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Caol Ila

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Caol Ila

Postby Ed » Thu Feb 17, 2005 6:13 am

Hello All,
I want to try Caol Ila especially as it has been widely recommended as an alternative to Laga 16 yr which I haven't been able to find. I did try the Laga 12 yr in a bar. But which one should I try first. I have seen the 12 yr the 18 yr and a cask strength. The 12 yr is a little more half the price of the other two. I don't recall off hand which of the other two is more expensive.
Ed
Thanks Mr TattieHeid & Company.
Last edited by Ed on Thu Feb 17, 2005 7:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
Ed
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Postby Deactivated Member » Thu Feb 17, 2005 6:49 am

Hi Ed--that's "Caol Ila"--it means "the sound of Islay" (sounds like a radio station). Pronunciation is tricky; most folks just say it "coal", but I think it's more like "cowl"--or to be more precise, say KA ul, slurring the second part so that it's all pretty close to one syllable. That's how I understand it, anyway. The modern Scots word is "kyle", as in "Kyle of Lochalsh".

The 12 is a good solid Islay, not unlike Lagavulin, as we have been discussing in another thread. The 18 is mellower, as you would expect, and many find it disappointing, lacking in character. These have both just become available in the States, so I really regret not bringing home a CS last time I was over. My vague recollection is that it is the real kicker of the three. So choose your poison--a smooth, easy-going Islay (18), a solid, peaty dram somewhat less complex than Lagavulin 16 (12), or a muscular, kick-ass peat beast (CS). Again, my memory of the CS is vague, so I hope someone will either verify or refute it.
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Postby Mr Fjeld » Thu Feb 17, 2005 7:15 am

MrTattieHeid wrote:Hi Ed--that's "Caol Ila"--it means "the sound of Islay" (sounds like a radio station). Pronunciation is tricky; most folks just say it "coal", but I think it's more like "cowl"--or to be more precise, say KA ul, slurring the second part so that it's all pretty close to one syllable. That's how I understand it, anyway. The modern Scots word is "kyle", as in "Kyle of Lochalsh".

Good Morning Ed and Mr Tattingheid!
I've secretly been practising difficult scottish names after I found this site! Scroll to the bottom and click AU or Wav - and have a shock!

http://www.dcs.ed.ac.uk/home/jhb/whisky/smws/53.html

Skål!
Christian
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Postby robs42 » Thu Feb 17, 2005 12:11 pm

Hi Ed

Firstly, price wise, the CS is cheaper than the 18yo. However, the 12yo is best value by a long way. The 18yo is a really good dram in my opinion, but it's very much like Laphroaig 15yo in that some people don't appreciate it as much because it mellows down the smoke and iodine - personally I think the 18yo is an elegant and underrated whisky, but probably not worth the extra money. The CS does exactly what you would expect it to do, but again, if you just want to see what Caol Ila is like, I'd plump for the 12yo.

By the way, if I'm correct, the pronounciation is Cull (sounds like Pull) Eela.
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Postby Mr Fjeld » Thu Feb 17, 2005 1:44 pm

robs42 wrote:By the way, if I'm correct, the pronounciation is Cull (sounds like Pull) Eela.

According to my link above it's actually more like cooleyela

Cheers
Christian
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Postby Deactivated Member » Thu Feb 17, 2005 6:12 pm

Well, there's certainly room for argument on the pronunciation. We've had another link to the same site here before, giving pronunciations for many distillery names-- http://www.dcs.ed.ac.uk/home/jhb/whisky/pronounc.html --so I've heard that particular pronunciation before. I would note that what we hear as "cool" is likely the Scottish way of promouncing "cull"--the Scots almost always pronounce u as in "put". As for Eyela/Eela, the latter would seem to make some sense, as that's how the name of the island is said now; but so far this is the only source I've seen that claims that pronunciation. I would like to see more corroboration from authoritative sources. (And if modern pronunciation is going to be taken as an indicator of how the old word is pronounced, then what do we make of the modern word "kyle"?)

As a side note, somebody somewhere on this site spoke of the root language for a lot of these names, and it wasn't Gaelic. Sorry I can't be more specific--I'll see if I can find a reference, or perhaps that person will stand up again. Otherwise, Mr. Picky has no more to say on this subject--he's too busy drinking the stuff to care how anybody says it.
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Postby Mr Fjeld » Thu Feb 17, 2005 7:39 pm

MrTattieHeid wrote:Well, there's certainly room for argument on the pronunciation................

As a side note, somebody somewhere on this site spoke of the root language for a lot of these names, and it wasn't Gaelic. Sorry I can't be more specific--I'll see if I can find a reference, or perhaps that person will stand up again. Otherwise, Mr. Picky has no more to say on this subject--he's too busy drinking the stuff to care how anybody says it.

Hi Mr Tattieheid!
I believe it's time to bring out Mr. Hyde/Picky again :P
I have no other source other than the above mentioned - and I'm not sure I'm right about that one! Interesting what you say about the name not being gaelic - if it isn't then it's likely old norwegian - norse that is like in the western scandinavian/norwegian and not danish.

