The historic Caol Ila distillery, where Caol Ila 25 Year Old is crafted, has been situated on the stunning isle of Islay since 1846.
It has changed hands a number of times and at one point was managed by Duncan Johnston. Johnston was known on the island and was related to the owners of both Lagavulin and Laphroaig.
It eventually came into the hands of Distillers Company Ltd in 1927. They are now known as Diageo, and has remained with them since then. They are now part of Diageo’s classic malts selection.
Today they have a core range that includes a 12 Year Old, 18 Year Old and a 25 Year Old.
The Caol Ila 25 year old is the perfect example of the quality malt that comes out of Caol Ila. It is also a shining example of an Islay malt, with big peat flavours and lots of seaside influences.
Tasting notes for the Caol Ila 25 Year Old
Bottle cost: £198
The nose opens with bursts of Christmas cake and brine. There is a delightful dried fruit flavour that goes hand in hand with a lovely sweet oak note from the beginning.
The wood is filled with tannins and the effect of the salty sea air mixing with it is obvious. There is also a warming cinnamon spice that comes off it as well.
On the palate the spice becomes sweeter, with more vanilla notes and fruits become more distinct, with raisins and dried cranberries coming out.
There are more notes of vanilla coming through on the palate that gives the wood a nice depth to it. It has a creamy mouth feel that makes it feel luxurious and refined.
The smoke wafts delicately in, with a nice gentleness to it. It is soft and thick, with lots of complexity to really sink your teeth into.
There is a wonderful medicinal quality to this dram, that complements the smoke perfectly. This includes light notes of iodine and disinfectant, giving a lovely tang to the dull qualities of the smoke.
The smokes carries nicely into the finish, which is long and linger nit has a lovely dryness to it that recalls that sweetness of the vanilla and wraps everything up in a final blast of salty sea breeze