The Caol Ila Unpeated 17 year old; a brilliant, complex and untypical Caol Ila bottled at cask strength.
Caol Ila, like all Islay whiskies, is traditionally a peated malt; it’s one of the key whiskies in Johnnie Walker’s smoky Black, Double Black and Green Label blends. But once every year, small quantities of unpeated Caol Ila are produced for the Special Releases bottlings issued by Diageo (which owns Caol Ila). Why only once a year? Well, because Caol Ila produces mostly peated whiskies, that peatiness is somehow ingrained in the distillery equipment, in order to produce an unpeated whisky they need to thoroughly clean all their equipment and remove all that residual peatiness. This happens once a year at Caol Ila and right after that they produce a batch of unpeated whisky before switching over to the typical peated whisky they are known for.
The unpeated expressions by Caol Ila are really complex and untypical, they show how flavourful a Caol Ila can be when you remove that hefty phenolic smokiness. It's bottled at cask strength (55.9% ABV) so add a tiny bit of water with it. At an average price of $100 it's a little expensive but very much worth it.