Distiller: Caol Ila. 43% ABV. Age: 12 years. Region: Islay. Price: $55.
The lovely Caol Ila. The lightest of all the Islay malts, prized by blenders, though often — and unjustly — overlooked in its pure form. Showing great restraint among its brasher, peatier cousins, this one should be on your shortlist for summer single malts.
The nose carries herbal, almost floral hints and, perhaps, a touch of smoked meats on the back end. The palate, perhaps my favorite of the Islays after Lagavulin, is clean, with subtle smoke and oil. The finish warms with spice.
An absolute joy. – TM