Caol Ila was founded in 1846 by Hector Henderson on the north of the Scottish island of Islay. The distillery overlooks exactly the part of the island that faces the island of Jura; the name “Caol Ila” comes from the Gaelic meaning “Sound of Islay”. The distillery immediately produced a much appreciated, peated, “island” style whisky; even after the major modernization and expansion works of the distillery in 1974, the traditional artisanal production methods have been maintained. Another curiosity about Caol Ila is that the technical direction of the production is directed entirely by Billy Stitchell, who represents the fourth generation of Caol Ila “master blenders”. This means that the know-how is literally handed down “from father to son.”
To produce a single malt whiskey, the barley is first subjected to a malting process, during which the complex sugars/starches present in the cereal are broken down into simple sugars, suitable for alcoholic fermentation by the hands of the yeasts. This procedure takes place in three phases: the maceration of the cereal in water to moisten it, the germination, during which the barley, which has been removed from the water, absorbs oxygen and begins to produce the radicle and to germinate; this procedure in particular will release the enzyme which is responsible for the transformation of starches into simple sugars. Subsequently this procedure is interrupted and the cereal is dried, which often takes place using peat-powered ovens, which will give the typical hints of smoked or brackish. Subsequently, the dried barley is ground and added again with hot water for further extraction of the must; this is what will be subsequently fermented and then distilled. The specification provides that for the wording single malt the whiskey must come from a single distillery and be aged for at least three years in oak barrels in Scotland.
Golden straw colour. Charming nose, with a pleasant smokiness accompanied by floral, citrus and woody notes, with a slight hint of earth. Delicate and sweet on the palate, with hints of citrus, peat and a subtle aftertaste of oak wood. Persistent, dry finish with smoky notes.
Perfect at the end of a meal or as a meditation; particularly recommended for lovers of whiskey or smoky or intense flavors in general. Great as a gift!