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Time now for one of my favourite whiskies. This one is a variety I have tried on a few different occasions and it's one that I will no doubt buy again at some point in the future. The name of this whisky is Caol Ila. This is an Islay whisky which means it's peaty and smokey and I as like peaty and smokey whiskies from Islay then it's no great surprise that I like this one.
Caol Ila is a small distillery located on the isle of Islay just off the West coast of Scotland. This distillery has been running for many years and it always produces top quality whisky. This particular version that I am reviewing is the 12 year bottle, this is the one that you are most likely to see in the Supermarkets although you do tend to find this one is not as readily available as some of the other big names malts.
So what is the whisky like then? Well it's very light in colour, not as light as an Ardbeg but much lighter than say a Talisker or Highland Park. When you take a whiff of the whisky you immediately get that peat smoke smell wafting up into your nostrils, then there are also notes of spice. When you take a sip you notice how smooth the whisky is, this is a very easy drinking bottle and one that slips down no problem. The taste is again peaty and you also get hints of sea salt coming through. The finish is long and warming and the peat flavour really lingers for a very long time, something I like very much.
Caol Ila 12 year is 43% so it's a little stronger than some but nothing to strong. To buy a bottle of this you are usually looking at around £30, on a very rare occasion you might get it on offer at one of the larger supermarkets, but this is quite unusual. The cheapest I have ever seen this one is £26. So for price it is a little bit more expensive. There are other versions of Caol Ila which are also very nice, the Caol Ila Moch is my favourite and this although not cheap at around £38 is well worth the extra pennies.
Overall then I would highly recommend Caol Ila. This is a strong peaty whisky bursting with flavour. It's one that I always look out for to see if it's one offer and it's one that I will no doubt purchase again in the future. If you are into your Islay whiskies and have not tried this one then you are missing out. Caol Ila is one of the best whiskies out there in my opinion.
A brand new, younger bottling of this malt, Caol Ila is a beautiful whisky. Not the heaviest of the Islay clan, but certainly one of the most beguiling.
Colour: Translucent white wine sort of look
Flavors: Salty bacon, medicinal flavors, a hint of flowers and oak. Warm and, in a good way, demanding. Very peaty, barbecue and more trace of iodine. Also has hints of smoked fish and barley. To be honest, its a bit of everything!
Overall would have to say alot of flavors and they changed often. First you taste a lot of smoke and then the sea comes in then its Smoked kippers Salt. Sweet candy, barley grass and then ten minutes later sweet, salt, floral. This one was very complex for me but I did like it alot but then I love the Islands. (Especially ISLAY.) Think this has to be my second fav behind Ardbeg, there are just so many flavors to explore!
A few drops of water and some patience provide a more balanced (and complex) taste and more peppery finish while not squelching the nice licorice afterbreath. You tend to find this with many whisky's but would say especailly so with this one.
Price wise it is not cheap. I paid £28 for a bottle. You may be able to find it cheaper but as this is not one of the best known whisky's it does not tend to be on offer, so you will probably be looking at paying full price more often than not! Value is not bad, as this is such a nice Whisky and although it is more expensive than most it does tend to be worth paying that little bit more for.
If your into Smokey, Petey whisky's this one could definately be for you. One of the finest Islay malts and will always be one of my favorties. I would definately recommend this to anyone!
Single malt Scotch whiskys can be intimidating. They still intimidate me, in fact; there are such subtle nuances to the different maturities of different distilleries products, not to mention that characteristic differences between different whisky producing regions.
Caol Ila 12 Year Old is the most affordable way into the malts produced by this famous Islay distillery, and it's reasonably easy to procure in the UK and Europe. The island of Islay is probably best known amongst whisky drinkers for Laphroaig, and a comparison wouldn't be off the mark. Like Laphroaig, the Caol Ila is complex: peaty and smokey and slightly medicinal (in a good way, I can assure you). Take your time with this one and you'll begin to appreciate the different layers of its strong aroma and lasting taste: pepper, seaweed... it's hard to pin down but all the more satisfying for it.
Not my personal favourite from Islay, but then I'm a young thing and I have many years of whisky drinking ahead of me...
A big, rich Islay single malt with classic characteristics of smoke, peat and seaweed, pale in colour with a greenish tinge.