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Comments on Caol Ila wanted

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Comments on Caol Ila wanted

Postby Bob & Jill » Mon Jan 02, 2006 5:41 am

Bob & I are relatively new to single malts and noticed that Caol Ila does not get mentioned very much in this forum. We are both pretty well hooked on peat smoke so most of our favorite malts are from Islay (with two exceptions: Highland Park and Glen Farclas).

Up until this week, Caol Ila 12 was our favorite. We really enjoy the distinctive smoked fish nuance of its peaty smoke. We recently purchased a Lagavulin 16 but are waiting to taste it with a friend who is bringing us a bottle of Laphroig 15 for a comparison. We just opened Ardbeg Uigeadail and now it and Caol Ila are our favorites. We diluted the cask strength Ardbeg to make 86 proof and it was wonderful. It seems to have a clean, no frills added, peat smoke. Also tried it straight but it was a little too powerful for my tastes. I’m big on flavor and little on alcohol.

Anyway, before I started rambling, I would like to get some comment from the group on their opinion of Caol Ila---how come we hear so little about this very distinctive whisky?
Jill
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Jan 02, 2006 6:14 am

Caol Ila has been discussed quite a lot here. There is a recent thread under the Tastings heading. It was not widely available as a single malt until fairly recently--it's owned by the same company, Diageo, that owns Lagavulin, which has been very popular in recent years, to the point that there have been shortages. Caol Ila has been used mainly to add a similar Islay character to blends, relieving Lagavulin of demand for same. Some independent bottlings have been outstanding, leading to demand to release official bottlings.

Unlike any of the other Islays, Caol Ila ships all of its stock off-island in bulk for filling into barrels and maturation. A good source of information on all of the Islay distilleries, as well as the island itself, is Andrew Jefford's book, Peat Smoke and Spirit.
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Caol Ila

Postby kiltrock68 » Mon Jan 02, 2006 4:14 pm

Try to find some Caol Ila sherry cask and you will hear the angels sing!

I got a bottle of the Caol Ila Bloodtub Valinch from Murray Mc David this year at Bruichladdich Dist./Islay during my summer holyday in scotland.

This Bloodtub was a 1993 Caol Ila sherry cask with 54,7%.

A mix of peat smoke and sherry sweetness in a powerful strength, fantastic! One of the best malts i ever had tasted. Unfotunately the bottle is nearly empty, and there is no chance to get another, because it was only 40 Liters so less than 80 bottles they had sold. What a pity!

Some weeks ago i found another sherry cask bottling of Caol Ila from Gordon & MacPhail at my local retailer. Superb stuff, not as fantastic as the bloodtub, but very good, too!

Its a 1993 1st fill sherry butt 57,8% and i got it for 70 Euro

Dont know if that is sold at the u.s. too, but look for it, its worth!
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Re: Caol Ila

Postby Spirit of Islay » Mon Jan 02, 2006 7:06 pm

kiltrock68 wrote: Unfotunately the bottle is nearly empty, and there is no chance to get another, because it was only 40 Liters so less than 80 bottles they had sold. What a pity!


I wouldn't count on that Kiltrock , the general concensus is that they were refilled ......

Anyway on Caol Ilas ..... i was never a big fan of them after the F&F one , then i was enlightened by the SMWS 53.50 , a 7yo masterpiece . Then having been through a load of ages since , 7yo to 25yo , i havn't had a bad SMWS one . The 12 and 18 O.b.'s have failed to impress , the CS being the only decent one of the originals but the 25yo O.B. are stunners ( which i believe are available in the USA at Sams) .
I recently had a 1991 Cask G&M which was more like a south shore malt than a Caol Ila . The Signatory UCF range have been good , haven't had any DL's apart from a 1979 25yo (bottled 2004) which after been allowed to breath is just behind the 2 25 O.b.'s and the 2 SMWS 25's in taste .
Also realise that quite a few of the Indie "Islays" are Caol ilas even though a few places tell you they are Lagas..... :wink:
....but that can be a touchy subject (see other postings here and on other forums) !

Slainté
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Jan 02, 2006 7:59 pm

I have an unopened Rare Malts Caol Ila, 21yo, 61.3% ( :!: ) purchased in 2002. That it was bottled as a Rare Malts shows just how much its status has changed in just a few years.

