The largest distillery on Islay, Caol Ila sits on the Sound of Islay overlooking the picturesque island of Jura. Most of Caol Ila ends up in blends, but it also produces a wide variety of peated and un-peated single malt expressions. This 25 Year Old was released after the success of the cask strength versions in 2004 and 2005, it is a sign of growing recognition of the quality of drams that come from this underrated distillery. It's the usual mix of American and European Oak refill casks, with concentrated peat and the characteristic Caol Ila oiliness. Nose: Apricot, hints of vanilla and pear, with a light minty touch, which grow towards soft medicinal notes. Very nice ashy and oily notes in the background. Delicate, complex nose. Palate: elegant, oily and slightly buttery. The peat and medicinal touches are still there but they arrive late. Also apples and oranges, hints of pink grapefruit. Dried sea weed. Soft smoke and leathery touches. This one unfolds nicely and gains power along the way. Finish: long, with apple peel, smoke and a hint of roasted coffee in the very end.