It is my understanding that most whisky writers believe the added caramel (colouring agent) has a deleterious effect upon the taste of the spirit. This is probably one of those generalizations which like most is true sometimes but not others. It seems some blenders disagree. As indicated in the first post, most Scotch Whisky is coloured.
I want to make a distinction here which I think may be leading to confusion. Colouring agents are for the most part used in blends not single malts. As Blends comprise the vast majority of Scotch whisky ****, it is indeed true that most Scotch is coloured. A blender wants his product to look and taste consistent from batch to batch, and the addition of colour, and even small amounts of flavouring is sometimes used to achieve this consistency. Blends are for the most part far less expensive to make than Single malts, so the whiskey with the added colour is cheaper.
As distilleries continue to follow the trend of creating signature blends for their distilleries, even Signature Single Malt blends, I believe we will begin to see a trend where even the Single Malts begin to have colour and flavour added for consistency sake.
For my own writing I try very hard not to let distillers propaganda influence a review. I do not care if caramel is added, I do not care if a whisky is chill filtered or not. The only thing that matters is the enjoyment I receive from the glass of whisky. All the rest is irrelevant. If a nice rich colour improves the experience then the added colour was worth while, but if the cost of that improvement is an inferior taste.....
I think you can figure it out.