Not a member? - Register and login now.
All registered users can read our entire magazine archive.

Which Caol Ila to buy?

All your whisky related questions answered here.

Which Caol Ila to buy?

Postby kbanifaz » Tue Jan 09, 2007 1:40 am

I'm very interested in trying either the 12 year or Signatory 1991. I wanted to know if anyone has tried both and had a preference, maybe can give me their notes on them.

I guess the second part of the question is should I even buy Caol Ila or is there another Islay you guys recommend. I've never tried an Islay by the way.
kbanifaz
New member
 
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2007 11:18 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA USA

Postby lbacha » Tue Jan 09, 2007 1:52 am

I would recommend going to your local bar and trying one before you get a bottle, Caol Isla is a fairly strong Islay so if you want to start with something that has the character but not all the kick try a Bunnahavain, not nearly as much peat. If you want a complex and IMHO amazing dram try Lagavulin 16.

Just my thoughts.

I will add that Caol Isla 12 was my first Islay and I'm hooked on anything from Islay and have been since that first dram so. I guess ignore what I said earlier and go for the 12 it is good stuff, and if it worked for me I'm sure it will work for you.

Len
lbacha
Gold Member
 
Posts: 626
Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 11:14 am
Location: Cleveland, Ohio USA

Postby Di Blasi » Tue Jan 09, 2007 2:20 am

Yes I too would recommend going to a bar to taste a few different Islays, and other whiskies you're interested and curious about before buying a bottle and finding it's not the one for you.
Di Blasi
Cask Strength Gold Member
 
Posts: 3741
Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2005 11:16 pm
Location: Brussels, Belgium

Postby kbanifaz » Tue Jan 09, 2007 2:24 am

Thanks for that. That's a really good point, except I have not been at a bar in my area that carries Caol Ila, and I'm not sure I can go for Ardbeg or Laphroaig at the moment.

I was also thinking about Bruichladdich, it seems that it's a bit milder but still a good Islay. What do you guys think of Bruich
kbanifaz
New member
 
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2007 11:18 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA USA

Postby Oliver » Tue Jan 09, 2007 2:36 am

I got myself the Caol Ila OB 12 -- not bad at all, and better than the 18 imho, however it does not hold a candle to the similarly priced (at least in the US) Laphroaig quarter cask....
Just my 2 centimes....... :wink:
Oliver
Silver Member
 
Posts: 341
Joined: Sat Aug 03, 2002 1:01 am
Location: No Longer New Orleans, USA

Postby EdipisReks » Tue Jan 09, 2007 2:44 am

the 1990 Whisky Galore bottling is very good.
EdipisReks
Bronze Member
 
Posts: 164
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2006 12:23 am
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

Postby Wave » Tue Jan 09, 2007 2:55 am

The Caol Ila 12 ob is by far my favorite. The Signatory Unchillfiltered's I've tried ('90, '91 and '94) have all been very good but it's the CI 12 I always come back to. :wink:


Cheers!
User avatar
Wave
Double Gold Member
 
Posts: 1860
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2006 6:57 am
Location: Illinois, USA

Postby peergynt323 » Tue Jan 09, 2007 3:09 am

I prefer the signatory UCF, but the 12yo is good too--a little less flavorful.
User avatar
peergynt323
Gold Member
 
Posts: 754
Joined: Wed Nov 08, 2006 11:57 pm
Location: Wildomar, CA

Postby kbanifaz » Tue Jan 09, 2007 3:20 am

Would you recommend the caol over Lagavulin?

I'm looking at what my local store has, and I'm thining of stopping by and picking one up. With out price being an issue which would you go for?
kbanifaz
New member
 
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2007 11:18 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA USA

Postby Oliver » Tue Jan 09, 2007 3:29 am

The caol Ila 12 over the lagavulin 16 is that it? That's a tough one, because althought the Lagavulin has slipped big time... its still a difficult decision.... I say go with the Lagavulin -- or better yet try a Laphroiaig, the 10 the CS 10 or the Quarter cask --all better drams than both IMHO.

