Caol Ila Distiller’s Edition 2011

Caol Ila DE 2011 2

I’m quite picky with my pubs and bars. I have maps of Toronto that shows me places that actually have good whisky. Otherwise I have water. It’s very annoying to choose between either Johnnie Walker Red for 7$, Glenfiddich 12 for 10$, or Glenlivet 12 for 10$.

So when we ended up in a new bar in a different city this past weekend, I was ready for disappointment… Until I noticed that they had Caol Ila Distiller’s Edition on the shelf. Throwing caution to the wind (expecting a higher price than usual), I decided it was a good time to try out this dram.

Caol Ila DE 2011 1

Price: $99.95 (CAN)

Abv: 43%

Region: Islay

Year: 2011

Colour: Light pee

Nose: Chocolate, peat, Thai sweet Chili, spicy beef, vanilla, salt air, baked pastry

I just realized something: The flavours in this one is like if I tried to make a Steak & Ale pie with a molé sauce. Now I’m hungry. Thanks Caol Ila!

Taste: Brine, strawberries, peat, medicinal, chocolate, pepper, vanilla, lemon meringue, sour grapes, yoghurt

Opens up similar to the 12 with the fruit and smoke mixture. This one is a little more subdued and creamy. I like the change of pace on the flavour.

Finish: Steak spice, curry, smoke, bacon, cherry, cherry peppers, campfire

Less burning than the 12, which is appreciated. Very long finish, though somewhat one note. Like it’s missing the complexity in the taste, which is sad.

Conclusion: I have never actually had a Distiller’s Edition Scotch before, so I didn’t really know what to expect. Part of me thought it would this amazing, better version, and I think that’s why I’ve rated this one so low. It’s great, don’t get me wrong, but I was missing something on the finish, and I was expecting something far above the 12. That being said, that taste is really a great improvement, so I’m going to be hunting for some other Caol Ila offerings to see how they compare.

86/100

Scotch review #49, Islay review #20, Whisky Network review #69

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