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The Caol Ila distillery dates from 1846, at least the warehouse of this Islay distillery, because the distillery itself was completely rebuilt and enlarged in the early 1970s. Where Caol Ila was 'self-malting' until the renovation, the distillery then used malt from Port Ellen Maltings, also located on Islay. Some connoisseurs see a separation here between the heavier 'old' and the 'lighter' new Caol Ila.
Although the distillery produces quite a few single malt whisky bottlings, most of the malt goes to the Johnnie Walker blends. Remarkably, the single malt for the blends is not peated, while Caol Ila is known as the maker of smoky Islay whisky. By the way, there are a few bottlings of that unpeated version.
A nice example of the distillery character, this 12-year-old Caol Ila. Tough and yet subtle, and nicely balanced with the smoke and peat notes typical of Caol Ila. A good and affordable entry into the world of 'peated' Islay whisky.
This Caol Ila bottling in the Discovery series by Gordon & MacPhail has aged for 13 years in clearly active bourbon casks. In this Islay single malt whisky you will find notes of vanilla, caramel, fruit and leather, and salty peat smoke and iodine.
The Cask Strength Collection from Signatory Vintage is not only known for the unique bottle design, but also for the quality of the whiskies bottled in it. Here is a 15-year-old Caol Ila single malt whisky, that matured in an Oloroso cask. (58.4%)
In honor of Dutchman Han van Wees's 60th anniversary in the whisky trade (think of The Ultimate whisky bottlings), Gordon & MacPhail released this 14-year-old Caol Ila single malt whisky. The peated Islay malt matured in a first-fill sherry cask. (52.8%)
A lesser known but certainly interesting series from Gordon & MacPhail is Connoisseurs Choice - Wood Finished. The whisky in this series is finished in special casks. Like this 13-year-old Caol Ila that was finished in casks of an Italian top wine. (45%)
Under the well-known The Maltman label, Meadowside Blending releases single cask bottlings. We now have a Caol Ila bottling from them in the shop. The Islay single malt whisky matured for 11 years in a fino sherry cask that yielded 493 bottles at 54.4%.
This 8-year-old Caol Ila, bottled in 2019 by Asta Morris, aged in a sherry cask. The combination of that cask with the mildly smoky character of the single malt whisky itself produced notes such as red fruit, wood smoke, chocolate and roasted meat. 55.1%
On the nose a breezy beach after the rain. Fresh linen and crisp burlap. Last night's campfire. Lemon and ripened green apples. In the taste: grilled lemons, baked apples, juicy pear, and lemon zest. Toasted pine nuts. A well-worthy celebration release!
This Caol Ila single malt whisky bottled by Van Wees is 7 years old. The medium-peated Islay malt matured in two bourbon casks. The Ultimate label is known for its reasonable prices, and that is also reflected in this release. (bottled at 46%)
A fairly young bottling by Van Wees of a Caol Ila single malt whisky. The medium-peated Islay malt matured in a bourbon cask and is bottled at cask strength (59.2%). Also considering the price an excellent option to enjoy this solid Islay whisky.
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