As well as Lagavulin and Port Ellen, Islay is home to the Caol Ila distillery.
Caol Ila (for pronunciation, think ‘calories and eels’) Single Malt Scotch Whisky, provides the smoky notes we find in the heart of Johnnie Walker Black Label.
Caol Ila’s distillation regime involves longer fermentation, a higher cut point, taller stills (helps to reduce the heavy phenols that are typically present in other Islay Single Malt whiskies). This makes Caol Ila highly prized for Johnnie Walker, as well as a fine choice for the enthusiast and connoisseur.
Stuart Morrison, one of our Whisky Masters, says, “There are things we do as blenders that never see the light of day. One such hidden delight is to spend time searching for casks, to seek out new flavours, to go to the east coast of Islay at the Caol Ila distillery. To stare through the giant windows in the still-house across the raging torrent between me and the majestic mountains in the distance. Now, that’s a great day at the office.”
Caol Ila Characteristics
It has the characteristic smoky flavour of Islay along with flavours as profound as smoky bacon, green fruits like pear and light grassy notes have all been attributed to this fine Single Malt Scotch whisky.
This smoky character, along with other malts’ from the island input, can be enjoyed in a Johnnie Walker Black Label Smoky Highball, with the addition of a flamed rosemary sprig as a garnish, aromatic bitters and a mix of Chipotle chili and sugar as a rim around the glass.