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"Maybe i got a bad bottle, but too peaty and fishy for me and I usually love those flavours."
Caol Ila 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky (700ml)
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- ABV 43%
Caol Ila (Gaelic for 'the Sound of Islay') is hidden in a quiet cove near Port Askaig on the island of Islay. Many consider this locality to be the wildest and most picturesque of the island. Situated on Loch Nam Ban, the site is ideal thanks to the abundant supply of good water. The distillery was built in 1846 by Hector Henderson - a Glasgow businessman with a keen interest in distilling. Like Bunnahabhain and Bruichladdich, the development of Caol Ila created along with it, a community of its own. Without these distilleries, it is likely that there would have been little sustained human interference in these areas at all. In 1857 Henderson went out of business and the distillery was purchased by Bulloch Lade & Co. The Distillers Company Limited took over management in 1927. From this date production continued until 1972, when the entire structure of the distillery was demolished. A larger distillery was built in the same original architectural style, and production resumed in 1974. The Whisky Caol Ila is considered to be one of the lighter of the Islays. Nevertheless, for lovers of Ardbeg, Laphroaig, and Lagavulin, this whisky will impress.
Tasting note: Pale straw colour with a subtle green blush. The aromas are dominated by soft, sweet peat - smoked trout, a hint of lanolin and some baked citrus undertones. Mouthwatering. Soft, pure and impeccably clean from start to finish, the palate offers semi-sweet smoky, fruity, oily flavours counterpointed by super fine, drying tannins. Perfect balance. Finishes long with a salty, smoked fish, lanolin fade. Despite being the largest distillery on Islay (in terms of production anyway) bottlings of Caol Ila as a single malt are not always easy to find. It nearly all ends up in blends. Frequently passed over, it presents a gentler, more feminine and food friendly expression of Islay that Ardbeg lovers should get to know. 43%Alc./Vol.
'All the classic Caol Ila aromas and flavours are there,
with no sharp edges.” – Michael Jackson.
Other reviews... Nose: Oily yet fruity. Linseed oil, green olive, smoked fish. Lightly medicinal, wet grass, linseed oil, smoky wood (balsa wood?). With water good biscuity malt and smoky bacon notes. Palate: Rounded, mid-weight. Good smoky intensity mid-palate. Clean juicy fruits, oil and dry smoke. Finish: Long smoky, fishy Comment: Great balance… 43% Alc./Vol.
RATING: 8.5 - David Broom, www.whiskmag.com
A seductive brininess and waves of oily peat-reek greet the olfactory sense. The palate entry finds a surprisingly buttery-creamy leaning along with the peat-reek; at midpalate the flavor becomes concentrated, oily, malty sweet, and only moderately peaty. Ends on a sweet malty note. Builds from stage to stage, each phase being better than the last. Best Buy.
Rating: 90-95 - www.wineenthusiast.com