Pronounced 'cull-eela', the distillery is situated on the North Eastern shores of Islay with magnificent views across the Sound of Islay to the spectacular Paps of Jura. In 1846, Glasgow distillery owner Hector Henderson picked a little bay on the Sound of Islayfor his distillery site. He named it for the sound itself, using the Gaelic Caol Ila, and it was across this sound the little puffer ships made their round trips to the mainland – slowly helping to establish the distillery as the biggest on Islay.
When you add a little water to Caol Ila 12 Year Old, this raises aromas of almond oil and old fashioned oilskins. There is still a fresh fruitiness (lychees?), a trace of olive oil, and after a while potpourri or scented hand-soap. The flavours are smooth on the palate, with a pleasant mouth-feel. When water is added there is light acidity, some salt and still the sweeter notes. Caol Ila 12 Year Old is a complex balance of primary tastes.
In summary this whisky has sweet floral fragrances with a smooth body, balanced taste, and a sweet-smoky, lingering finish. To enjoy, simply serve the 12 Year Old Caol Ila neat in a rocks glass, adding ice or a splash of water to taste.