Yula 20 years

Review 2017-046 «Specifics» Blended malt • Chapter One (of Three) • Bottled in 2015  • Matured for 20 years in several undisclosed type of casks • 52.6% Alcohol • Non-chill filtered • Natural colour • Sourced from multiple Islay and Island distilleries • Bottled by Douglas Laing (DL) • Glasgow • Scotland • Limited availability (900 bottles) • Not available anymore (price was ±€150) • Whiskybase #73431

STORY. Yula is a limited edition from the independent bottler Douglas Laing containing peated whiskies from the Islands of Scotland, including Islay, and part of a series of three releases (20-21-…and 22?). The series is inspired by the ancient legend about the beautiful Norse goddess Yula who went searching for her long lost love with an apron full of stones. As she traveled, stones fell out of her apron and formed a trail of islands. Without finding her love, she got lost in the treacherous seas with the last falling stone forming Islay, meaning Yula’s Isle in Norse.


APPEARANCE. Mysterious and Art Nouveau-ish design, colour of the contents is like a golden sun and seems natural coloured.

NOSE. Oh yes, we are definitely close to the sea as the maritime smells blow heavenly into our nose. We find brine, sea weed, bonfires on the beach, heather and dune sand. The coastal base is surrounded by sweet honeycomb and fudge, aromatic violets, lavender and roses, sun bathing cream and a slight (and still pleasantly) soapiness. The smoke remains very light. Based on the nose I would say that quite some Talisker went into this, mixed with some Laphroaig and Bowmore. (water) Brings out more fruity notes with peaches, mango, pineapples and even a hint of bananas (probably the Bowmore talking).

TASTE. Very aromatic and floral before the coastal notes come around. Light smokiness, brine, TCP, and some oaky notes, lavender, a light honey sweetness and the spiciness of some peppercorns. The floral side gets slightly annoying at some point. Otherwise still pretty brilliant. (water) Still powerful with the maritime notes, backed up by honeycomb and fudge. No apparent fruitiness as in the nose. Unfortunately, that is when the soaps starts kicking in. Lavender, violet sweets, accidentally licking your hands after washing them with too much soap. B****y h**l (oh please, go wash your mouth). Not funny. The soapy aftertaste lingers for a long time.

VERDICT. Such a brilliantly blended nose, but the palate and in particular the aftertaste were a disappointment. The soapiness just bothered me too much to enjoy this properly. Did someone not pay attention when buying the Bowmore (“Hey lads, does anyone know what this ‘FWP’ means that is written on the cask?”), or did a piece of lavender soap got accidentally dropped into the mash tun? An great opportunity missed. But oh boy, the nose is fantastic….. but the aftertaste, but the great nose… (internal struggle proceeds).

Recommended for people who adore maritime malts but are resistant to soapy notes.

Thanks to Norbert for the sample!

«What others say»

  • @Whiskybase: Mean score of 88.04 (25 votes)
  • Ruban @Whiskynotes: “The score would have gone into the 90s if not for the floral (soapy) touches on the palate” Score 88/100
  • @Tomswhiskyreviews: “I love the nose and the palate works great as a contrast to the nose, the finish leaves you wanting more, one to definitely add to you collection and I can’t wait to see what the rest of this trilogy holds”
  • @Somersetwhisky: “I know lots of people that will totally fall in love with this dram, although for me the floral notes aren’t totally my favourite style”
  • @Scotchandscifi: “The experience of the undiluted palate is quite stunning”
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