Over to Caol Ila for an 11 year old that has been matured in a single ex-bourbon hogshead and bottled at 57.4% ABV. Yours for £64.95 from The Whisky Exchange.
Nose: Smoked lemons, brine and coal dust together with shale and beach shingle. Medicinal wipes and floor cleaners are joined by lemon gel, chip pan far whilst in the background a selection of alluvial clays persists alongside groundnut oil. Water reveals putty and tile grout together with moist soils, sack cloth and roasted lemons.
Taste: Fulsome and fatty. Salinity, white pepper and stem ginger run parallel to expressive lemon oils. Smoke billows out of the centre – antiseptic, tinctures, brine and sea breeze set against wood smoke and lamp oil. Dilution amps up the minerality with cliffs and sandy beaches together with pangs of grapefruit sharpness and tartness.
Finish: Long - lemon-tinged hospital cleaning smoke. All that good stuff.
Precise and chiselled where it needs to be - wild and untamed where you’d hope it was. And with all the lemons you’d likely ever require. Unmistakably Caol Ila. Perfectly so – an archetypal bottling.