Caol Ila - Aged 12 Years
04.02.20162 Min Read — In Review

Caol Ila - pronounced "cull-eela" is situated on the North Eastern shores of Islay, with magnificent views across the Sound of Islay to the spectacular Paps of Jura. Watch the distillers at work tending to the six copper stills.

Islay’s hidden gem, nestled down at the sleepy bay of Caol Ila lies the islands biggest distillery. Like all of Islay’s distilleries Caol Ila is surrounded in some if Scotland’s most beautiful scenery. Sitting on the edge of the sound of Islay, Caol Ila stands tall and proud alongside the fast flowing water separating Islay from Jura making it one of the most picture perfect settings for a distillery.

Caol Ila is Islay’s giant, producing more than double the spirit of the other distilleries on the island. Purpose built to produce over 7 million litres of spirit each year, Caol Ila distillery allows visitors to see large scale whisky production at its best. Don’t let the size fool you though, the passion of the people at the distillery ensures that all 7 million litres contains the same fresh, light smokiness typical of the Caol Ila 12 year old. Much of its large scale production is used to keep some of the world’s most famous and enjoyed blends in steady supply.

With a larger range available than her sister distillery Lagavulin, Caol Ila offers a variety of different expressions to suite the different tastes including a delightedly sweet unpeated Stitchell release which shows that even without the Islay peat Caol Ila would be an outstanding malt.

On the box: Fresh, sweetly fruity and smooth bodied, a classic expression of the Caol Ila is as rounded and clear as the shapes of the pot stills Spicy sea-air aromas, light fragrant smokiness and sweet smoky-dry flavours with the lingering, charred-dry finish of what makes Caol Ila the most appetising Islay's malt.

Style: Single Malt, Islay| Alcohol: 43% | Aged: 12 Years

Our Score:


Our Comments

"That's got a smokey smokey smell"


"Really smooth and really peaty"

"Feels like it should burn but it really smooth"

"Burning on the nose"

"This whisky satisfies the peaty paradox, smokey and smooth, contradictory terms yet somehow it works"

"Gets very sweet after opening with water, not recommended"