Caol Ila (“Cull Eela”) is a staple powerhouse of Islay scotch whisky. Now owned by Diageo, it is the largest producer on Islay in terms of quantity. The whisky that isn’t placed into Caol Ila single malt bottles goes into Johnnie Walker or other blends, because the beautiful balance of peat adds a wonderful complexity and mystery where needed. In fact, it’s importance in the blended Scotch world is indeed the reason for Caol Ila’s modern day success. However, the Caol Ila 12 being reviewed here, along with their 25-year and unpeated releases (that’s right, they have unpeated whisky too!), is the reason Caol Ila shines in the public eye.