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. — a month 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. — a month 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. — 6 months ago