Caol Ila 'Unpeated Style,' 10 year old (2009 Release), 65.8%

Price: $60.00 Issue: Spring 2010 Reviewer: John Hansell

Caol Ila makes unpeated whisky for blenders, but it rarely gets bottled as a single malt. Here’s a very revealing opportunity to find out what Caol Ila tastes like without the smoke. Good viscosity and rather sweet, showing thick, honeyed vanilla, gobs of fruit (lemon drops, lime tart, ripe Bartlett pear, kiwi), mint jelly, and cut grass. Its sea influence finally emerges towards the finish with brine and just a hint of seaweed. Bruichladdich and Bunnahabhain are now bottling peated whiskies, and Caol Ila does just the opposite. This is an interesting diversion, but I am missing the added dimension of peat smoke in this Caol Ila.