Caol Ila 12 2006 North Star

Everything about Caol Ila, on paper, without trying their whisky spells disaster. It’s massive amounts of whisky pumped out industrially owned by a large company.

And yet… dammit if I don’t really enjoy their whisky. So I guess I gotta stop judging books by covers and all that. Oh, how my life would be different.

So today I’m reviewing Caol Ila 12 2006 North Star, a younger, cask strength Caol Ila that was aged in ex-bourbon casks. I’m personally such a big fan of the old Caol Ila Cask Strength that I’m still looking for a replacement. Found a few, but it’s all about the journey. Yeah, that’s what keeps me drinking.

I mean, since I stopped working in marketing, that’s kinda correct.

Let’s see how it tastes, shall we?

Price: N/A at the LCBO

Region: Islay

Cask Series 006

Distilled: August 2006

Bottled: October 2018

Cask Type: Refill Hogshead

Number of bottles: 250

Abv: 54.6%

Colour: 10Y 9/6

Nose: Mint chocolate, sea air, cereal, violets, cedar

Herbal and chocolate. I’m sold. We’re good.

Some floral, some cereal, some wood notes with water. It’s very diverse and has a lot of “nature walk” notes, for lack of my writing ability.

Taste: Fresh lemon juice, mint chocolate, peanut satay, brine, canned pears

A nice citrus, more chocolate and mint, and more peanut going on. Gets a bit saltier than I prefer. Fun story: I don’t like swimming in the ocean, because of the salt. And because of fish fucking in it all the time.

Water simplifies it and just pumps out the pear. It doesn’t take it well at all.

Finish: Cinnamon, brown butter, anise, leek soup, lime

Nice spice on the finish, some nuttiness and… ouch, nothing really else. Kinda falls into itself here. There’s a vegetal/earth/cream that nearly works but it’s kinda like trying to eat all of the Autumn foods at once.

Sure, I like pumpkin pie too, but not while having leek soup at the same time. And if you do… go talk to a doctor bud.

Conclusion: Bit shy, hard to get into it. As I tried different aspects I just wanted a stronger Caol Ila. The nose is great, the taste was a bit removed and sucks with water, and the finish has the elements there but doesn’t quite get it.

This is an example of a whisky that does some things right but is too light or does them all at once. Imagine if you could recite all the countries in the world. But you did it every single day. Sometimes it’s handy, most of the time it doesn’t, but we’re all impressed..


Scotch review #1161, Islay review #310, Whisky review #1787

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