Like the well known Wendy’s commercial “Where’s the Beef?” from the mid-80’s – I wondered about the missing ingredient for Caol Ila’s Unpeated Style release. What would Caol Ila taste like without the peat and smoke? Would it be a bad thing or would is support that Caol Ila is more than just peat? This release is the 10 year old version from 2009 and is bottled at the upper reaches of the heat scale: 65.8% ABV. ~$65
Color: Light gold, tinge of yellow
Nose: Asian pears, coastal saltiness, citrus, medicinal alcohol burn, some oak
Palate: Big alcohol, honey sweetness, malty, for me it needs some water. After some water: much better, vanilla, lemon zest, creamy, spicy and prickly
Finish: Long with a zing of lemon and heat and some lingering spice
Comments: A big change from what we are all used to from Caol Ila. Overall it is very nice and a testament to Caol Ila by showing that their whisky is more than just peat and smoke. It is almost like finding a new distillery. This review is a little late in coming as there is now a 12 year old version. I can’t wait to give that a try and compare it to this release.