CAOL ILA 12 YO Pure Malt Scotch Whisky

Islay Single malt – 43%, 75cl

For many enthusiasts, Caol Ila really emerged in the 1990s, thanks to a now highly sought-after official bottling aged 15 years in the Flora & Fauna range (UDV). But once again it was through the incredible work of independent bottlers that this previously niche malt gradually gained acclaim and recognition. This 12 year old Pure Malt Bulloch Lade & Co, Ila Import, bottled in the early 1970s (most likely distilled in the late 1950s) will take pride of place in any Caol Ila collection.

Colour: lovely pale gold.


dry and not hugely talkative at first. Intriguing with a refined note that wavers between acridity and sulphur, or perhaps the typical beef stock note found in old school malts. Multi-dimen- sional with multiple registers, the nose moves from being fruity to mineral to vegetal. Very ripe fruits emerge from this ensemble with passion fruit and then mango and a note of banana that opens up into candy floss and a delicate note of caramel. Extreme freshness carries the nose, with mint leaf, rosemary, thyme and liquorice stick. But its heart is a marine character and peat. It’s all there.

wonderful oily, long. The palate reveals a delicate minera- lity and elegant peat whilst remaining demure, with zan liquorice sweets, liquorice and aniseed. Next come notes of tar and maca- dam with a light bitterness at the end of the palate. Everything seems mastered and controlled, with no excess. Perfect!

freshly cut grass dominates at first. Iodine then arrives in waves. It brings to mind a slice of peach with shellfish and razor clams at low tide, and the flavours of fish fillets stacked up on the quays of a port. With lots of length, leather emerges with preci- sion, alongside a note of undergrowth and damp cellar.

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