisins, Sultanas and Plums, Orange-flavored Dark Chocolate, Red Wine, Peach, Dusty Oak, Pepper, Cloves, Nutmeg and Menthol.  

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Honey, Toffee, Vanilla, Resin, Leather, Tobacco, Strong Espresso, Dusty Track, Nuts, Cinnamon, Ginger, Licorice and Mint.     


Finish:

Middle-Long and quite Dry in the end. Mainly Sweet but with a developing Bitterness that never gets over the top though. A nice salty note somewhere in the back. The Alcohol is quite noticeable now. The Red Wine note like Red Haribo Sweets remain in your mouth for a while. I find Sweet Barley, Toffee, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Brown Sugar, Treacle, Honey, Dried Fruit (Sultanas, Raisins & Plums), Peach, Dusty Track, Dusty Oak, Marzipan, Orange-flavored Dark Chocolate, Dark Red Fruit such as Berries and Cherries, Salted Almonds, Tobacco, Pepper, Nutmeg, Cloves, Cinnamon, Ginger, Mint, Menthol and Licorice.

Drinking Advice:

I added a bit of Water and that helps to calm down the Alcohol. This is nice on the Palate but I find Nose and Finish less intensive and interesting. The Menthol and Mint in the Finish become quite overpowering as well. Better sip it neat.

Rating: 8 (********)

Nose: 8.5 - Taste: 8 - Finish: 7.5 

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

If the Final score is 8 or higher you can safely buy the whisky in question if and when it fits your Aroma/Flavor profile. If the score is between 6 and 8 you might want to try it out in the form of a sample or if offered at a good price. Anything below 6 should be left alone when you are looking for a nice sipping whisky. You might still like it of course & I realize pricing is an important item for many whisky fans especially when you are used to enjoy whisky in a cocktail or a mixed drink.

Drinking Experience Neat: Good
 
Conclusion:

The Aberfeldy distillery is located in Aberfeldy (Perthshire) in the Southern High-lands. It was founded in 1896 by John & Tommy Dewar. They needed a Single Malt for their blended Whisky Dewar's White Label. Since 1998 it is owned by the Bacardi Group. A beautiful visitor centre was finally opened in 2002. The annual production amounts to around 3.4 million litres. The core ranges consists of the 12, 16 & 21 Years Old. We visited the distillery and the visitor centre in May 2017.

I'm not always a huge fan of Red Wine finished Whisky but this is a good one. The Wine influence is strong but quite tasty. A word of praise for the cask management here. Excellent! The Finish could have been a little Longer and the Haribo after taste is a little artificial. But other than that this is a well-made Whisky. Not for everyday of course and not only because of the price. This is something to enjoy after a nice dinner and/or accompanied by a quality Cuban cigar. If you love Red Wine finished Whisky you should really give this Aberfeldy a try!

Cheers ๐Ÿฅƒ

Jan van den Ende                                                                             April 4, 2024

Caperdonich 2000 (Signatory Vintage)


“ Woodn’t It Be Nice if…”


Whisky Review # 1015

Country: Scotland ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ
Region: Speyside
Brand: Caperdonich - Closed Distillery - Distilled 06-07-2000
Matured and Bottled By: Signatory Vintage - Cask Strength Collection
Type: Single Malt Single Cask Scotch Whisky bottled on 22-02-2021
Age: 20 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 56.8% (Cask Strength)
Maturation: Hogshead - Cask # 29483 - 274 Bottles
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 320-360 (March 2024)
Price/Quality Ratio: ๐Ÿ˜ Quite expensive, even considering its age.
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ‘ Authentic Whisky that is hard to find these days.

Color:

Rich Golden (Natural Colour)

Nose:

Be sure to give this Caperdonich enough time in the glass to open up and please don't nose in the middle of the glass as the Alcohol is quite strong. The Bourbon notes are clear and so is the cask influence as is to be expected with a Malt of 20 Years. The Nose is Fruity with Sweet, Sour, Green and Mineral notes. It's quite good although not overwhelming and I suspect that Water will make it even better.

