Hunter Laing Caol Ila Tasting Notes

Posted: June 27, 2013 in Caol Ila, Scotch Whisky A-G

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Caol Ila 2009 (7 year old) 50%

Refill Bourbon Hogshead/ Code: OMC2631/ Dist: Dec 2009 Btl: 2017/ Tasted: Mar 2017

A pleasant, malty, oily, full and dusty nose with oily/ tarry peat and hints of seaweed, iodine and sweet barley beneath. Wonderfully vibrant, salty and distinctly modern Caol Ila in character.

The palate is a little fresher but still relatively oily with white fruit, barley, sweet but dusty peat, malt and tar. It fills out rather well on the middle and gives it a good dense mouth-feel. Long, crisp, citric and salty (rock salt) but the richness of fruit and barley balances and underpins.

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Caol Ila 2009 (7 year old) 50%

Refill Bourbon Hogshead/ Code: OMC2632/ Dist: Dec 2009 Btl: 2017/ Tasted: Mar 2017

The nose is lighter than 2632 and more youthful with crisp, salt laden white fruit and subtle, herbal peat. Lightly malty with a touch of barley emerging.

The palate opens quite crisp, but there’s a sprinkling of granulated sugar. Showing more peat of the medicinal/ herbal variety, along with tar and subtle white fruits. A very salty middle leads into a lightly oiled but coastal finish with the gritty, dry peat smoke, salt and peppery white fruit lingering

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Caol Ila 2008 (8 year old) 50%

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2609/ Dist: Nov 2008 Btl: 2016/ Tasted: Dec 2016

A big hit of brine, medicinal peat, seaweed and astringent smoke greets the nose, but beneath is some barley sweetness. Quite ‘phroaig-like with hints of manure, coffee and cocoa. With time it becomes sooty in character but still wonderfully fresh.

The palate opens with a combination of coal and peat dust, followed by sweet oak, barley and hints of apricot and banana, all coated in a lovely ashy cloud! Fills out well on the middle as the oils arrive. Long and salty but subtly sweet too. Wonderfully balanced with a light medicinal and peat dust after-taste. For an 8 year old it has great depth, but £73 is a lot to ask for an 8 year old, even if it is very good.

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Caol Ila 1996 (16 year old) 50%

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2273/ Dist: Sept 1996 Btl: May 2013/ Tasted: June 2013

Quite dense and malty aromas with a lovely peppery spice and a soupçon of medicinal peat. Quite manuery and other with a touch of stewed apple.

The palate is full and sweetly peated with hints of earth, iodine, smoke and soot all underpinned by a dense baked fruitiness. Lovely length with peat fires and burnt wood notes in the finish along with a light coastal, bog myrtle intimation. Pleasantly fresh now with some light vanillins and a citrus twist.

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Caol Ila 1996 (17 year old) 50%

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2328/ Dist: Sept 1996 Btl: Oct 2013/ Tasted: Nov 2013

The nose is quite gentle and rubbery with mint. Iodine, bog myrtle and sweet peat with some sweet, duty violets. The aromas veer between oily and fresh with the oily toffee notes eventually dominating.

The palate is fresher and slightly coastal with seaweed, mint, bog myrtle, leafy herbs and sweet barley. Gently peated and oily with plenty of citrus on the middle. The peat becomes pleasantly sweet on the finish as hints of sweet violet appear. Lovely, dusty oak finish and although it’s relatively lightly peated, those peat notes definitely linger.

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Caol Ila 1996 (17 year old) 50%

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2352/ Dist: Sept 1996 Btl: Jan 2014/ Tasted: Feb 2014

The nose is quite subtle and botanical. So lightly peated it’s practically unpeated! That lack of peat allows the malt to show its unfettered citrus character. Wonderfully soft with a sprinkling of sea salt and developing honey glazed barbequed meat.

Like the nose the lack of peat allows the soft, summer barley to shine and the sugars to come through. Lovely depth, lightly oiled and lightly spiced. The alcohol, salt and citrus combine to give a mouth-watering finale and although the oak bitters a little at the death the sweet, violety stained fruit balances.

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Caol Ila 1997? (17 year old) 50%

Bourbon/ Code:OMC2373/ Tasted: May 2014

A classic, crisp and fresh nose of citrus and white fruit. Quite coastal and stringent with hints of method, mint and garden greens. Moderately peaked with lightly medicinal peat, tar and late notes of ozone lemon.

The palate is quite full with more oak influence. Lightly oiled and less effusive. Moderately coastal and tarry, but the oak is blanketing. It becomes a bit fresher as the salt comes through. Good, fresh finish as the spirit finally throws off the oak shackles – iodine, lightly medicinal peat and dusty/sooty peat. Light, coating, fish oil after-taste.

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Caol Ila 1994 (18 year old) 50%

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2305/ Dist: Sept 1994 Btl: Aug 2013/ Tasted: Sept 2013

Wow the nose reeks of, no not peat, but parma violets! Big dollops of sweet barley and rich apricot fruit, but those aromas are beaten into submission by the parma violets! With time hints of sweet but lightly manurey pet and a touch of smoke can be discerned along with some light fish oils, but it’s parma violet city!

