Caol Ila 12 Years
Peated Single Malt — Islay, Scotland
Reviewed November 12, 2020 (edited April 25, 2021)
I’ve been wanting to try this one for a while, but never went for a bottle due to the price of it these days. But I found a small 200mL bottle in a Diageo sampler box. So here we go... The nose has bright lemon zest, nutty malt, slight brine, light medicinal peat notes (for an Islay), light black pepper, and sweet vanilla. The palate is sweet and slightly salty with the same nutty malt in the nose, a very nice smokey campfire note with smoked meat, some iodine, cayenne pepper spice, and vanilla. The finish is medium in length with an initial hit of lemon and jalapeño pepper that quickly fades to lingering iodine, smoky campfire. This one started off good, but a little underwhelming. But in subsequent sips, it really build and revolves nicely. I enjoy this and would love to try some independent bottlings from this distiller, as I hear that’s wheee Caol Ila really shines.