Another month, another Caol Ila – but, what’s not to like about that?! This one comes from a refill ex-bourbon hogshead after 9 years of maturation. View on SMWS
Nose: Dirty engines and diesel are played off against lemon-drizzled oysters, langoustine bisque, smoked fish and seashells. Brine runs throughout – tart and salty – whilst white chocolate and cracker bread provide both sweetness and savouriness alike. Quite heady – you’ll nose this over a metre away. Water softens things up with baked buns, kelp and caramelised white chocolate.
Taste: More rich and sweet seafood – bouillabaisse, crab claws and buttered scallops alongside wild honey and creamy meringue. Smoke is still pervasive – an oily combination of grease, tar and brine with iodine and sooty chimneys. In the background, fruitiness – apples and greengages – tempering the intensity of the smoke. Again, dilution proves to be positive – lemon peels and balm alongside limestone minerality.
Finish: Long with sugared barley water and fading lemon-tinged medicinalness.
This Caol Ila combines sweetness with industrialness. It’s both defined and a wee bit dirty. Just how I like them.