Two Caol Ila’s from my birth year today! There’s always something special about tasting whisky from the same year as you were born, I have no idea why, it just seems to be the case.
But it gets harder and harder as you go on and, in fact, both of these bottlings were bottled a little while ago.
I can’t repeated enough that Caol Ila, when on form, can be just as good as any other Islay whisky and can often have recognisable elements of Laphroaig, Ardbeg or Lagavulin to it. It’s incredibly versatile.
Caol Ila 1993 Murray McDavid Aficionados 59.1%
Colour: Light Gold
Nose: Soft creamy smoke, smoky vanilla pod, a little spice- green peppercorns, clean bandages.
Taste: Citrus lemon arrival, dry then amazingly soft with creamy smoke balancing well with the cutting citrus component. Quite a Rich mouthfeel to this. Really doesn’t feel like almost 60% either!
Finish: More malty, dry and spicy.
Bottled at 13yo and stored in glass. Aceo are the company that now own Murray McDavid and they do bottlings for many other people. This one was something someone had bottled but then didn’t do anything with, so it was just sitting around in the warehouse.
Caol Ila 1993 A.D.Rattay 55.7%
Nose: Creamy and sulphury and smoky and awesome. Very little sweetness and fruit, maybe a little freeze dried raspberry, inner machine sludge and peat, earthy AF. A meatiness coming out now with bacon cooking away in the next room (and yes, its as delicious as it sounds).
Taste: Power power power, loads of smoke, but really really well balanced and complex, earthy, thick and oily, a little Sherry, meaty with bacon again. So great. The balance achieved with the massive power is quite striking.
Finish: Long length. Softens out nicely, some dryer oak, juicy raisin. Lovely.
Bottled at 18yo from a Sherry cask. What a Caol Ila! Never fails to amaze how good their whisky can be! Many thanks to the Toronto Whisky Society for the night of amazing drams!
Thanks for reading!
Scotch Reviews #809-#810
Whisky Network Reviews #963-#964
Network Average: 75.1
Best Score: 94
Worst Score: 12
60-64 Just About OK
65-69 Ok to Good
75-79 Very Good
Full Disclosure Disclaimer: I currently work as the Global Brand Ambassador for Penderyn Distillery. The views expressed here are purely my own and do not reflect the views of Penderyn Distillery or The Welsh Whisky Company. I try to maintain as much objectivity as I can but feel free to take my reviews with as big a pinch of salt as you like. Furthermore, my rating scale is NOT based on a Parker type wine scoring scale or a school/college/university % or A-F grade score. You can find more on my scoring here. I apologise for any seemly low or 'bad' scores given with my system and I am sorry I can't say only nice things. Please keep in mind that I am ethically compromised and I am unable to produce 100% unbiased reviews.