CAOL ILA – NEW, BUT OLDER – Scotch Whisky News


June 2010


A new member of the Caol Ila™ family of single malt Scotch whiskies has been announced by Diageo.

A 25 year old single malt Scotch Whisky is now joining this highly popular and award-winning collection. Caol Ila has been distilled on the eastern shore of Islay since 1846.

Tasters have described the 25-year-old Caol Ila (bottled at 43% ABV) as majestic, sweet, smooth, slow-burning  –  and with an elegant, lightly smoky profile that brings to mind the faint yet resolute outline of the distillery itself, silhouetted in the soft moonlight of a still winter’s night. Yet it is welcome as an authentic example of that Caol Ila character first seen in the early years of Queen Victoria’s reign. Here are all those spicy sea-air aromas and sweet smoky-dry flavours, but with the subtlety of expression that comes only with age.

It will be the most mature member of the dynasty, standing alongside a 12 year old, an 18 year old, a natural cask strength bottling, a Distillers Edition™, and some limited edition younger expressions.

The new bottling is presented in a strengthened version of  the same striking black and grey cartons as the regular series, but with a pull-off  front-facing lid. The distillery looks to the east: the evening darkness falls early here at Caol Ila. So the pack image for the 25 year old hints at the vestiges of daylight fading behind Cnoc Dubh, the Black Hill behind the distillery.



The Caol Ila 25 year old will initially be available in the UK, the Nordic markets, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Netherlands, Japan, Taiwan and in travel retail channels in Europe.

The UK Recommended Retail Price is £135.

Caol Ila, Islay.

Built in 1846, the distillery sits locked away on a small hidden cove near Port Askaig  on the eastern shore of Islay overlooking the fast-moving Straits of Islay and the Paps of Jura beyond. It uses its own supply of water from nearby Loch Nam Ban.

International awards for Caol Ila

Caol Ila 12 year old has been awarded numerous medals at international competitions, including IWSC Gold Medals, 2004, 2005; IWSC Gold – Best in Class 2008; IWSC Silver Medal 2006, San Francisco Double Gold 2006 and 2010, Silver 2007, Gold 2008, 2009; The Scotch Whisky Masters 2010 – Master.

Caol Ila 18 year old has won IWSC Gold Medals 2004, 2005, Silver 2007, Gold – Best in Class 2008; San Francisco Double Gold 2006.

The Caol Ila Cask Strength expressions won IWSC Silver Medal, 2005, 2007, 2008; Silver-Best in Class 2006. San Francisco Double Gold 2006.

Caol Ila Distillers Edition™ (Moscatel Cask Wood Finish) won IWSC Silver – Best in Class 2007, 2008; San Francisco – Gold Medal 2010; The Scotch Whisky Masters 2010 – Gold.

The range grows

It was back in 2002 that the core Caol Ila range (12 year old, 18 year old  and cask strength) was relaunched in the current livery at that year’s Islay Festival. Although Caol Ila was a notable 19th century distillery, its malts, despite their classic provenance and great ancestry, had not been widely available before then.

The Distillers Edition expression joined them in 2006.

There have also been younger and unpeated versions of Caol Ila, issued annually as part of the Classic Malt Selections™ Special Releases series.
In 2004 and 2005, limited editions (6000 bottles) of 25-year-old Caol Ila were released in the same series, but none have been available since then.

The Classic Malts Selection, Caol Ila, and Distillers Edition words and associated logos are trade marks. © 2010


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