Check the label. What the hell am I drinking? Caol Ila? Malt whisky? Nah…I don’t buy it.
This is simply a mindf*ck. I dare anyone to stick their nose in this glass and not believe they were dealing with an aged grain whisky.
For curiousity, if no other reason, I’d suggest snapping one of these up if opportunity presents. Last word from the distillery is that there are no plans to produce anything else unpeated in the future. Demand for the standard peated Caol Ila (5% of production being for single malt…95% for blending fodder) is simply too great right now. Shame really…this was a fun little experiment.
Nose: Big and rich in sweet barley notes, this has much more in common with an old grain whisky or mature rye than with a whisky from one of the most polarizing Scotch producing regions in the world. The malt notes you’d expect from a single MALT are sparse and almost seem to be lacking. In good conscience I have to say…bloody hell, is this sharp! Clean toasted sugar notes and a lovely coconut aroma up front (hmmm…ever had a Malibu and pineapple juice?). Smooth chocolate. A bit of lemon, very typical of Caol Ila. Lightly floral and a fair infusion of menthol/eucalyptus.
Hot and biting on delivery. Lemon sharp and anesthetizing (nearly lobotomizing, to be honest!). Shimmering grains and sweet vanilla pulled young and lively from the oak. Finishes surpringly rich in balance, and absolutely altogether pleasant.
Did I love it? Nah. Did I appreciate it? Hell yes. Surprising and enamoring. And I gotta ask…have you ever bought an abv this high?! Gawdamn, but this is ENORMOUS!
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Pat
Yes, I have bought an ABV that high…. Elijah Craig Barrel Proof 12 YO 70.1%.
I just bought and opened a bottle of the 17 YO CS Caol Ila unpeated, and given your comments I wonder if it is a product of the same still run, if they only did it once. Still too soon to pass judgement but certainly interesting. It would be great if you could compare the 2…
Personally I’m saving my money for the $600 Special Release NAS Craggamore!
Robert, this is really killing me—enough to do the rare type-out: I’m actually laughing out loud.
Oh, I thought he was serious. I’ve heard good reviews…
Take it as you wish. People are never really sure what to make of the things I say, including me.
Maybe I’ll buy two!
It’ll probably be Murray’s whisky of the year; I mean, what are the odds it isn’t at least as good as Northern Harvest?
Is there Anything that is not as good as CR NHR?
Well, Maybe Chivas Brother’s Blend or, of course, Lambertus…
It is a bit of a paradox; on paper, Northern Harvest is as good as ANYTHING Murray has ever tasted.
He’s probably still getting cheques in the mail from Crown Royal.
Wasn’t that $600 Cragganmore NAS one of the Diageo special releases last year?
No, I don’t think it was out last year (https://blog.thewhiskyexchange.com/2015/10/diageo-special-releases-2015-first-look/); ; there was like a 25 y.o. in 2014 though.
I thought it was just a big joke. Is there really a $600 overpriced Diageo offering?
I just checked around and according to Whisky Advocate blog it was part of the 2016 special release.
Hmmmm. With all the interest you guys are creating about this whisky, maybe I should try to get 3 bottles, putting one back to enjoy its rapid increase in value.