Single malt whisky - tasting notes

26 Mar 2011

Caol Ila 1978 12yo (Cadenhead dumpy)

Posted by: Ruben Luyten In: Caol Ila

Independent bottlers are bringing out so many interesting bottles that we could easily fill the whole blog with nothing more than new indy releases. I know a lot of people are interested in such bottles (rather than old stuff that you can’t buy any more), but let’s take a small break anyway and taste a few interesting oldies.

This single cask Caol Ila was distilled in October 1978 and bottled by Cadenhead in October 1990. A second cask (better known) was filled and bottled at the same time (65,5%).

 

Caol Ila 12yo 1978 Cadenhead dumpyCaol Ila 12 yo 1978
(64,4%, Cadenhead 1990, dumpy bottle, 75 cl)

Nose: a rather soft nose considering the alcohol volume. Great old-style coal smoke, fern and moss. Some graphite. Coastal notes as well: seaweed, soft iodine, wet wool. Eucalyptus. Hints of almond oil to round it off. With water: slightly more lemony and slightly more fruity / fragrant with hints of mint. Mouth: very intense of course, oily and quite warming without water. Mild peat, a lot of leafy notes. Evolving on brine, mushrooms and hints of ink. Water brings out lemon balm and sweet notes (not exactly fruity though) with more smoke in the background. Finish: long, smoky but relatively simple with lemon and a salty edge.

This Caol Ila shows an impressive power but smoothness at the same time. Great old-style coal smoke as well. Worth around € 400 now.

Score: 88/100

Caol Ila 1978 12yo (Cadenhead dumpy) 4 Ruben Luyten 2011-03-26

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  • Irish Malt 1991 (The Whisky Fair)
  • Glen Flagler (70° proof)
  • Ben Nevis 1997 (Abbey Whisky)
  • Blair Athol 1993 (First Editions)
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  • Ben Nevis 2002 (Port cask #334)

1592 notes by Ruben

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