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89 points

Caol Ila 12 year old, 43%

Funny to think how recently Caol Ila was an Islay giant that was kept pretty much under wraps by its owner. These days it has cemented its reputation as the island’s Mr. Consistent. This version shows its character the best, a nose that mixes seashore and grass with a distinct hint of smoked bacon. The peatiness isn’t dominant, but flows throughout the palate, scenting, lifting, and subtly changing the mix. A delicious oiliness makes it a great food whisky.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2012)

80 points

Caol Ila Distillers Edition 1998, 43%

The finish in question here is Muscatel casks and you can tell that from the start, as the nose is filled with a rich, sweet, and very pronounced dusky fruitiness — sloes and plums. The smoke as a result is diminished as are the grassy/bacony notes. While the smoke does emerge from its fruity bubble on the tongue, the effect is almost liqueur-like. It’s a very pleasing dram, but the question is, is it Caol Ila?

Reviewed by: (Summer 2012)