One of the most popular malts in the Connoisseur's Choice range is Caol IIa, enjoyed for its Islay character. It is a lively whisky, peaty and full in flavour, without being as intense as its more famous counterparts. Its availability is limited, and with a name that is difficult to pronounce, Caol Ila has remained an almost secret Islay malt. The name - pronounced 'culleela'is gaelic for 'Sound of Islay'. The distillery is appropriately hidden in a cove near Port Askaig, overlooking the Sound of Islay, across which the ferry chugs to the nearby island of Jura.
AROMA without water Sweet and smoky notes - sweet cured ham. Some subtle tar notes linger with a hint of Sherry.
TASTE without water Initially mouth warming with a peppery edge. Some Sherry and rich dark chocolate influences are present. A vanilla note emerges and lingers.
AROMA with water Sherry influences initially with a hint of sweet cured ham and some light ash notes. Tropical fruits emerges - kiwi and pineapple.
TASTE with water A subtle peppery edge, more balanced with a subtle hint of ash and smoke. A dark chocolate note emerges.