Tip: Pour a little Whisky over the palm of your hand and rub it to be able to really enjoy the Aroma of the Butter Biscuits. I always do this by the way as part of the Nosing procedures.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, German Butter Biscuits, Honey, Vanilla, Grass & Straw, Wax, Seville Orange, Lemon, Green Apple, Pear, Nectarine, Dusty Oak, Pepper, Cinnamon and Nutmeg.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Salted Caramel, Banana-flavored Yogurt, Almond Milk, Wet Rocks, Dried Flowers & Herbs, Nougat, Dusty Track, Leather, Cloves, Ginger, Aniseed, Mint, Cardamom & a distant note of Plastic.
 

Palate:

Strong and Bold arrival. The cask influence becomes more clear & Wood and Wood Spices become quite evident. It's quite Waxy and Buttery as well. I'm curious to see what a little added Water will do. This Caperdonich is a solid & somewhat old-fashioned Whisky that mainly presents Sweet and Sour notes on the Palate.

Main Flavours:

Sweet Barley, Butter Biscuits, Salted Caramel, Wax, Green Apple, Seville Orange, Lemon, Grapefruit, Grass & Straw, Dusty Oak, Pepper, Nutmeg, Cloves, Cinnamon, Ginger and Menthol.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Honey, Vanilla, Nectarine, Banana, Pear, Dried Herbs, Leather, Tobacco, Licorice, Cough Syrup, Wet Rocks and Sand, Cocoa Powder, Nougat, Aniseed and a hint of Peppery Olive Oil.


Finish:

Middle-Long. A mix of Sweet, Bitter & Sour notes with a hint of Sea Salt. The cask influence is clear and Wood & Wood Spice come to the stage. I find Sweet Barley, Salted Caramel, Toffee, German Butter Biscuits, Vanilla Sauce, Wax, Grass, Honey, Seville Orange, Grapefruit, Lemon, Banana, Nougat, Wet Rocks and Sand, Leather, Tobacco, Mint, Aniseed, Menthol, Pepper, Cinnamon, Ginger, Cardamom, Nutmeg, Cloves, Dried Herbs, Licorice, Green Apple, Dusty Oak, Tyres and Varnish.

Drinking Advice:

I added a bit of Water and that helps to suppress the Alcohol of course. I thought added Water would improve this Caperdonich but that's not the case. You really "steal" the Spirit of this Speyside Malt this way. Better drink it neat despite the very high ABV.

Rating: 8 (********)

Nose: 8 - Taste: 8 - Finish: 7.5

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

If the Final score is 8 or higher you can safely buy the whisky in question if and when it fits your Aroma/Flavor profile. If the score is between 6 and 8 you might want to try it out in the form of a sample or if offered at a good price. Anything below 6 should be left alone when you are looking for a nice sipping whisky. You might still like it of course & I realize pricing is an important item for many whisky fans especially when you are used to enjoy whisky in a cocktail or a mixed drink.

Drinking Experience Neat: Good
 
Conclusion:

Caperdonich was located in Rothes, Speyside and was originally known as Glen Grant # 2. It was built in 1898 by J. & J. Grant the founders of Glen Grant. It closed in 1902 and only opened again in 1965 when it was bought by Glenlivet & renamed Caperdonich. It was sold to Seagram in 1977 and then to Pernot Ricard in 2001. One year later it closed again before finally being demolished in 2010. It was widely used in the Chivas Regal Blends.

I really enjoyed tasting this Caperdonich. There's an authentic feel to this Malt. To be honest I believe it could or maybe should have been bottled a few years earlier as the Wood and Wood spices become quite dominant on the Palate and in the Finish. But other than that it's a solid and mature Bourbon cask Whisky that you hardly find anymore in today's Mainstream Malt Madness. It is quite expensive but if you have the cash go for it.
    
