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 'Old Particular The Elements - Earth' 2010 / 8 years ol
Celebrating the elemental nature of Scotch Whisky, this new release from Douglas Laing & Co. comes from a single, cask-strength Caol Ila at 8 years old. A classic Caol Ila with sweetness balanced by cured meats and earthy tones, the peat smoke flavour comes through like smouldering beach-side bonfires, extinguished with sea water.
Caol Ila 'Old Malt Cask' 2009 / 9 years old 50%
Selected by one of Scotland's acclaimed independent bottlers, this new single cask Caol Ila was matured for 9 years in a refill hogshead cask and bottled at the 'golden strength', according to Stewart Laing, of 50%.The aroma (sometimes refered to as the 'nose') is ashy, sea-air salty and filled with smokey notes. To taste, the peat and sea salt ...
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...
Caol Ila 12 years old 43% 750ml
From the northern edge of Islay, the Caol Ila distillery is known for a slightly more refined smoke character, with citrus fruit and and a gentle sweetness that mingles with the peat. Sophisticated and lingering, a great introduction to some of the smokier whiskies from the Island.
Caol Ila 'Adelphi' 2007 / 13 years old #301260 52.5%
Distilled at the Caol Ila distillery on the northern shores of Islay, this 13 year old bottling comes from Adelphi who are famous for selecting only casks that show the greatest character and flavour. Filled from an ex-bourbon cask, it starts with aromas of Islay dairy farms, lemon curd and a medley of rockpools and freshly shucked oysters. A cu...