A fun vertical tasting of three Caol Ila releases, including the classic 12 year old and two separate festival bottling.
The Caol Ila distillery, which was once referred to as “Mr. Consistent”, is the powerhouse Islay distillery, producing a whopping 6.5 million litres per annum. Caol Ila’s spirit comes in at a relatively medium level, 35 Phenolic PPM (Parts Per Million), and is designed to be used primarily as a blending spirit, for blends like Johnnie Walker and J&B.
“Caol Ila’s distillery character manages to combine a fresh pear note, grassiness, a hint of juniper and distinct notes of the seashore – lobster shells, crab creels and gentle smoke. Although it receives the same spec of malt as sister distillery Lagavulin, Caol Ila’s distillation regime – longer fermentation, higher cut point, taller stills – helps to reduce the heavy phenols. Maturation for the single malt is in refill casks. The unpeated variant is equally delicate, with a fresh, estery and almost floral lift.” – Scotchwhisky.com
1. Caol Ila 12 year old: 43% | 30ml: Initially released in 2002, this bottling has been synonymous with a classic Islay whisky. Nutty and citrusy, it is a great starting point for an Islay dram.
2. Caol Ila 2006 – 2015 by Gordon & MacPhail for Barmetro and Milano Whisky Festival 2015: 50% | 30ml: Matured in a first fill ex-Bourbon barrel, and bottled for the Milano Whisky Festival in 2015.
3. Caol Ila Feis Ile 2010 Release, Single Cask 305646, Distilled 1999: 61.9% | 30ml: This wonderful single cask was matured in a European oak ex-Sherry cask and bottled in 2010 for the Islay Festival of Malt and Music in 2010.