Cheers!
Oliver
Silver Member
 
Posts: 341
Joined: Sat Aug 03, 2002 1:01 am
Location: No Longer New Orleans, USA

Postby kbanifaz » Tue Jan 09, 2007 3:33 am

I might do that. What's the difference in taste between Laphroaig 10 and the CS. Is it just stronger flavours or different. I can't find the QC nearby, but I think I can get the CS.
kbanifaz
New member
 
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2007 11:18 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA USA

Postby peergynt323 » Tue Jan 09, 2007 3:41 am

kbanifaz wrote:Would you recommend the caol over Lagavulin?

I'm looking at what my local store has, and I'm thining of stopping by and picking one up. With out price being an issue which would you go for?


Lagavulin by a very long nose. :wink:
User avatar
peergynt323
Gold Member
 
Posts: 754
Joined: Wed Nov 08, 2006 11:57 pm
Location: Wildomar, CA

Postby peergynt323 » Tue Jan 09, 2007 3:42 am

kbanifaz wrote:I might do that. What's the difference in taste between Laphroaig 10 and the CS. Is it just stronger flavours or different. I can't find the QC nearby, but I think I can get the CS.


They are worlds apart in my mind. If you dilute the cask strength down to 40%, it's hard to tell they come from the same distillery. Awesome dram.
User avatar
peergynt323
Gold Member
 
Posts: 754
Joined: Wed Nov 08, 2006 11:57 pm
Location: Wildomar, CA

Postby Mr Fjeld » Tue Jan 09, 2007 3:45 am

I don't know but if you find it hard to decide on which to buy you could look if it's possible to get hold of the 20cl bottle of Caol Ila 12. Perhaps even one of the Lagavulins are available in 20cl in your area?

I love both and think that it doesn't matter which one you get - you'll probably get the other one later anyway :wink:
I've only had two Caol Ilas and that is the OB 12yo and a Dun Bheagan 12 Cask Strength which both are stunning whiskies. I've heard the OB cask strenght is also very good.

I've tried two Lagavulins - the 16 and the 12 and both are very good. The 16 benefits from a little sherry cask character and the 12 which is purely bourbon cask matured is also very good - and cask strength.

Good luck!
Mr Fjeld
Cask Strength Gold Member
 
Posts: 4249
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2005 2:08 pm

Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Jan 09, 2007 3:46 am

Bruichladich and Bunnahabhain are perfectly nice drams, but aside from a few odd bottlings are quite outside what is usually being discussed as the Islay style. By all means go down to the pub and try any Ardbeg, Lagavulin, or Laphroaig, just to get a rough idea what you're getting into. If any of those seem too over-the-top for you, try a Bowmore, a somewhat gentler Islay. And try not to be too put off if any of those are a shock to you; try them again in a month or two. Sometimes lingering in the memory for a while is all it takes for you to enjoy it next time.
Deactivated Member
 

Postby kbanifaz » Tue Jan 09, 2007 3:53 am

Thanks alot fellas. I'm gonna go for the Laphroaig CS, just take the plunge sort of speak.

I've heard great things about it, so even if it's a bit rough at first I'm sure I'll get a taste for it later. I just want to try something different.

Let you know how it goes
kbanifaz
New member
 
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2007 11:18 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA USA

Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Jan 09, 2007 4:14 am

Attaboy! Straight into the deep end. You'll figure out how to swim as you go along! :wink:
Deactivated Member
 

Postby kbanifaz » Tue Jan 09, 2007 7:33 am

I just had a dram of Laphroaig C/S. Other then the initial explosion I felt on my tongue, I thought it was lovely. Mixed a bit of mineral water, swirled it around a bit and it was fantastic.

I've seen so many weired reviews on the islays, especially Laphroaig, that I kind had been staying away from the stuff. It takes a few sips to get used to, I love the smokey aroma and flavor. I might try the regular 10 yr and see how that one is.

While I spend the next week or so exploring this smokey delight, what do you guys think I should go for next?

I was thinking giving Ardbeg a try.

I think I'm going to finish another dram and hit the sack.
kbanifaz
New member
 
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2007 11:18 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA USA

Postby Mr Fjeld » Tue Jan 09, 2007 8:47 am

kbanifaz wrote:
I was thinking giving Ardbeg a try.

I'm thinking you are choosing the right path :D

Glad to see you like the Laphroaig 10 CS! But remember to check out the other Islay whiskies as well. There's a time and place for everything and every now and then it's nice to relax with a whisky that doesn't try to grab you by the throat and throw you around. Caol Ila 12, Bruichladdich 3D, Bowmore 17 and Lagavulin 16 should do the trick.

