1 of only 273 bottles from cask no. 4842
Not as widely promoted as other Islay distilleries (because it is in big demand by the Johnnie Walker blends), Caol Ila is nevertheless a classic ‘big’ Islay malt, and this is a good example of the make. The bottling is from a re-fill American oak hogshead, which has allowed the true character of the whisky to come through. The first nose is somewhat agricultural (‘cow-pats in the early morning’ and ‘industrial cleaner in a dairy’); after a while this settles down to ‘swimming pool changing room’ (i.e. light chlorine and damp towels) and ‘dentists’ mouth-wash’. Water reduces this and raises rubber or plastic swimming rings and a waft of woodsmoke. The mouth-feel is smooth and rounded; the taste sweet and aromatically smoky and the finish very long and warming. An elemental whisky; drink out of doors.