This 12 year old is the entry level bottling from the Caol Ila distillery, launched in June of 2002 this expression is light and fresh with that distinctive Caol Ila smoke.
I’m slowly enjoying the taste of better Scotch Whiskeys. I think this will continue even more so with my recent discovery of the Smoke flavoring found in many of them.
I found the Caol Ila at a local liquor shop that I hadn’t been to before. A larger than normal store with a great wine selection, they had a row of Caol Ila products with tagged descriptions, and this one reading Smokey and Dry sounded like a worthwhile purchase.
Score another win for discovery!
Open the bottle, and a very noticeable smoke scent fills the air. A light sweetness, and a note of alcohol are also present. It’s not at all harsh on the nose.
Upon taste, the lack of an instant alcoholic-burn is pleasing. Instead, that treasured smoke essence fills the mouth and envelopes the tongue, akin to a favored smoke-grilled meat. Quickly, a sweetness plays out, melting enjoyably around the tongue. Swallowing does not result in a harsh, alcoholic burn either. That experience only occurs after savouring the Scotch a few moments afterwards, where it creeps up on the sides and back of the tongue. Hooray! The throat is spared the usual burn of cheaper, low-quality alcohol.
The taste isn’t all smoke, some hints of fruit and citrus can be found, maybe an apple? Perhaps an orange? In any case, it’s rewarding to look for.
Caol Ila is now my current favorite brand of Scotch Whiskey, and I’ll be making an effort to try what the store has to offer, while keeping a nice stock of this particular 12 year on hand.