Distillery/Brand: Caol Ila
Colour: Pale Straw
I consider Caol Ila the anonymous support system that keeps the whisky industry flourishing. Founded in 1846 the distillery changed many hands until, like most distilleries, it landed in the hands of drink giants Diageo.
Every single whisky drinker in the world, without fail, has had a Caol Ila pass through his lips thanks to Diageo using it as the main malt for it’s Johnnie Walker blended range. What’s a little sad is that 99% of them have no idea the distillery even exists.
They have three core expressions (12, 18 & 25) with a smattering of special releases. Generally quite tame they are one of the lighter Islay whiskies.
Nose: It’s quite a sweet nose with a vanilla cedar quality to it. Fresh ream of paper with a hint of lemony peat. Finally butterscotch on top of smoky cold cuts. Quite lovely actually.
Palate: Understated and restrained. It could be mistaken for being one dimensional but I don’t think it is. The lemony peppers work well with the apricot slices while the woody limestone gives your palate a nice coating.
Finish: The understated peat is back with a touch of spice.
I like this whisky. I think it goes about it’s business without becoming over bearing.