Almost a month ago I reviewed one of those beautiful tall green glass Cadenheads bottles. A Dufftown to be precise. But there were more of those on these pages. I remember a Tormore and a Pulteney. In the dungeons I found another one of those! So today it is time to do another one from the same series. I guess I have a soft spot for them. This time a Caol Ila from 1977 that they already decided to bottle in 1993.
Nose: Ahhhh, nice creamy peat. Very vegetal and coastal and slightly fishy. Salty fish. It is sea spray in heavy winds. Very clean and warming. Not very animalesk as they (and I) tend to say. It does have a lot of peat but still I wouldn’t say that it is in your face peat. Tar, not so much, but I do get some rubber. Some cold dry smoked tea leaves (Lapsang Souchong). Lots of smoke actually and extremely nice salty driftwood that finishes off in toned down Coleman’s mustard powder. Classic Islay.
Taste: Very smoky attack and half sweet (perfect sweetness). Meaty, roasted pork maybe. It comes across as powdery and slightly soapy. Fruity, hints of peach and banana. Here the sweetness seems to me to be a little wild, animalesk. The taste is very typical for a Caol Ila. This was recognizable blind. This has a nice full body with a perfect sweetness (slightly acidic) that matches the toned down peat a lot, combined with the smoke…a winner. Macaroons (made with almonds) and a slightly bitter finish (from the wood) and overall a tad too simple for a score into the 90’s.
Well if you like your Islay Whisky smoky, that this is for you. It may look like something different but actually this is very smoky, very very smoky. The smoke is able to push the peat to the background. Last piece of advice, give it some time to breathe…