The island of Islay (pronounced eye-la) lies in the southern Inner Hebridean isles of Scotland and boasts 8 producing single malt distilleries: (Ardbeg, Bowmore, Bruichladdich, Bunnahabhain, Caol Ila, Lagavulin, Laphroaig, Kilchoman) and one closed (Port Ellen). Islay is home to some of the most famous distilleries in Scotland, and while the majority produce a heavily peated and pungently smoky whisky, there are excellent un-peated styles made here too.
The distinctive smoky aroma and flavour is imparted by the drying of barley over smouldering peat fires, with this character diminishing and softening with time in the cask. Islay whiskies are connected strongly to where they are made, and a visit to the island is among one of the best whisky experiences available in the world.
The Whiskies of Islay — Caol Ila
Caol Ila 'Distillers Edition' 2003 / 2015 43%
This is the latest of the Distillers Edition from Caol Ila, distilled in 2003 and matured for in American oak casks for most of its life before being transfered into sweet ex-Moscatel casks for a 6-12 month finishing maturation period. It melds sea-side aromas and peat smoke with tangy citrus and sweet aromatic spices. This is a distinctly famil...
Caol Ila 'Gordon & MacPhail' 1975 750ml 40%
Distilled in 1975 and bottled in the early 90's, this is an example of what is known as the 'brown map' Connoisseurs Choice series by Gordon and MacPhail. Caol Ila whiskies are seldom seen from this era these days, making this one of the oldest Caol Ila's we've had on our shelves. This would've originally been bottled for the American market at ...
Caol Ila 'Gordon & MacPhail' Discovery 13 years old 43%
Part of famed independent bottler Gordon & MacPhail's new 'Discovery' range, this 13 year old Caol Ila from the west coast island of Islay falls under their 'smoky' profile, an introduction to bold flavour ranges that Scotch has to offer. We are met with sweet vanilla and dry cured meat aromas. Peat smoke undertones are complemented by bana...
Caol Ila 'Signatory' 1983 / 32 years old 49.3%
Distilled in 1983 at the Caol Ila distillery, this beautiful and gentle old Islay malt has an exceptional aroma - marrying over-ripe fruit (banana, melon, lime) and a very integrated, soft and mellow peat smoke throughout. Lush and full on the palate with a great oily feeling, the fruits and smoke swirl around and linger for a long time, finishi...