After twenty-one years, the rugged maritime character and the intense peat smoke that are the trademark traits of Caol Ila have definitely been tamed: a wild young whisky has now matured into a middle aged champion of finesse, balance and relaxed attitude. At the nose it initially seems quiet and restrained, but there is dark broody character lying beneath: the deep smokiness of pinewood embers smoldering in a fireplace, and of tarry ropes. At first sip, it reveals a surprising softness of heather honey, very elegant and well-behaved. After a few minutes, the smokiness builds up both at the nose and on the palate, becoming increasingly medicinal, while at the same time remaining in balance with the ripe fruitiness. A tannic hint becomes slightly noticeable in the end.