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Caol Ila 10 Year Old, The Alchemist
Gaelic for ‘the Sound of Islay’ built in 1846 by Hector Henderson - a Glasgow businessman with a keen interest in distilling - Caol Ila has argaubly the finest view in all of Islay, located in a cove on the seal-filled Loch Nam Ban near Port Askaig. The distillery itself is a bit of a weird place; quite James Bond villain-y, as the Distillers Company Limited who bought it in 1972 demolished the old distillery and built a new one which feels a bit like a retro power station! It is the largest distillery on Islay, producing the backbone of JW Black Label, as its lighter style with a hint of the sea makes a great backbone to the blend. This Caol Ila is sweet on the nose, with slight mango and vanilla notes. The palate is smooth, and chewy with the return of vanilla and oak. Citrus and peat to take you in to a beautiful finish which is warm, summery and long.
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