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This Islay distillery is one of the lesser know, probably because the largest part of its production is destined for the blends, particularly Johnnie Walker. But still, Caol Ila produces some exquisite whiskies. Today I’ll be trying the 12 Year Old and 18 Year Old from their core range and an Indie that shall remain a surprise for now. Read on!
On the nose, I get green olives, fish oil, a touch of mint and lime. And, of course, quite some peat and smoked meat, but rather soft. It’s also a tad medicinal and has something sour and herbal (like dried grass). Some brine completes the picture. Leave it for a few minutes and you’ll also get some vanilla. Quite nice!
On the palate, it’s very oily and smoky, but soon the sweetness (oranges and molasses) take center stage. Quite the body too. Nice balance.
The finish is powerful and long with smoke (think dying barbecue) and sea salt. At the death, I get some spicy wood (cinnamon?).
This should be a part of any whisky lovers cabinet. For the price (around 35 EUR), don’t hesitate. This is a very complete, peated whisky.