I'm not going to waste too many words on the intro. We all know Johnnie Walker. From their 12-year-old Black Label they launched a so-called 'Origins' series a few years ago with a Black Label Speyside, Highlands, Lowlands and Islay. The latter is now in the glass.
Hello! This is all Caol Ila on the nose and I'm happy about that. Nicely embellished with sweet notes of vanilla, honey and some sherry. Orangettes and Turkish Delight. A gentle touch of a bonfire on the beach. That could just be a drop of Lagavulin. This is simply very tasty.
It is very soft on the tongue. Immediately some soft smoke development, orange juice on steroids, vanilla and honey... in that sense, a fine continuation of the nose. And let it be known: again very tasty. This does not need water and is far too tasty to mix with.
The finish is long, sweet and smoky.
Great blend. Yes, the Caol Ila stands head and shoulders above the rest. Very successful expression of an already good – but unfortunately somewhat undervalued – blend. Bang for your buck too: less than 40 EUR. No brainer, really. Give it blind to any non-believers, just do it.