........and if you wish to learn about the fantastic island of Islay and it's history, the places and people and the distilleries you should read "Peat, Smok & Spirit" by Andrew Jefford. You can get it here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Peat-Smoke-Spir ... F8&s=books
Mr Fjeld
Cask Strength Gold Member
 
Posts: 4249
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2005 2:08 pm

Postby si_peacock » Tue Jan 09, 2007 2:43 pm

Don't you love it when someone new finds Laphroaig? Really glad you enjoyed the CS mate.

It takes me back to the first time i tried it. Memories...!

Love some whisky, hate some whisky, ambivalent about some whisky. Islay are the ones i always come back to and Laphroaig would be my 'house' whisky i guess.

Enjoy

Si
si_peacock
New member
 
Posts: 70
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2004 2:17 pm
Location: London, UK

Postby Choochoo » Tue Jan 09, 2007 4:41 pm

[quote="kbanifaz"]While I spend the next week or so exploring this smokey delight, what do you guys think I should go for next?[quote]

Sometimes going from one smokey Islay to another for the first time can alter ones perspective a little. Perhaps wait on getting the Ardbeg 10 for a time when the Laphroaig c/s wouldn't be such a large factor in comparison.

If you are able to find it in your area, I'd strongly recommend looking for either a Ardbeg Uigeadail or a Talisker Distilers Edition. These whisky's are also smokey, but were aged in casks that used to hold sherry wine, therefore the whisky has a great mix of smoke & sherry sweetness to them. Either would be a good whisky to try, and could stand on it's own, with still some similarities to the Laphroaig c/s.
Choochoo
Silver Member
 
Posts: 405
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2006 9:33 pm
Location: West Hartford, CT

Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Jan 09, 2007 5:01 pm

Another tack...find something unpeated, cask strength, unchillfiltered (if you don't already have such). Have a dram of it after the Laphroaig. It's very interesting how the order in which you try things affects your perception of them. With all of the emphasis placed on palate-clearing and attempting to isolate each dram and taste it "objectively", I think this is an underappreciated avenue of enjoyment.

(And a nod to posters Bob & Jill, not seen in these parts for several months, who started a thread on "sequencing" here.)
Deactivated Member
 

Postby peergynt323 » Tue Jan 09, 2007 8:12 pm

Uigeadail is Ardbeg's parallel to the 10yo CS. I find them equally as enjoyable...depends on which kind of phenols I'm in the mood for.
User avatar
peergynt323
Gold Member
 
Posts: 754
Joined: Wed Nov 08, 2006 11:57 pm
Location: Wildomar, CA

Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Jan 09, 2007 8:20 pm

Caol Ila is one of my favourite drams, but I prefer this when bottled at Cask Strength. I do usually like to add a little water to it, but not much and it does take water very well!
Deactivated Member
 

Postby TheLaddie » Wed Jan 10, 2007 12:46 am

Probably worth working round some of the basic stuff. It's worth trying the basic expressions first to explore the distillery character and proably cheaper than diving in to the other expressions staright away.

If you try a Lagavullin 16, Ardbeg 10, Bruichladdich 12, Caol Ila 12, Bunnahabhain 12 and a Bowmore 12 you will have experienced most of the many tastes of Islay without spending a lot of money as all are pretty reasonably priced. Once you have found the styles you really like then move onto the different expressions from your favourite distilleries.
TheLaddie
Gold Member
 
Posts: 739
Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2006 3:00 am
Location: Bawtry, South Yorkshire, UK

Postby Drrich1965 » Wed Jan 10, 2007 2:47 am

Caol Ila is very different in nature, to me, than the other Islay drams. All are wonderful, but none have the olive quality that Caol Ila has, for better or worse, and that white pepper quality (which is stronger even in Port Ellen). The 19yo McGibbons at http://www.binnys.com is cheap and an aboslute stunner.
Drrich1965
Gold Member
 
Posts: 881
Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2006 9:34 pm
Location: Tacoma, WA

Postby Mr Fjeld » Wed Jan 10, 2007 3:58 am

Drrich1965 wrote:Caol Ila is very different in nature, to me, than the other Islay drams. All are wonderful, but none have the olive quality that Caol Ila has, for better or worse, and that white pepper quality (which is stronger even in Port Ellen). The 19yo McGibbons at http://www.binnys.com is cheap and an aboslute stunner.