The palate is quite full and fleshy with sweet apricot and yellow fruit, which is almost but not quiet tropical in character. The robust coastal peat arrives with plenty of sooty, woody smoke which curtails the fruit development but it leaves a lovely sweet, light (surprisingly) parma violet infused smoky finish.

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Caol Ila 1996 (18 year old) 50%

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2472/ Dist: Sept 1996 Btl: Apr 2015/ Tasted: May 2015

A fresh, grassy and effervescent nose of white fruit and citrus along with hints of lemon sherbet, light beeswax and phenolic peat.

The palate is a touch sweeter than the nose with lightly waxed lemon, iodine and sweet white fruit. Lightly peated with building brine notes on the middle. Good, menthol laced finish with lingering dusty peat and dusty violets.


Hunter Laing Hepburns Choice Caol Ila 2009 (5 year old) 46%

Bourbon/ European Oak Quarter Cask Finished

Code: HEP0118/ Dist: Dec 2009 Btl: Nov 2015/ Tasted: Dec 2015

Pungent aromas of burnt wood, malt, treacle, thick, oily peat. And crisp coastal notes. Lightly medicinal with manure violets and earthy notes.

Oily and full on the palate with barley, white fruit, apricot and soft, earthy peat. Hints of salt and tar follow with plenty of lovely violety notes on the middle. The malt has a lovely sweetness and balances the bracing coastal character. Long, fresh and continuing coastal and a lightly medicinal finish.

Hunter Laing Hepburns Choice Caol Ila 2008? (5 year old) 46%

Code: HEP0023/ Dist: ???? Btl: June 2014/ Tasted: July 2014

A youthful but full nose of lightly perfumed orange, sweet barley, fleshy apricot, Apple and malt. Lovely coastal astringency with a touch of lightly medicinal peat.

The palate is full and lightly oiled in the modern style. Hints of fleshy apricot, apple and barley. Lightly coastal with a touch of medicinal peat. Excellent length with the oils, iodine and sooty peat dust coating the mouth.

Hunter Laing Hepburns Choice Caol Ila 2008 (5 year old) 46%

Bourbon/ Code: HEP0057/ Dist: Dec 2008 Btl: Aug 2014/ Tasted: Sept 2014

Youthful aromas of lemon drops, nascent barley and light ‘off the still’ notes. Very lightly peated with hints of manure coming through with time.

The palate is like the nose – young and lightly oiled with hints of slightly soapy lemon, salt and barley. Reasonable length with the youthful notes lingering and finally a little woody-peat puts in an appearance.

Hunter Laing Hepburns Choice Caol Ila 2011 (5 year old) 46%

Refill Bourbon Hogshead/ Code: HEP0248/ Dist: May 2011 Btl: 2017/ Tasted: Mar 2017

A very fresh, briny and peaty nose with coastal infused white pear and apple. it develops some pleasant sweet peat and barley and eventually becomes quite estery.

The palate is softer and opens with sweet barley, apricot, pear and sweet peat. Like the nose it is quite estery and fruity with building peat smoke and salt. Lovely vibrancy and dusty sweet barley and peat smoke finish. Leaves a lovely residual saltiness.

Hunter Laing Hepburns Choice Caol Ila 2009 (6 year old) 46%

Bourbon/ Wine Finished?/ Code: HEP0205/ Dist: Sept 2009 Btl: July 2016?/ Tasted: Aug 2016

The nose open with the sweet red fruit and subtle peat. Lightly syrupy and oily with a balance seam of citrus. it becomes quite manurey and stinky with time with a touch of earth and tar.

Lovely, soft palate with again the syrup coated red fruit and subtle peat up first. Oily and tannic on the middle with plenty of wood spice and fish oils. Lightly phenolic finish with a lovely dusty/ sooty peat and salty finish. Pleasantly balanced.

Hunter Laing Hepburns Choice Caol Ila 2009 (6 year old) 46%

Bourbon/ Code: HEP0140/ Dist: Sept 2009 Btl: Aug 2016?/ Tasted: Sept 2016

The nose is quite sweet and barley’d with medicinal peat, iodine and a touch of smoked meat. It becomes quite tarry and salty with a developing manurey note.

The palate opens with the milky oak, barley and subtler medicinal peat notes. Full and chewy with a long, meaty, medicinal and salty finish.

Hunter Laing Hepburns Choice Caol Ila 2009 (7 year old) 46%

Bourbon/ Wine Finished

Code: HEP0233/ Dist: Sept 2009 Btl: 2016/ Tasted: Dec 2016

Heavy and oily aromas with tarry peat and subtle winey notes. The nose is a little discordant but strangely attractive with hints of granulated sugar coated manure! The peat becomes very prominent with time.

The palate opens with winey red fruit and syrup, followed by dusty peat, tar, coal and manure. Less discordant than the nose with a good intensity with developing coffee’d tannins. Long with buckets of drying peat dust, citrus, salt and finally sweet barley. Lovely progression.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s