It was aged in a refill hogshead, and is of a release including just 154 bottles, all of which are non chill-filtered and bottled at natural cask strength (which was 57.4%).
Having never tried a Caol Ila of this age that wasn’t delicious, we’re looking forward to getting our lips around this one…
Nose: It opens on a perfect mix of tropical fruit, Solero ice lollies and an intensely spicy, salty oil character. In fact, the longer is stays in the glass, the more this tropical fruit develops, and it becomes more and more like guava/mango. There’s just the faintest suggestion of smoke, which has taken on a sweet quality, a little like burning vanilla sugar, with perhaps a hint of orange peel.
Palate: An elegant, oily and thoroughly fruity dram. It’s dry with rubbery smoke notes which have a fantastic edge of fleur de sel, traditional-style Cola syrup, chewed cardamom and hints of charcoal. The vaguest hint of seltzer water mixed with a dash of grenadine late palate, with fiery smoked chilli warmth.
Finish: We’re left with Alka Seltzer notes, which blend well with a hint of fruit to produce an almost sherbet lemon-like flavour which fades slowly with oily spices and straw.
Overall: A fine example of old Caol Ila, with a youthful palate that belies its 30 years in oak. Time in the glass equals a big dollop of complexity with this one – we recommend you really take your time and get to know it!
– The Chaps at Master of Malt –