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You Didn't Really Name Her After a Whisky Did You?


Naming our daughter was quite a strange process, so much consideration, reading and deliberation led to very little but when we finally met her I knew exactly what she was called.

Rewind exactly 2 years to our wedding day. A day I started with a toast with my best man, an awesome couple who had travelled from Darwin, Australia to Danby, North Yorkshire to help us celebrate our special day, Meatloaf the Bassett Hound, his handler for the day and a few other friends and family members. There had to be a special bottle for this particular toast and there really was. A bottle of Caol Ila, Old Malt Cask Limited Edition that a friend had picked up on her travels through Scotland on her way to the wedding. Wow! What a bottle. There really was no better way to start that amazing day.

I've always been a fan of the Islay single malts and this bottle lived up to those expectations and then some. The classic peatiness of the island's produce shone through and followed with a smooth finish that was enough to calm the room. And by the way, this was a very not-calm room. The best man had somehow lost his shirt, the dog's ring bearing wearable pillow was not really working out too well and more than one of us was a little nervous about the days vows, speeches and guest behaviours! That bottle of whisky has become somewhat of an icon for that celebration, and has been used to toast a few other milestones since. I have always considered the Laphroaig and Ardbeg single malts to be my favourite whiskies but my allegiance has shifted now in Caol Ila's direction.

Caol Ila's 12 year old has been a staple for me since that day. It is an amazingly drinkable whisky and great from start to finish. The typical smoky kick soon mellows and leaves a wide range of flavours for you to mull over. It is my new favourite whisky and has edged out the Laphroaig's 10 yr and Ardbeg's 10 yr as my go-to whisky. You just cannot beat the Caol Ila on a cool night around the camp fire as the sun drops. Which leads us nicely to Isla's second name, Ember, a reminder of our best times around those fires, the potential she has and the way she captivates everyone she meets.

Back to floor 6 of Darwin hospital as our daughter arrived on the 2 year anniversary of that amazing wedding and the name Isla really felt good to us, I won't go as far as saying she was named after that whisky, but let's call it an inspiration. As Isla's 1st birthday looms on our third wedding anniversary in August I'm looking for a bottle to celebrate with. In the Northern Territory, though, Caol Ila's single malts can be a little bit tricky to get hold of.

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