The smoke sneaks up on you. It’s a bit shy at first but give it time, and it will show. Caol Ila comes from Islay; it is the largest distillery on the island. Aged in ex-Bourbon and European barrels, the whisky is aged for 25 years. On the nose, raisins, herbs and caramelise­d notes of orange rind come through first, which evolve to toffee and dark chocolate. It reminds you of Laphroaig 18, but restrained. The golden viscous liquid has a complex palate, with wood notes, marzipan and candied orange peel. Add a few drops of water to let the peatiness come forth. The finish is smooth and complex. Bottled at 43% abv

$340, diageorare­andexcepti­onal.sg

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