Caol Ila 25!

Caol Ila 25

The World has changed. I feel it in the water. I feel it in the Earth. I smell it, in the air. Diageo – once the Sauron of all the drink companies, well known for neglecting maltheads, limiting their Scotch distilleries’ malt whisky portfolios to bare minimum and embarrassingly overpricing non-standard bottlings – are now firing out one affordable cracker after another. Following the Distillery Editions and good Feis Ile bottlings comes something I personally am wetting my pants about. Caol Ila 25.

How much is ‘affordable’ in Diageo Dictionary – I hear you shout. £500? No. £400? Nope. £300? Not really. The newest addition to the Caol Ila portfolio has the UK Recommended Retail Price of £135. For what it potentially could be it sounds rather reasonable. Another 25 year old Islay I can think of is Laphroaig 25 CS, costs about £240.

What do you think guys? I’ve never had a Caol Ila that was anything less than brilliant, it definitely is one of my favourite distilleries and my expectations are sky-high.

Lucas

Comments

  1. aaaargh, possibly the most annoying pricing possible.
    If it were down around £110-115 it would clearly be really good value (though probably still a little pricey for me + most).
    If it were £150-160 or more it would quite hard to justify the price tag when put alongside some excellent independents available for around £100 or less.

    Personally, think this is still a little above my price range for the moment, but if I find a decent summer job I may well be tempted.

  2. Probably should have also mentioned that the quality should obviously be fantastic, am a big fan of Caol Ila, never been disappointed yet. For all the concerns about price, Diageo seem to usually come good with at least the quality of older expressions.

    Excited about this one, may have to find a bar with it in or get a sample from somewhere!

  3. Looking forward to taste this against my 25yo CS OB Caol Ila that I have at home!

  4. I am really looking forward to this bottle. It is very cheap for a Diageo OB, but still after those Bladnoch forum bottles (Caol Ila 25 at £ 45 and 30 at £ 50) its still a lot of money.

    But then again, most of the Diageo OBs out of their standard range are very very good…

  5. They did release a 25yo not so long ago, though right? That might be what Havard mentioned. I’m sure there’s one in the Glenkinchie visitor centre shop for about £125.
    £135 is rather fantastic as far as value is concerned, however. Matthew and Sjoerd are correct in that you can get even older Caol Ila at a lower price from other sources, but always remember that the stock independents have to choose from when bottling is typically much smaller than those in the hands of the distillery owners and single casks are hit and miss by their very nature. A wider range of casks to vat, as I suspect is the case here, should mean a malt of more consistent quality and as I adore the 12yo, 18yo, Distiller’s Edition and 10yo Unpeated, I find myself craving this one rather badly, too.

  6. Agree with Sjoerd. I picked up a Bladnoch bottling of a 25yo Caol for £40 as a forum member after a tour of the Bladnoch distillery. Excellent stuff. Wouldn’t pay £140 to Diageo for this though.

    Tried the Inchgower Manager’s Choice – a Diageo snip at ‘only’ £200 – and its superb stuff. But is it any better than Cadenhead’s own bottling at £40 odd. Don’t think so.

  7. It might be worth it even at that price, given the awesomeness that is Caol Ila. I don’t know how often (if ever) anyone on this blog stops by http://www.guidscotchdrink.com, but I rookie-tasted a few Caol Ilas (including a 25 year old SMWS #53.95, 59.3% ABV bottling) for guidscotchdrink a little while ago and YUM:

    http://www.guidscotchdrink.com/2010/05/tasting-caol-ila.html

    slainte!

  8. lads

    anyone tasted this??

  9. James: my bottle was destilled in 1979 and bottled in 2005 and holds 58.4%, I payed about £130 here in Norway for it. It’s the best Caol Ila I have tasted, so I’m looking forward to see what this new 25yo can deliver.

  10. I don’t think his is such a bargain but if it turns out to be a cracker the price is at least okay.
    The only reason this is not as expensive as one of those silly manager’s choice bottles is simply that this is a release of 14000 bottles.
    I’m a little disappointed that Diageo bottled this expression at 43% and not at cask strenght. I’m curious to try it anyway.
    Here in germay it’s available already for a little less than 150 Euro.

  11. I guess we just all have to wait to try it first before we make up our minds:)

  12. [...] analysis. Lucas voted this his favourite and we both wondered at the price comparison with the new Caol Ila 25 year old (twice the price and only 43% strength) which he mentioned on his blog recently. I’ll have to [...]

  13. [...] analysis. Lucas voted this his favourite and we both wondered at the price comparison with the new Caol Ila 25 year old (twice the price and only 43% strength) which he mentioned on his blog recently. I’ll have to [...]

  14. We reviewed this bottling last week and I can confirm that it is indeed a cracker. Sure the price is beyond the similarly aged indie bottlings, but IOHO it is certainly worth it. A dram to savour and share with your best friends. Here’s our notes:

    http://caskstrength.blogspot.com/2010/07/25-alive.html

    Slainte,

    Neil
    http://www.caskstrength.net

  15. [...] analysis. Lucas voted this his favourite and we both wondered at the price comparison with the new Caol Ila 25 year old (twice the price and only 43% strength) which he mentioned on his blog recently. I’ll have to [...]

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