A Stellar New Cask at a Strikingly Low Price
2010 Caol Ila 8 Year Old “Old Particular” KL Exclusive Single Refill Hogshead Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) ($59.99)
“We love young Caol Ila…this stellar barrel ranks up right up
there with any of the great young ones we’ve done.” — David Othenin-Girard
There’s no Scotch quite as pleasing and satisfying as a young Caol Ila. This 8-year-old rendition makes the case that Caol offers the best “bang for your buck” in terms of Islay drams. While Caol Ila may not command the same level of interest as Ardbeg or Laphroaig, that doesn’t mean they aren’t crafting spirits that are every bit as compelling. This refill hogshead cask is about as classic Caol Ila as you get. Its sweet malt flavors are accented by a delightful maritime influence, wisps of smoke, and just the right amount of savory spice. Our last cask of Caol Ila flew out of the door at $70 and here we have this one at $59.99. This is an outstanding value for a Scotch of this caliber. We’ve had some pretty spectacular single malts this season, but this bottling might be the best deal going. If you love the peated, sea-influenced single malts from Islay, then you simply must add this charming rendition to your cart.
Caol Ila is finally starting to get the credit it deserves in the wider whisky drinking world. Despite the extremely limited attention its owners give to the brand, we’ve seen a great number of casual drinkers begin to associate the name (however difficult it is to pronounce correctly), with excellent balanced peated malt. We’re always on the hunt for Islay’s other distillery both young and old, but we’re often seeing the prices exceeding the market’s threshold. While the quality is excellent nearly across the board, it remains true that Caol Ila doesn’t hold the weight that Laphroaig or Ardbeg might. We’d have written it off after the recent price increases were it not for the wonderful series of casks that we’ve managed to acquire from the Laing Brothers. Hopefully, it won’t stop any time soon. What’s particularly encouraging with regards to these casks is that their cost has gone down over the years, a rare occasion for any single malt. Part of this is due to the exchange rate and another part just thanks to our good negotiating skills, but it seems they’ve had good access to these stocks and so that means there’s room to play with the prices. We had no trouble moving last year’s cask of gorgeous smoldering young Caol Ila at $70. This particular cask on paper is nearly identical, but a solid 15% cheaper. The style here remains altogether coastal with tons of saltiness, sweet fruit, savory smoke and an unctuous maltiness. Easily the best value peater in the shop right now..
David Othenin-Girard | KL Staff Member | Review Date: December 21, 2019
The excellent quality of the spirit coming out of Caol Ila is well known to the whisky drinking world, but the wider community of drinkers is lucky to try the distillery bottlings as they’ve become relatively difficult to get and seem to be constantly out of stock at the distillery. We love young Caol Ila and have bottled casks as young as 5 years old and this stellar barrel ranks up right up there with any of the great young ones we’ve done. Somehow we were able to get the price down, despite all the craziness of tariffs and other complications, and this Caol Ila is absolutely singing at $60. The nose starts with pure peat, freshly cut. Oceany, but not too much sea spray, more as if you’re sitting on a rocky beach on a very calm bay. Seaweed and driftwood. Some sweet candied elements keep it festive. The palate starts very mossy. Sweet germinating malt, strong black pepper, savory sweet seaweed candy, earthy damp wood. With water we get saltier and the peat takes over from the seaweed. An underwater adventure in your glass.