Apologies for repeating this for the umpteenth time, but the one Signatory UCF Caol Ila I have had was terrible. 1990/2003, cask #13947. Very harsh smoke, very little body, almost like new make--I would guess a tired cask. Somebody should have "finished" this one! Apparently others have been fine, at least according to testimony like SoI's, but stay away from this one unless you have a very perverse sense of curiosity.
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Postby Spirit of Islay » Mon Jan 02, 2006 8:10 pm

Hi TH
The Sig UCF ones i've had were all 1989's i believe .

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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Jan 03, 2006 12:45 pm

MrTattieHeid wrote:Apologies for repeating this for the umpteenth time, but the one Signatory UCF Caol Ila I have had was terrible. 1990/2003, cask #13947.


Hi TH -
:? I've got a Signatory 1990 Cask #13944 which I find to be a very acceptable dram. You might have been unlucky with your one.
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Re: Comments on Caol Ila wanted

Postby BruceCrichton » Tue Jan 03, 2006 12:53 pm

Bob & Jill wrote:
Anyway, before I started rambling, I would like to get some comment from the group on their opinion of Caol Ila---how come we hear so little about this very distinctive whisky?
Jill
Bob & Jill, Colorado


I like Caol Ila but usually independent bottlings are better than the official versions.

I particularly recommend any from Cadenhead's and Auld Reekie ,by DTC, which is particularly smoky.

Neither Cadenheads nor DTC chillfilter which adds a lot to the flavour.
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A recommendation

Postby Bob & Jill » Wed Jan 04, 2006 2:29 am

Mr. T,
Thanks for being Johnny-on-the-spot with your quick reply on Caol Ila. I got my answer from you before I turned off my computer and turned in for the night. Read the informative thread under Tastings. I had overlooked that category up until now since so much tasting info has been under Q & A.

Now I am also in need of a quick response. I need a recommendation on Glenmorangie 12. I purchased a bottle on sale for $46 by phone and will pick it up tomorrow. I have the choice between sherry, port or madeira cask. Do you (or anyone else out there still awake tonight) have a recommendation on which one is the best?
Thanks, Jill

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Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Jan 04, 2006 2:42 am

Sorry, I don't have an opinion there, but I'm sure someone here will. Have you tried any other sherry-finished whiskies? If not, that might be a good start. Or the Port Wood. Or the Madeira Wood. I'm no use, am I?
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Postby MGillespie » Wed Jan 04, 2006 2:45 am

I would suggest either the port or Madeira finishes...only because the sherry cask finish really reminds me the Macallans, etc...and there are plenty of sherry finishes around. The port and Madeiras are just a bit rarer and more unusual...

Mark
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Postby jimidrammer » Wed Jan 04, 2006 2:53 am

Mark is right, there are lots of sherry finishes out there. I have only had the Madiera and it was just OK, kinda like a Glenlivet 12yo, but I would probably try the Port next myself. The one time a variety of finishes really is to Glenmorangie's advantage, a whole flight within one distillery. And speaking of Port, the Balvenie Portwood 21yo is an all time favorite that is worth its price, very rich, unique and satisfying.
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Postby Badmonkey » Wed Jan 04, 2006 5:35 am

The port finish is by far the one I enjoy most, followed by the madeira, with the sherry finish running a distant third. I often use the port finish as an introduction to single malts for friends who have burned their tongues on JW Red Label or worse.
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Postby Admiral » Wed Jan 04, 2006 10:28 pm

I echo Badmonkey's thoughts:

1. Port
2. Madeira
3. Sherry

Cheers,
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Postby Frodo » Thu Jan 05, 2006 6:08 pm

On the one hand, I liked Port the best. On the other, the Madiera finish is being replaced by the Burgandy finish, and is no longer in production. It's not bad, but I do like the port enough to recommend it.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Thu Jan 05, 2006 6:32 pm

Port for me too !
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recommendation

Postby Bob & Jill » Thu Jan 05, 2006 8:55 pm

Thanks all,
for your recommendations on which wood finish to try in a Glenmorangie 12. We went with the Port since that was the consensus. Tried it last night and were very pleased. It is remarkibly drinkable (almost too much---had to put the bottle back on the shelf, it was too tempting just to admire it while on the table). Bob thought it was quite festive like something you would offer during the holidays---fresh fruit cake came to mind.
Jill

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