Nose: Dirty. Engine oils, thick lard and pan fats sitting with smoked fish soup, pork sausage and a side of green vegetables. Running throughout – brine and seawater with rosemary seasoning and some perceptible yeastiness. The addition of water adds maple bacon and pickled onion crisps alongside more expected aromas of lemon juice and oysters.
Taste: A big medicinal arrival of bandages, hospital floor cleaner, surface polish iodine and brine. Fishiness again – bouillabaisse – cockles, mussels, cod and crab in a thick coastal stock. Reduction adds white chocolate and lemon drop sweetness before things head towards tarriness and chilli spices.
Finish: London packed full of salty water, pepper and fading antiseptic cream.
Listen, Coal Ila is to my mind virtually always nothing less than very solid – and this Society bottling certainly doesn’t break that generalisation. It’s concentrated, medicinal and industrial. But, at the same time, it lacks either brightness, or diversity to make it clearly stand out in the sea of 53s which we’ve been presented with over the past year. Certainly a solid choice, but not a sure-fire choice.
But don't take our word for it..
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