Sheltered in a hidden bay just north of Port Askaig, and set amongst stunning scenery is now the largest malt whisky distillery on Islay. (Pronounced ‘cull-eela’). Situated on the North Eastern shores of Islay, with magnificent views across the Sound of Islay to the spectacular Paps of Jura. This setting gave easy access to the little puffer boats which took the whisky out for over 100 years.
Sniff the air over a glass and smoky, sea-fresh aromas recall an age, not so long ago, when fishing and cutting peat were the traditional occupations in this part of Scotland. Few men make a living cutting peat on the island today, but the old traditions lives on in the skills of the distillery workers and in the ingredients they still use at Caol Ila.
700 ml, 43% abv, Scotland (Islay)Taking its name from the Gaelic for ‘dawn’, Moch is a wonderful newcomer from this renowned distillery. It is the first single malt from Caol Ila to be selected for taste alone: sweet, smooth and lightly smoky, unconstrained by age, cask wood, strength or finish. "To nose, it’s clean, appetising and shows subtle citrus fruit with just a puff of smoke. Smooth and pleasant in the mouth, it begins sweetly then yields a fragrant smokiness then a delicious sweet-smoky, lingering finish"
700 ml, 43% abv, Scotland (Islay)Fresh, sweetly fruity and smooth-bodied, Caol Ila 12 year old single malt Scotch whisky is the colour of pale straw, with a delicate balance of tastes. The clean, appetising nose shows subtle citrus fruit with just a puff of smoke. Firm and smooth, it begins sweetly then yields a fragrant smokiness and a sweet-smoky, lingering finish.
700 ml, 43% abv, Scotland (Islay)Each Distillers Edition expression undergoes a second (or ‘double’) maturation in casks that have previously held a fortified wine. This extraordinarily stylish and complex expression of Caol Ila has been double-matured in carefully selected Moscatel casks. The wood is not over-evident and instead balances perfectly with this richly flavoured single malt.
700 ml, 64.0% abv, Scotland (Islay)Once each year Caol Ila makes unpeated whisky, this 12 yr old, natural cask strength, limited edition, is one of those special releases. Distilled in 1999, aged in first fill ex bourbon American oak casks, then bottled in 2011 at 64% abv.
700 ml, 60.3% abv, Scotland (Islay)Once each year Caol Ila makes unpeated whisky, this 15 yr old, natural cask strength, is one of those special releases, aged fully in first fill ex-Bourbon casks. 60.3% abv.
700 ml, 59.6% abv, Scotland (Islay)Stitchell Reserve is an unpeated release of Caol Ila and is named for the distillery manager Billy Stitchell, who is retiring after almost 40 years at the distillery. Although it is'unpeated' there is still a smoky tang to the whisky, although less so than in previous years. Matured in American Oak, rejuvenated American Oak and ex-bodega European Oak casks.
700 ml, 60.2% abv, Scotland (Islay)This specially selected malt was distilled in 2006, matured in first-fill Sherry Butts, and then bottled by Gordon & Macphail , unchill-filtered, at cask strength, in 2017.
"A well balanced sherried Islay malt"
700 ml, 55.9% abv, Scotland (Islay)Once each year Caol Ila makes unpeated whisky, this 17 yr old, natural cask strength, limited edition, is one of those special releases. Distilled in 1997, aged in first fill ex bourbon American oak barrels, then bottled in 2015 at 55.9% abv. "Unusually rounded, a little less full on than previous expressions, it still has all their fruity sharpness, hints of smoke and the sea, grainy cereals and bittersweet tannins"
700 ml, 43% abv, Scotland (Islay)Age introduces a golden colour and complexity to this 18 yr mellow, amber Caol Ila. It starts smoky-sweet on the nose then drinks smoothly, showing a sweet yet sour character. The long-lived finish evokes a distant, smouldering beach bonfire.
700 ml, 43% abv, Scotland (Islay)"A big and bold Islay peated malt, with classic briny and seaside notes, and smouldering charcoal and boathouse flavours" "Exquisite. It’s an extremely subtle whisky: the flavours are perfectly balanced and integrated, so it requires contemplation to pick apart. It’s very warming without being at all harsh. Oily, ashy, sweet with dashes of orange and grapefruit juice. A little honey, but not much. Maritime, evoking harbour walls, winter sea spray, sea weed. The smoke is very mellow indeed, not aggressive in the slightest. The finish is oily, salty, with a touch of pepper, and it’s very long"
700 ml, 55.1% abv, Scotland (Islay)A rare limited release of extra-mature Caol Ila – the oldest Caol Ila ever released by the original distillers, and with bags of character. Complex, mature and well structured, it combines a palate and finish rich in mature peat smoke with elegantly drying, herbal accents to create a really pungent, moreish malt. Aged in a combination of refill American and refill European oak, the first note is of menthol cigarettes and freshly cut grass. Initally absent, the peat slowly builds and builds right to the very end of the finish.
Distilled 1983, bottled 2014, each bottle individually numbered."This is a stunner! It’s hard to express in words just how well this whisky works"