SMWS 53.301 Tentacles around a wine glass

Posted 03 October 2019 by Matt / In Caol Ila
The Dramble reviews SMWS 53.301 Tentacles around a wine glass

Bottle Name: 53.301 Tentacles around a wine glass

ABV: 58.9%
Distillery: Caol Ila
Flavour Profile: Peated
Region: Islay

This month’s obligatory 53 and its refill ex-bourbon all the way – 10 years in a hoggie.

View on SMWS

Nose: Pickled onion Monster Munch, smoked kippers, white bait and a langoustine bisque. Running throughout smoked pears, seashells and fine sandy beaches. In the background, TCP and hospital floor cleaners with plenty of brine and a good twist of both salt and pepper seasoning. The addition of water sweetens things up with expressive lemon – zest, curd and jelly, whilst also focussing the peat influence on lump coal briquettes.

Taste: A booming arrival of intense ashiness (your palate may need a second sip to re-adjust). Briny water sits with shelled prawns and oysters drizzled in fresh lemon juice, whilst bitter chocolate is seasoned with both salt and pepper. The back-palate is tarry and oaky – fireplaces, road surfacing and plenty of still smouldering wood. Dilution ups the ante further – tarred felt roofs and beach huts with moist soils and wet coastal piers.

Finish: Medium, ashy, sooty and with lingering medicinalness offset by sweet lemon curd. Very drying though.

Let’s be clear – this Caol Ila is unsubtle – indeed, it’s about as large and roaring as this spirit gets at this age. An all on assault of fish, ash and tar. Frankly, I’m down with that. It’s therefore a shame that the back palate and finish deliver far too much dryness to compensate for the intensity. But if you fancy something a little wild and fun - release the Kraken.

Score: 85/100


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