The mildest of the Diageo peated whiskies I've had so far. Definitely not the campfire peat monsters of Ardbeg, or the distinct maritime peat of Talisker, or the more medicinal peat of Lagavulin... The peat here comes off as sweet and aromatic, almost like incense. The body seems to be the lightest of the lot too (comparing apples and apples), although it's hard to say without seeing them all next to each other (definitely lighter than the Ardberg and even Glen Elgin here). Palate flavours are subtle in the Caol Ila, but citrus notes come through clearly. Finishes a touch short with a sort of grassy earthy quality that I quite enjoy. Not a blockbuster whisky, yet I find it quite drinkable.
NB: Better mixed 1:1 with the Ardbeg Wee Beastie. Seems to balance out the extreme smoke of the Ardberg, drawing out lovely saline notes. — 2 days ago
221/5/11 with chicken wing and feet, Shaoxing wine, goji berries and snap peas, omelette, etc. this started a bit severe, with Islay peat smoke and stone - not overly tertiary yet - and it opened and gained youthfulness with air. Plummy, woodland fruit, spices just peeking out around the edges, and a nice balancing acidity - still emerging from its middle-aged quiet phase, but quite enjoyable, and a lot of pleasure and interest for the money. — a month ago
Excellent. — 3 months ago
My first Ardberg and it left quite an impression. Gosh! This was like eating bacon and smoking cigars. Ron Swanson should be drinking this instead of Lagavulin 😂 Truly, it feels like someone decided to bottle up that campfire by the sea that's been drenched in bacon fat from dinner the night before. With water, the marine quality becomes more apparent, but that smoke just remains. Only with great concentration can one discern some fruit notes (citrus). The finish is just all about that endless peat. Surprisingly, this whisky was quite "smooth" despite all the extremities it brought. Definitely need to taste more Ardbegs to understand what's going on - not displeasing, but for now, Talisker's more up my alley in the category of peated whiskies. — 5 months ago
Smooth and simple — 2 months ago
What a monster! I'm pretty sure that's the reaction Ardbeg was looking for when they crafted this whisky (that name!). Similar profile to the 10 year old (bacon and cigar), but with the smoke character dialled way up. So much so that it drowns out everything else, even when water was added. The finish was a little harsh for me and definitely more unctuous than the 10, courtesy of a rather textural body. Interesting whisky, but not one I'd reach for. Definitely getting a better picture of the Ardberg signature at this point.
NB: Interestingly, it made a great 1:1 mixer with the Coal Ila 12, pulling out lots of marine and earthy flavours. — 2 days ago
5th in the tasting. First of the peat. Really nicely done. Not overly peaty. FYI supposedly the 12 is as good at a better price. Craziest thing I heard? Try the Nikka 21 with sushi. Not sure how we got here and on this topic but I think it was due to the peat/no peat differences. This is one that Start said he always has for company. He also called out the Macallan 25 and Reflection (not a house whiskey obviously but there for special occasions). I noted I need to come over more often! I’m rating higher due to the hint of peat. — 3 months ago