The other day I reached 300 whiskies reviewed (not all on here yet unfortunately, but we're getting there). I decided to celebrate by cracking this fine sample bought from FineDramsTM.
At first it was shy and I was underwhelmed but had another taste yesterday and I got a lot more from it.
Caol Ila 30 year old 1983 55.1%
|Photo courtesy of Master of Malt|
Nose: The oak speaks first, with liquorice and dry sandalwood, a carpenters workshop, dusty garden shed, rusty tools. Complex fruit starting to appear, dried orange, spiced orange, beautiful lemon, dried pineapple, dried mango, dried banana. Faded old smoke in the background, dry ginger, sea air, smoked lemon juice. Growing more lively over time with lemon sherbet, lime zest, a some more peat smoke.
Water: Classical old Islay. More maritime, fresh and bracing. Fresh sea air, used wetsuit, sea salt, lime zest, ripe fruit, pear, old peat smoke. Great, really great.
Taste: Intense and big. Lots of fruit- Apple, banana, mango, pineapple then building creamy oak slowly coming in, intense and hugely powerful, very mouth coating, a little smoke, dried banana, some faded maritime notes, old sail, old wetsuit, engine oil, salty lemon juice, then some burnt grass and then lime going into the finish.
Water: More balance. Softer arrival, longer more complex development on a dance between fresh ripe fruit, smoke, Hessian, and sea salt air. Marker pen, spiced orange, stewed pear, dried banana, powerful lime oil, oily and a little more peaty into the finish. Beautiful.
Finish: Long length. Oily, lime juice, the powerful oak recedes very slowly on smoked lemon. A peaty puff! About 20 seconds after swallowing.
2014 Special Releases. Not as powerful as the 1983LMDW, reviewed here, but more complex perhaps. Needs a drop of water to reveal it's full complexity, a little shy at first.
I probably wouldn't spend £450 on it though. I'd rather get Cadenheads new 31yo for £150, which is probably just as good.
Network Average: 77.4
Best Score: 91
Worst Score: 44
60-64 Just About OK
65-69 Ok to Good
75-79 Very Good