Whisky Review: Caol Ila 18 Year Old

Caol Ila 18 Year Old

The Caol Ila 18 Year Old is a smooth, warm, well-balanced Islay single malt. The Caol Ila distillery is located near Port Askaig and was founded in 1846 by Hector Henderson. Initially the Caol Ila struggled, and changed hands a couple of times before it was acquired by Bulloch Lade & Co. By the late 19th century, Caol Ila’s fortunes had changed, and the distillery was producing more than a hundred thousand gallons of whisky every year. The Caol Ila 18 Year Old is evocative of the scenic cove where the distillery is located, overlooking the water, with beautiful green hills in the backdrop.

In the bottle, the Caol Ila 18 Year Old is warm gold in colour. When I uncapped the bottle, I was greeted by a nicely blended, warm aroma of peat, flowers, lemon, and apricot, with overtones of burnt oak. There’s something herbal in here too, or maybe that comes from those floral notes I can detect.

The Caol Ila 18 Year Old tastes as smooth as it looks, and despite the presence of peat, it is very well balanced and quite mellow. Beginning whisky drinkers sometimes have difficulty with peat (in fact, some veteran whisky drinkers find it overpowering). Personally, I enjoy peat, but I also like when it doesn’t take over a dram. I can also taste that burnt wood, but I don’t taste the flowers and fruits very clearly. They are probably part of what is balancing out the peat, but they are so well blended it is hard to detect individual notes. There is a sea-like saltiness adding even more flavour.

It’s a very balanced dram featuring a lot of different elements which interact to form a delicious, warm, comforting whole. I think the Caol Ila 18 y.o. would appeal to a lot of different palates, including those who love peat and those who enjoy it, but in moderation only. A great drink for new or veteran whisky connoisseurs. The only drawback is the price, which can range around $100.


Colour: Warm gold.

Nose: Burnt wood, flowers, lemon, apricot, peat.

Palate: Burnt wood, peat, salt, subdued notes of flowers and fruits.

Gurkha Legend Robusto

Gurkha Legend Robusto

Origin : Dominican RepublicGurkha
Format : Robusto
Size : 5 x 50
Wrapper : Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro
Filler : Cameroon
Binder : Dominican
Price : ~$5.00 each

Appearance : ★★★★☆
The Gurkha Legend Robusto looks good enough. A nice band, a matte wrapper with minimal veining and slightly visible seams. The cigar is comprised of Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro wrapper of medium brown color with a pale reddish tint. It is a blend of various aged Dominican filler leaves bound with Cameroon leaf. A very bold band covers this cigar.

Read the full review of Gurkha Legend Robusto...

Sunday’s Cigar Cartoon: “obsessed collector”

Obsessed collector

A new La Casa del Habano opens in Belgium

La Casa del Habano Gent opening

In May 2013, Belgian cigar aficionados got some exciting news - another La Casa del Habano boutique was opened, now in Gent. This country now boasts three 'casas' - the other two can be found in Antwerp and in Knokke. You might already have heard about the Knokke's boutique, managed by Dominique Gyselinck and Frédéric Dechamps. The same team is behind the Gent's shop, so if you're passing by don't forget to have a look (Google Maps >) at their range of fresh Habanos.

Photo (left to right): Dominique Gyselinck, Tony Hoevenaars (Cubacigar's CEO), Frédéric Dechamps, Madame Mirtha Hormilla Castro (Cuba's Ambassador in Belgium) and Monsieur Néstor Valera ("La Casa del Habano" franchise director).

Davidoff Puro D’Oro Notables

Davidoff Puro D'Oro Notables #1

DavidoffOrigin : Dominican Republic
Format : Corona Gorda
Size : 5 5/8 x 46
Wrapper : Dominican Republic
Filler : Dominican Republic
Binder : Dominican Republic
Price : ~$15 each
More info about purchasing Davidoff Puro d'Oro cigars...

Launched back in late April of 2010, the Davidoff Puro D’Oro Series is credited to the famous Hendrik Kelner. According to the April 13, 2010 issue of Cigar Insider the wrapper leaves for these cigars are “grown in Yamasá, an area of the Dominican Republic north of the capital city of Santo Domingo and far from Santiago and its surrounding tobacco fields.” This cigar by far bears the darkest wrapper in the Davidoff Collection (minus the maduro line). Also, worth noting is that at that time the Puro D'Oro was the first new Davidoff release in more than 10 years (since then, the brand released many more new blends).

These cigars are available in four different vitolas: Magnificos 5 1/8 x 52 (review by Ed); Sublimes 4 ½ x 38; Deliciosos 4 7/8 x 43 (review by Inspector) and the Notables 5 5/8 x 46 which I am reviewing today.

The packaging is in the old Cuban style of slab boxes with 25 (cigar wheels) wrapped in a yellow silk band bearing the name Davidoff.

Read the full review of Davidoff Puro D’Oro Notables...

Cordoba & Morales Family Reserve

Cordoba & Morales

Origin : Nicaragua
Cordoba & Morales cigarsFormat : Torpedo
Size : 6 1/4 x 52
Wrapper : Ecuadorian Habano
Filler : Nicaragua (Blend of Tobacco from Estelí, Condega and Jalapa regions)
Binder : Nicaragua (Estelí region)
Price : $8 MSRP

These cigars were sent to me by Córdoba & Morales Cigars LLC to review. They arrived as we were headed into winter so they have been in my humidor resting since November of last year. I want to thank them for sending me 3 samples to review. It’s always nice when I can smoke more than one so that I can ensure that I just didn’t catch a bad day or a bad cigar. It also helps in getting a feel for consistency.

The cigars are blended by brothers Azarias Mustafa Córdoba and Osniel Mustafa Córdoba from Pinar Del Rio Cuba whose family has been growing tobacco for generations. The name of the company takes on the last names of their grandmother Celestina Cordoba Morales from which the brothers learned much of what they know. They now manufacture their cigars in Estelí, Nicaragua using fillers from three different regions in Nicaragua... Estelí, Condega and Jalapa. Their binder is from Estelí and they use Ecuadorian habano wrapper for their Family Reserve.

Read the full review of Cordoba & Morales Family Reserve...

Sunday’s Cigar Cartoon: “extra aging”


The Lies Behind The Smoking Bans

The Lies about the smoking bans

The anti-smoking lobby has always had a way of making noise - and why wouldn't they? Just like the old expression, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.” This lobby knows that their goal will never be met unless they can rally enough attention for their cause. If you take a step back and look at the situation from their point of view, being so rowdy absolutely makes sense.

The problem arises when you stop to consider the actual tactics being employed by the anti-smoking lobby; the crux of their argument essentially boils down to absolute fear mongering. The lobby likes to focus on two main arguments - the health risks of smoking, especially second hand smoke to non-smokers in public areas, and the potential negative economic impact resulting from a widespread ban. However, the truth behind these arguments can be tenuous, at best.

Going through each one of these points and really taking a close look at the assertions being made and the sources that supporters of these claim pull from, it becomes more and more obvious that their proposed smoking bans are not the clear-cut good for society that the anti-smoking lobby would lead you to believe. "The Lies Behind The Smoking Bans", a very interesting essay written by Michael McFadden does an excellent job of refuting each and every point, causing the evergreen proposed ban on smoking to seem much less credible. If you are interested in the subject, I highly suggest you download and read it.

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