Caol Ila distillery which is located on the Island of Islay was founded back in 1846 by Hector Henderson who soon after starting production was forced to sell to Norman Buchanan in 1852, just 11 years later the Distillery was sold again to Bulloch, Lade and company, whisky Blenders who operated out of Glasgow.
The distillery was re-built and expanded in 1879 which allowed the distillery to start producing over 147,000 gallons ( 668275.23 litres) of whisky each year.
1920 and Bulloch Lade goes into liquidation and the distillery is now run under the name of Caol Ila before DCL becomes sole owners..
Mothballed during the war ( 1942-1945) the distillery was then demolished in 1972 with only the original warehouses surviving, re -built and operational again in 1974 after a 1million pound re build and with its 6 new stills producing a capacity of 6.5 million litres the distillery is now under the Diageo umbrella.
10 year old Caol Ila – Cask #316643 Signatory Cask Strength Collection
Distillery.. Caol Ila
Age.. 10 years
Distilled.. September 2010
Bottled.. October 2020
Cask.. Re fill Sherry Butt
Outturn.. 599 Bottles
Nose.. Soft smoke wraps around dates, raisins, plum and dark chocolate before a gentle aroma of stewing apples, poached pear and a delicate hint of candied orange surfaces..
Palate.. The smoke is quite pronounced and really does infuse those dark chocolate notes that seem to be rather dominant here.. Spices soon start to muscle in with fresh Ginger wanting to have its 15 seconds of fame. Marzipan, Manuka honey, maple syrup on burnt waffles mingle with toffee apples, smoked kippers and coffee…
Finish.. Smoke and spices..
Thoughts.. Peated whisky can be superb and at the same time overpowering for those who don’t drink it on a regular basis but add some sherry and for me it just comes alive.. Caol Ila is for me a softer version of peated whisky and with no disrespect to the others i find it easier to approach, then add the sherry and it becomes even better.. The official bottlings are generally first – 2nd fill ex bourbon casks but the indies often seem to find quite a few sherry casks which lets people like myself who prefer an unpeated whisky to actually get out teeth into these beasts..
Not only is this a great whisky but you have to love these decanter style bottles.. Added bonus.