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Caol Ila 14 Year Old Unpeated Sherry Cask

The latest incarnation of the yearly cask strength 'unpeated' Caol Ila produced as part of Diageo's Special Releases selection. This time it's been aged for 14 years in ex-sherry casks, filled in 1997. There's not a lot of sherried Caol Ila out there and this might be our pick of this year's range.

Distiller's Tasting Notes: Caol Ila 14 Year Old Unpeated Sherry Cask

Color: Clear, bright gold with copper lights.

Nose: Mild; cautious yet complex. A faint early whiff of Caol Ila smoke soon fades. Gentle early softness (vanilla, sweet oat biscuits with apricot jam) is edged away by a fruity sharpness (lemon and lime zest, ripe Victoria plums, rhubarb or gooseberry). A late hint of treacle toffee? Greater depth with water: first there’s sweet fruit salad, then a honeyed note; imagine slowly-growing sharp notes of stewed rhubarb with soft vanilla cream (or are they winey, then waxy notes with fresh straw?).

Body: Medium, rich. Coating and comforting, with water.

Palate: Immediate and intense: a smooth texture, with rich sweetness; gooseberry crumble or crisp, white grapes are the jewels in a rich, honeyed setting. Becoming bitter-sweet (more treacle toffee), all with a distinct, drying maritime saltiness. In all, a warming and spicy mouthfeel. Water cools things and develops the flavour well. Not as sweet, salty or bitter, but still displaying all three. Fresh and clean.
Finish: Medium length, sweet, yet drying. Water reveals a smooth, aromatic combination of sweet and bitter notes on a soft, digestive biscuit base, with late orange blossom.

Whiskey Details
Store Product: 
14 years old
Years in finishing cask: 
Oak Finish: 
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