Caol Ila is the largest distillery on Islay, it belongs to Diageo and is heavily used on blends such as Johnny Walker, single malt range was launched only in 2002, it’s said to be one the lighter whiskies made on Islay, said to be around 35 ppm, most of it is aged on mainland Scotland.
Colour: amber +1.
Nose: peat smoke (not very intense), it’s clearly coastal, seaweed, iodine, damp earth, beach bonfires, olives, black pepper, some mild fruit (pears, bananas), very good balance, really enjoying it.
Taste: starts sweet, malt sweetness, toffee, apple skin, lemon, ash, medicinal peat, antiseptic, seaweed, the peat is not dominating, again the balance is very good, getting drier and very medicinal, hospital, iodine, good body, very enjoyable.
Finish: long, medicinal ashy peat, charcoal, vanilla, pepper.
Comments: I have read that it might be the easiest peated whisky for beginners, I’m not sure I agree, this kind of ashy medicinal peat is very specific, about 85 points, I was having it side by side with Big Peat which is said to include large parts of Caol Ila, the BP is clearly younger, sharper, also peatier and more vegetal, I rated them both 85.