Caol Ila 12 Year Old – Built in 1846, Caol Ila is the largest of the eight working distilleries on the island of Islay, situated off the west coast of Scotland. A distillery with a production capacity of 3 million litres per year, that’s a lot of drinking and the 12 year old is said to be the lighter side of Islay.
From the very first sip of this tempting, easy-drinking malt, you’d know you were in Islay. A nose that is reminiscent of the seashore with grass and that distinct hint Islay smoke. Sipping it the peatiness arrives but it is not the dominant character. Rather the peat drifts through-out the palate like an elegant whisper, allowing other flavours to breathe life into your mouth. Almost sweet in nature the finish is lifting, subtle and warming.
I can’t remember when I had my first sip of Caol Ila, it was definitely when I was in Edinburgh so it’s been sometime in the past 18 months. It has been said to be “ease in” to Islay’s and I would have to agree. If you’re not one for heavy smoke or peat this is the dram to wet your appetite for bigger giants. It has won the International Wine & Spirits Competition 2010: Gold Medal – Best in Class; Trophy for Best Single Malt Whisky Under 15 Years Old and IWSC 2012 – Gold Medal – Whisky – Scotch. A bottle will set you back anywhere between £35 and £40. Definitely worth a dram in my opinion this is one of my absolute favourites!