BINGO! I've been in love with the twelve since I recently bought my first 20cl bottle - and I'm now into my third. What you say abuot olive is something that struck me as the quality I couldn't put my finger on before you said it above: Kalamati olive oil with its peppery taste! And it's soooo nice!
Mr Fjeld
Cask Strength Gold Member
 
Posts: 4249
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2005 2:08 pm

Postby Drrich1965 » Wed Jan 10, 2007 5:13 am

Mr Fjeld wrote:
Drrich1965 wrote:Caol Ila is very different in nature, to me, than the other Islay drams. All are wonderful, but none have the olive quality that Caol Ila has, for better or worse, and that white pepper quality (which is stronger even in Port Ellen). The 19yo McGibbons at http://www.binnys.com is cheap and an aboslute stunner.

BINGO! I've been in love with the twelve since I recently bought my first 20cl bottle - and I'm now into my third. What you say abuot olive is something that struck me as the quality I couldn't put my finger on before you said it above: Kalamati olive oil with its peppery taste! And it's soooo nice!


It is nice, and for me, so very different than the other Islays. While Lag, Laph, and Ardbeg are very different from one another, if I have at least one of them open, I do not horribly (well, a bit mabye) miss having the others open. Caol Ila though, I like to have open as well. It is also nice that there are so many different Indys, each with its own personality, and rarely are they too expensive (at least in the US).
Drrich1965
Gold Member
 
Posts: 881
Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2006 9:34 pm
Location: Tacoma, WA

19 yo McGibbons

Postby IanRWilliams » Wed Jan 10, 2007 9:48 am

I've just been on the Binny's website and can't find the 19yo Port Ellen from McGibbons. Or am I looking for the wrong thing? Love to try it.
IanRWilliams
New member
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Dec 12, 2006 8:16 am
Location: NYC/LA

Postby kbanifaz » Wed Jan 10, 2007 10:37 am

I also wasn't able to find it.

I will definitly try the Caol Ila, I've heard good things, haven't seen any postings of anyone not liking the caol Ila's.

The Laph C/S has been very interesting. I've gone from being shocked and intrigued by it to finding it just overly strong. The first dram was very nice and was a very new experience. I'm on my fifth since I've bought it, and seems way too firey even with a good amount of water. It seems like it changes everytime I try it and seem to pick up the sea weed and saltyness this time. My original feel was just smoke, peat and lots of fire. Very interesting and I definitly want to try more Islays, specially Caol Ila.
kbanifaz
New member
 
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2007 11:18 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA USA

Postby Wave » Wed Jan 10, 2007 1:28 pm

Drrich1965 wrote:Caol Ila is very different in nature, to me, than the other Islay drams. All are wonderful, but none have the olive quality that Caol Ila has, for better or worse, and that white pepper quality (which is stronger even in Port Ellen). The 19yo McGibbons at http://www.binnys.com is cheap and an aboslute stunner.


I think Drrich was talking about the Caol Ila 19yo McGibbons (Provenance?) of which Binny's does have. I'm not really fond of older CI's as the younger ones hold my heart! :wink:

On the other hand Binny's does have a Provenance Port Ellen 1982-21yr Old that I saw there just this last weekend. A beautiful dark sherrycasked, I might just have to get one myself! :D


Cheers!
User avatar
Wave
Double Gold Member
 
Posts: 1860
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2006 6:57 am
Location: Illinois, USA

Postby Drrich1965 » Wed Jan 10, 2007 3:07 pm

Wave is correct. Here is how it is listed.


Provenance Caol Ila 1981-19yr Old

750ML $49.99/btl $284.94/case Buy

It is MacGibbons Provenence..
Drrich1965
Gold Member
 
Posts: 881
Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2006 9:34 pm
Location: Tacoma, WA

provenance/caol ila

Postby IanRWilliams » Wed Jan 10, 2007 9:13 pm

Ah yes, thanks.

As a relative newbie, I'm still trying to get all the bottlers straight.
IanRWilliams
New member
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Dec 12, 2006 8:16 am
Location: NYC/LA

Return to Questions & Answers

Whisky gift and present finder