Malt of the Month: October 2015
We choose our Malt of the Month to highlight some of the great whiskies of the world. Some are well known, some less so, but you can be certain that if it's our Malt of the Month, then you won't be disappointed. This month we've chosen:
2001Distillers EditionIslay Single Malt Scotch Whisky Please wait Web Exclusive Price
Caol Ila is well known among whisky connoisseurs for being a hidden gem. Despite being the largest distillery on the island of Islay, its single malts aren’t as well known as those from sister distillery Lagavulin, but they are increasingly gaining fans.
The Distillers Editions are double matured; Caol Ila uses sweet Moscatel casks to finish the whisky, adding layers of spice and rich fruit which complement the distillery’s smoky and delicately fruity character.
Producer's tasting note
- Nose: Wonderfully concentrated pure, clean Caol Ila – peaty and medicinal, with rich fruit, spicy and fragrant. With water, the fragrant smokiness comes singing through.
- Palate: Sweetness and maltiness strike first, then are quickly overwhelmed by peat smoke and intense, clean, crisp flavours. Caol Ila’s signature smoky bonfires are here, and build to quite a size. Overall, drying, in a beautifully balanced, complex, elegant development, complemented with cinnamon spice.
- Finish: Long, rounded, robust and multi-layered.
About Caol Ila
The name Caol Ila is derived from the Gaelic phrase Caol Ìle, ‘Sound of Islay’, the name of the stretch of water that separates Islay from nearby Jura. Caol Ila distillery overlooks the strait, just to the north of Port Askaig, one of the island’s main ports. It was founded in 1846, but was expanded extensively in 1879, and then entirely demolished and rebuilt in 1972. The distillery reopened in 1974 and after years of being known for producing blending malt, released a range of single malts in 2002.
Caol Ila is now the largest distillery on Islay, producing more than 6 million litres of alcohol per year, most of which is used to make Johnnie Walker. Now also a key part of the Diageo single malt portfolio, it is also a mainstay of the yearly Special Releases, with its unpeated expression an eagerly anticipated entry for whisky fans.