Skål!
Christian
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Postby Deactivated Member » Fri Feb 18, 2005 6:09 am

Hey Christian--yes, I'm very much aware of the Norse influence in the British Isles. One of the words I often cite to friends is gate, from the Norse gata, meaning street. I tell them that in York, a street is a gate, a gate is a bar, and a bar is a pub. Of course, here in the States, since the Watergate scandal, any presumed scandal in the White House is tagged with gate: travelgate, filegate, Irangate, Monicagate. Most Americans are thinking of a sort of door in a fence, but I find the original derivation oddly approriate: we're stuck on travel street, file street, Iran street, Monica street. There are many other examples in Britain, and especially in the Northern Isles.

But never mind...it wasn't what I was thinking of, and I found the reference. In a thread on the proper pronunciation of Glen Garioch, Glenfiddich, Bruichladdich, and others, a member called Ash, a Scot, said that some of these, at least, derived from Doric, not Gaelic. Other than this one reference, I know absolutely nothing about Doric. But I think I'll see if I can find out something, and if I do, I'll report again later.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Fri Feb 18, 2005 6:27 am

What, back so soon?

Okay, not what I was thinking. According to the Language Centre at the University of Aberdeen, "Doric is the dialect spoken by natives of Aberdeen and the North East of Scotland." In other words, a dialect of Scots. (Some would say that Scots is itself a dialect of English, but the Scots argue that Scots and English developed concurrently, and are thus related but separate languages, equal in stature.) Funny, I was just abusing that stuff on another thread.

See http://www.abdn.ac.uk/languagecentre/re ... intro.html for starters, if you're interested.
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Postby Aidan » Fri Feb 18, 2005 9:53 am

In Ireland, gaelic is spoken, but it's different to scots gaelic, although very similar.

They speak a bit of scots gaelic in northern ireland, because of the closeness and the plantations.

Even in Ireland, there are lots of differnt gealics, between Connemara, Clare, Kerry, Donegal... It's very hard to pin down a prononciation.
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Postby patrick dicaprio » Sat Feb 19, 2005 2:19 am

the 12 will do you just fine as an intro to caol ila. very nice. just like lagavulin 16 but less so, if you know what i mean.

Pat
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Postby Lawrence » Sat Feb 19, 2005 3:24 am

However it's pronounced the Caol Ila 12 is rapidly becoming one of my favourite whiskies.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sat Feb 19, 2005 7:48 am

Aye, Aidan, I take what you say about Gaelic, but I was talking about Scots, the language of Robbie Burns, another thing altogether. I don't know that much about it, but I gather that very little, if any, of it derives from Gaelic. To this day, Gaelic is spoken in the predominantly Catholic Western Isles, although of course not all Gaelic speakers are Catholic by any means; Scots is alive and well in Fife and Aberdeen, particularly.

As a side note, the other branch of Celtic language includes Welsh and Breton, which, I was told by a native Breton speaker (who spoke English with a distinctly Scottish lilt) are as easily conversible as Irish and Scots Gaelic. Cornish falls into that branch, also; Manx I'm not sure about.
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Postby Aidan » Sat Feb 19, 2005 10:13 am

Mr Tattie - Ceart go leor, those are all the gealic speaking regions I'm aware of. I couldn't understand a word of Welsh gaelic, though. Scotish gaelic is the closest I've heard.

It's interesting that whisky industries have sprung up in all of these celtic areas, although I'm not sure about Cornwall. Is there a cornish whisky?
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sat Feb 19, 2005 7:41 pm

Aidan, there's this really cool magazine I read that just had an article about this in their last issue--check it out here: http://www.whiskymag.com/magazine/issue ... pirit.html :wink:

If I'm not mistaken (always a suspect proposition), Welsh, Cornish, and Breton are not considered Gaelic at all--that word describes only the Irish/Scots branch of Celtic language. Again, I'm not sure where Manx falls.
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Postby Aidan » Sat Feb 19, 2005 7:57 pm

MrTattieHeid wrote:Aidan, there's this really cool magazine I read that just had an article about this in their last issue--check it out here: http://www.whiskymag.com/magazine/issue ... pirit.html :wink:

If I'm not mistaken (always a suspect proposition), Welsh, Cornish, and Breton are not considered Gaelic at all--that word describes only the Irish/Scots branch of Celtic language. Again, I'm not sure where Manx falls.


Oh, you're probably right. I've never heard Welsh referred to as gaelic, now that you mention it. I enjoyed that article - thanks.
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Branches of Celtic Languages today

Postby Sphagophiliac » Sun Feb 27, 2005 12:27 pm

There is more than just Irish and Scottish Celtic languages

See

http://www.siliconglen.com/celtfaq/1_3.html

for an synopsis. Interesting references to older continental celtic languages too, some as far away as Turkey!
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Feb 28, 2005 8:09 am

Interesting page, Sphag (hey, shouldn't that be "sphagnophiliac"? :? ), and it answers my question about Manx. I would quibble with one or two things there, but hey, what the hell do I know? (One thing is the Scottish pronunciation of "Gaelic"--rather than "Gallic", I would say that it is pronounced more the way a Bostonian would say "garlic". Indeed, I once saw a poster in Plockton for a band called Gaelic Bred.)
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