Good news arrived in my mailbox today about two (Diageo) Islay whiskies that both won awards during several whisky events. The most prestigious award was won by Caol Ila. According to the IWSC (the International Wine & Spirit Competition), Caol Ila 12 yr old is the best single malt under 15 years old and was named "Magic Caol Ila". Billy Stitchell and his small team on the shores of the Sound of Islay learned in July that Caol Ila 12 year old Single Malt Scotch Whisky had won the International Wine & Spirit Competition Trophy - the competitionâ€™s top award - for the Best Single Malt Scotch Whisky under 15 Years Old. Earlier in the year, Caol Ila 12 year old had set the scene for this supreme achievement by walking away with a Double Gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition as well as a Master at the Scotch Whisky Masters.
The IWSCâ€™s judges wrote about Caol Ila 12 year old "Peat fires, lemon, lime, smoky bacon, lapsang souchong tea are all on the gorgeous nose. All delivered in a bowl of crÃ¨me brÃ»lÃ©e with a light menthol breeze blowing from behind. Rich, malty sweetness in the mouth with citrus, dark berries and delicate twist of wood smoke. Invigorating yet gentle. Magic!" From the other end of Islay, Lagavulin 16 year old and Lagavulin Distillers Edition, as so often before, won a Gold or higher award in every competition they entered. The IWSC judges spoke of "A stunning dram in its best condition".
Now don't think other Islay whiskies didn't won any medals. The press release I received was sent on behalf of Diageo however a quick scroll through the results came up with the following interesting information: "Best Single Malt Scotch, Double Gold Medal, was for Ardbeg Corryvreckan. Ardbeg won another double gold medal for the Airigh Nam Beist 1990 and four gold medals for the Ardbeg Single Malt Scotch, 10 Years Old, Uigeadail, Rollercoaster and Supernova. Bunnahabhain won two gold medals for their 18 and 25 yr old and a silver medal for the Darach Ur. Laphroaig won a double gold medal for the Laphroaig 10 Year Old and a gold medal for the Laphroaig 10 Year Old Cask Strength."
And what about Bruichladdich, Bowmore and Kilchoman? I guess they weren't present otherwise I'm sure we would have seen their names here as well :-)