Caol Ila SMWS 53.236 “Culinary Cannonballs”

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Thanks to /u/xile_ for this sample.

Blah blah been on a Caol Ila kick blah blah noted I needed more blah blah less peat blah blah fornication with a goat blah blah never allowed in Kuala Lampur again.

I’ve said it before: I’m trying to catch up on the little distillery that I seemingly loved the first two drams I had and then never went back to.

Luckily others have been very nice in swapping me samples to fill in the gaps. This one, like a few of the samples I go for nowadays is from SMWS. For those of you debating, if you are already hunting for different IBs and need whiskies that have good quality, then I say the membership is worth it.

That’s not to say each and every dram is perfect. Rather I find that you can find some great gems and otherwise good whiskies in it.

That’s certainly not setting me up for a fail, is it?

Let’s see how Caol Ila SMWS 53.236 “Culinary Cannonballs” is all about. I personally have never had a Cannonball, Culinary or not, so I’m a little lost what this will taste like.

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Price: $191.99 CAD

Date Distilled: November 1999

Age: 16

Cask Type: Refill hogshead

Outturn: 264

Region: Islay

Abv: 64.1%

Colour: 5Y 9/6

Nose: Smokey molasses, white cake, floral, gunpowder, caramel, crab apple, spearmint

This is certainly closer to what I like in Caol Ila. The brash, strong peated flavours, versus what I’d call a “little brother” syndrome almost when comparing it to other Islay distilleries.

Quite interesting nose. Don’t usually have crab apple. It’s quite smokey.

Taste: Strawberry, molasses, smoked paprika, maple syrup, grape, almond

More smoke, somewhat nutty, and fruity. I’m feeling like the smoke is backing off a little, which I was a little worried about.

Note was. Why did I write Note Was? No idea. This settles into more of a Caol Ila profile flavour for me.

Finish: Smoked chocolate, smoke, pear, black cherry, smoke, leather, brown butter, smoke

Holy fucking smoke man! This went from a dram with a nice dram with a big nose and an okay taste to… well too much smoke. It gets everywhere. It’s like ants in your mouth.

Conclusion: Oh, so you meant Cannonball as in this hits, and in the aftermath you’re quite discombobulated and then everything smells like smoke.

It’s not a bad dram. Well most of it isn’t. The nose has some interesting notes. It’s started to develop while keeping a brash peatiness to it.

And then we find out what happens when you fly to high. You eventually pass out because the air is really thin.

I mean, the sun is 149.6 million km away. Icarus is bullshit. Good luck next time, hopefully they can calm that finish down a lot more.


Scotch reviews #552, Islay review #126, Whisky Network reviews #912

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