By: David Driscoll
K&L Staff Member
One of my all time favorite whiskies was the old distillery edition of the Caol Ila 18 - a beautiful rendition of the Islay single malt that packed equal weight and richness of texture with all that peaty goodness. It wasn't a cask strength edition, which is what really made the difference for me. If a distillery can manage to find the sweet spot with water, I'm all for reduced spirits in bottle. The beauty of this 20 year old Caol Ila is that it's at cask strength, but has naturally reduced itself to the perfect 46% ABV (exactly where many distilleries will reduce to). The result is the closest thing I've ever tasted to that legendary 18 year bottle that is now just a memory. The nose is simply haunting; an enticing combination of vanilla, creme brulee, and campfire embers. The whisky rolls over your tongue with creaminess and texture, but it leaves a trail of peat smoke in its wake. If you want the perfect Islay whisky, this is it. It doesn't get much better than this. Buy three if you can afford it.