Nose: Smouldering embers of a seaside bonfire, honey, vanilla, hints of mixed citrus fruit, nutmeg and cloves. Palate: Peat, liquorice, grapefruit, honey, green tea, ginger, cloves and hints of pepper. Finish: Very long, dry, spicy and smoky. Overall: An excellent Caol Ila whose sweetness is nicely complimented by a slightly dry spiciness. Some fruity notes are there but they stay in the background
Caol Ila is the Gaelic name for the Sound of Islay, which separates the island from Jura in one of the most remote and beautiful parts of Scotland's West Coast. The distillery is situated on the shores of the Sound, a spot originally chosen in 1846 partly because of the clean water from Loch Nam Ban, which still provides its main supply. And even today you can still watch the seals in the Sound from the still room. When you sip this tempting, easy-drinking malt, well, at first you’d know you were in Islay – but you might not know where. Well-known whisky writer, Michael Jackson, pinpoints the smooth, olive-like house style, calling Caol Ila™ ‘a wonderful aperitif’. Sniff the air over a glass and smoky, sea-fresh aromas recall an age, not so long ago, when fishing and cutting peat were the traditional occupations in these parts. Few men make a living cutting peat on the island today, but the old traditions live on in the skills of our distillery workers and in the ingredients they still use at Caol Ila.