This second bottling of 2011 Caol Ila comes from a very peaty distillation batch, and a particularly impressive and powerful one. It’s unmistakeably Islay from the first whiff and the first sip: extremely smoky, full of tar and iodine, fat and heavy. It’s one of the most peated examples of Caol Ila we have ever had the pleasure to taste! This intense smokiness is backed by a firm malty sweetness, and the typical buttery vanilla profile that comes from good American oak (rather than the drier and more lemony style from casks of lesser quality). The interplay between the creamy sweetness and the peat is particularly clean, and it’s refreshing to find such maturity in a young malt. The final result is punchy and stimulating, with a long finale that’s totally Caol Ila.