Founded In 1846 by Hector Henderson, the Caol Ila distillery is certainly one of the big boys when it comes to production although it might not be the first name on the lips of those Islay fans..
Caol Ila is definitely known for the peated whisky it produces, but for many it is a more gentle dram compared to some of the other distillery releases from the fabled island, and although the ppm is still high the overall feel still comes across a little softer..
Production from the distillery is done with a 13 ton full Lauter mash tun, 8 wooden washbacks and 2 stainless steel versions, 3 wash stills with a capacity of 19000 litres and 3 spirit stills with a capacity of 12000 litres – This along with the 26 mashes per week gives the distillery a capacity to produce 6.5 million litres of alcohol per year..
Initially intended to produce peated whisky for Diageo’s blends, today the distillery offers up some very popular single malt offerings in official releases.
The distillery was re built in the early 1970’s after all the buildings other than the warehouses were demolished.
With only the Flora and Fauna bottling initially available as a single malt it wasn’t until 2002 that a core range would be released, a with a further wait until 2006 before an unpeated version was offered into the market..
Caol Ila 12 Year Old 2007 Cask 307362 – The Single Cask
Distillery.. Caol Ila
Age.. 12 years
Distilled.. 18th April 2007
Bottled.. 21st August 2019
Cask.. Ex Bourbon Hogshead
Outturn.. 144 Bottles
Bottler.. The Single Cask
Nose.. Ashy peat aromas lead into gentle citrus peels, vanilla, floral notes and a malty backbone.
Palate.. The drying smoke wraps itself around fresh apples, poached pears, vanilla cheescake and along with an earthy honey note.. Ashy notes coat the mouth with burnt toffee and ginger root gently surfacing.
Finish.. Drying smoke lingers with spices.
Thoughts..Caol Ila has always been on my radar due to been on the more softer side of peated whisky, the ashy notes rather than medicinal just seem to sit easier with me and this expression from The Single Cask is no exception to this belief.. Those ashy notes really do shine within this expression and it feels so true to what you expect to get from the distilery.
The distillery usually releases whisky matured in those ex bourbon casks so its nice to still see that in this indie release rather than some alternative cask type, although i cannot lie, i do love Caol Ila from a sherry cask..
More info about the Indie Bottlers can be found HERE..
With thanks to The Single Cask for this sample..