ABV: 58.8% Distillery: Caol Ila Bottler: Scotch Malt Whisky Society Region: Islay
Another appearance for Caol Ila. Matured since September 2007 in a refill ex-bourbon hogshead. Peated profile.
Nose: An captivating blend of light ashy smoke with roasted meat and fresh seafood. Roast beef joint is served with a lovely dripping gravy alongside buttery scallops and tender lobster. Smoke is discernible but somewhat background and less medicinal than many recent younger SWMWS 53s. Running throughout lemon pie with soft peaked meringue and strawberry yoghurt. Water adds a touch of ozone and engine room oil as well as giving the seafood elements a nice salty kick.
Taste: The translation from nose to palate is a good one – and now, smoke levels are dialled up a notch and brought to the fore. Ham hock and beef stew sit with a bowl of sugar dusted berry fruit and soured lemons. Peating is part burnt ends and kitchen smoke, and part medicinal with tarry ropes and flecks of iodine. The mid-palate delivers reduced and burnt pan sugars and a touch of meat jus. Reduction favours the citrus elements – adding sourness and tartness – whilst transforming the smoke into a more dusty vaporous cloud.
Finish: Medium, with ashy coal dust and lemon sherbet.
A tasty Caol Ila that’s just a touch calmer, sweeter and more approachable then recent bottlings. The aromas and flavours are all well-defined and there’s a lovely backbone of cooked meats and seafood which provide a lovely foil against the lemony coastalness of the underling spirit.
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