Caol Ila, 30 yr old, Single Malt Scotch Whisky

$789.95 inc GST

700 ml, 55.1% abv, Scotland (Islay)

A rare limited release of extra-mature Caol Ila – the oldest Caol Ila ever released by the original distillers, and with bags of character. Complex, mature and well structured, it combines a palate and finish rich in mature peat smoke with elegantly drying, herbal accents to create a really pungent, moreish malt.

Aged in a combination of refill American and refill European oak, the first note is of menthol cigarettes and freshly cut grass. Initally absent, the peat slowly builds and builds right to the very end of the finish.

Distilled 1983, bottled 2014, each bottle individually numbered.

“This is a stunner!  It’s hard to express in words just how well this whisky works”

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Nose: Fragrant nose, with a lot going on. I don’t get the wet peat of the younger Caol Ilas, but lots of extinguished smoke and ash (more the latter). Some distinctive medicinal/briny notes, plus well-worn leather. A faint nutty aroma, with a creamy overall feel. There is a fair amount of sweet fruit as well, like honeydew melon, along with a touch of citrus. Complex, yet elegant – you will want to spend a lot of time exploring this nose.

Palate: The salty and medicinal iodine notes come through up front, but they aren’t overwhelming. Same for the smoke/ash notes – present, but not as intense as the younger Coal Ilas. Some moist, earthy peat showing up now. Still getting the melon and some sort of pulpy fruit (papaya?). There is a spiciness as well, like anise – balanced with just the right level of sweetness. Definite oaky elements coming through, with clear vanilla. It is nowhere near as hot as you would expect for a 55.1% abv whisky – shockingly easy to drink at this level. It has an incredibly luxurious mouthfeel.

Finish: Very long, with lingering smoke and ash. That balance of spicy and sweet (e.g., black licorice) persists as well.