Cheers ๐Ÿฅƒ

Jan van den Ende                                                                       March 21, 2024

Caol Ila 2005 (Gordon & MacPhail)


“Islay Elle L’A”


Whisky Review # 1014

Country: Scotland ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ
Region: Islay
Brand: Caol Ila 2005 - Distilled 14-03-2005
Matured By: Gordon & MacPhail, Scotland - Reserve Series
Exclusively Bottled by GM for: Van Wees, The Netherlands on 02-06-2015
Type: Single Malt Single Cask Scotch Whisky
Age: 10 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 46%
Maturation: Refill Ex-Bourbon Barrel - Cask # 302014 - 318 Bottles
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: Around US$ 60 (March 2024)
Price/Quality Ratio: ๐Ÿ‘
Buying Advice: ๐Ÿ‘ A young but pleasant Bourbon cask matured Islay Malt

Color:

Pale Straw/White Wine (Natural Colour)

Nose:

The Alcohol is noticeable so make sure to avoid nosing in the middle of your glass. The Nose shows a Young Malt but is quite pleasant with Soft Peat and Smoke in the lead. It's a nice combination of Sweet, Sour, Salty and Meaty notes.

Main Aromas:

Barley, Slightly burnt Buttered Toast, Vanilla, Coastal Peat, Campfire Smoke, Grass, Seville-Orange, Lemon, Green Apple, Pear, Nectarine, Dried Herbs, Fish and Bacon on the BBQ, Charred Oak, Pepper, Cinnamon and Mint/Menthol.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Honey, Caramel, Iodine, Ashes, Tar, Soot, Wet Pebbles & Sand, Brine, Dusty Track, Ripe Banana, Floral Soap, Leather, Tobacco and Licorice.


Palate:

A relatively Young and Light but pleasant mix of Bitter-Sweet, Sour & Salty notes. A bit Dry.

Main Flavours:

Sweet Barley, Caramel, Toffee, Vanilla, Coastal Peat, Campfire Smoke, Fish & Bacon on the BBQ sprinkled with Lemon and Herbs, Grapefruit, Charred Oak, Orange, Pepper and Mint/Menthol.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Honey, Tar, Soot, Ashes, Iodine, Floral Soap, Dusty Track, Green Apple, Dirty Road, Cinnamon, Aniseed and Licorice. A hint of White Chocolate.


Finish:

Middle-Long. A slightly Hot and Light but pleasant mix of Bitter, Sweet, Sour & Salty notes. Dry towards the end. Its Youth is more noticeable at this point. I find Sweet Barley, Toffee, Vanilla, Coastal Peat, Campfire Smoke, Ashes, Brine, Iodine, Dusty Earth, Tar, Fish/Shellfish/Bacon on the BBQ sprinkled with Herbs & Lemon, Green Apple, Grapefruit, Nuts, Charred Oak, Floral Soap, Leather, Tobacco, Cinnamon, Pepper, Aniseed, Mint/Menthol, Licorice and Orange Liqueur.

Drinking Advice:

I added a bit of Water and while it is less Hot this way, you also kind of remove the Spirit of this Single Malt ๐Ÿ˜œ. I prefer it neat.

Rating: 8 (********)

Nose: 8 - Taste: 8 - Finish: 7.5

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

If the Final score is  8 or higher you can safely buy the whisky in question if and when it fits your Aroma/Flavor profile. If the score is between 6 and 8 you might want to try it out in the form of a sample or if offered at a good price. Anything below 6 should be left alone when you are looking for a nice sipping whisky. You might still like it of course & I realize pricing is an important item for many whisky fans especially when you are used to enjoy whisky in a cocktail or a mixed drink.

Drinking Experience Neat: Good
 
Conclusion:

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 finally became part of Diageo. The distillery was 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 15 years Diageo has made great efforts to position the Distillery as a Single Malt as well. Caol Ila is really beautifully located alongside the strait between the islands of Islay and Jura. The Core range includes the 12, 18 and 25 Years, the Distiller's Edition as well as the NAS Moch. We thoroughly enjoyed both our visits to the distillery in 2014 and 2017 respectively despite the fact that you're not allowed to take pictures. Caol Ila is certainly one of my favorite distilleries and Single Malts.

I like most Islay malts and, especially, Caol Ila and this 10 Year old is no exception to the rule. It's a young Single Malt of course and I would have preferred it to stay in the cask for a few more years. But it's pleasant enough as it is. The soft notes of Peat and Smoke are quite nice and the refill cask does a good job in maintaining the Fruity character of the Spirit without adding overly Bitter and/or Tannic notes. If you like Young Islay malts you can't go wrong with this Caol Ila.

Cheers ๐Ÿฅƒ

Jan van den Ende                                                                      March 14, 2024