Single malt whisky - tasting notes

19 Mar 2010

Caol Ila 1969/1986 for Meregalli

Posted by: Ruben Luyten In: Caol Ila

The Caol Ila distillery underwent a major renovation and upgrade between 1972 and 1974 and reopened with an increased number of stills (six instead of two). Pre-1974 Caol Ila is a must-try if you ever have the chance.

I had the chance to compare this with the Caol Ila 1969/1984 (G&M for Intertrade) (WF96) and although I agree that one is better, I don’t think the difference is very big.


Caol Ila 1969/1986 G&M Meregalli Caol Ila 1969 (54,6%, Gordon & MacPhail for Meregalli 1986, Celtic label)

Nose: a sharp kickoff with quite a lot of alcohol. It takes some time before it’s tamed. Rather mineral. High on wet carton and wet dogs. Distant smoke. Lemon juice. Oysters. Very medicinal as well, with iodine and disinfectant. With a few drops of water it becomes slightly flowery and when warmed up it even shows hints of white chocolate and thyme. Impressive complexity. Mouth: first there’s a wave of lemon juice. A second wave brings loads of smoke and ashes. A third wave is much sweeter with marzipan and marmalades. Some coffee. Really excellent and superbly balanced. Finish: sweet with salty notes, smoked tea and cloves, Very long.

I won’t say much more about this bottle. It’s simply a great old Caol Ila.

Score: 93/100

Caol Ila 1969/1986 for Meregalli 5 Ruben Luyten 2010-03-19
  • http://blog.thewhiskyexchange.com Tim F

    Caol Ila is definitely in my top 10 distilleries, and this sounds absolutely awesome. I’m preparing a feature on old Caol Ilas, but don’t think it’ll have anything as far back as this – great work Ruben, I’m jealous :)

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  • SK: And just to prove a point, all of the bottles are still available in places where they usually run out. Lets see how many will be still available whe
  • SK: 2 years ago I tried the Caol Ila 1982 from Archives. What a fantastic whisky. Since then I always try to stock these Caol Ila from the 80s. Sadly no
  • WhiskyNotes: The real problem is that Caol Ila isn't selling (mature) casks to independent bottlers any more, from what I've heard, so chances are low we'll see mo

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1680 notes by Ruben

WhiskyNotes - Ruben LuytenThis blog is my personal collection of impressions, written while searching for the ultimate single malt whisky.