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Caol Ila, 25 yr old, Single Malt Scotch Whisky

700 ml, 43% abv, Scotland (Islay)

“A big and bold Islay peated malt, with classic briny and seaside notes, and smouldering charcoal and boathouse flavours”

“Exquisite. It’s an extremely subtle whisky: the flavours are perfectly balanced and integrated, so it requires contemplation to pick apart. It’s very warming without being at all harsh. Oily, ashy, sweet with dashes of orange and grapefruit juice. A little honey, but not much. Maritime, evoking harbour walls, winter sea spray, sea weed. The smoke is very mellow indeed, not aggressive in the slightest. The finish is oily, salty, with a touch of pepper, and it’s very long”

$349.95 inc GST

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NOSE : Very expressive and complex indeed. Lemon zest, hints of black pepper, cream fudge, a waft of licorice, classic Caol Ila coal dust, but no where near as definitive. Then we get the peat. It’s such a gentle, elegant aroma, that wraps itself around your nostrils and almost says, ‘come and find me when you’re relaxed and ready’. Quite striking in its approach. There’s also a more surprising fruity edge to this, a hint of dare I say it, the exotic?? Mango perhaps. In any case, what we have here is a belter of a nose. Job done.

PALATE : You can see before it even reaches your mouth that it’s going to be oily. The palate gets coated from the first initial sip, with a rich, syrupy texture. It’s very sweet on the entry, with a big hit of brown sugar, into a broad, malty note. Then comes the peat, much more prominent than the nose, but still refined and balanced. More sweetness with golden syrup, some notes of chewy toffee and a little light diced green apple for good measure.

FINISH : Lingering notes of something floral and fruity stick to your gums, while the undercurrent of peat washes past. Superb and very lengthy.


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