Ahhh, a dumpy Signatory Vintage bottle, nice! Maybe not thát long ago that this was bottled, but an oldy in today’s market nevertheless. This is Whisky I grew up with. Can you imagine, shops full of bottles like this. Today a fairly rare site. I couldn’t find a picture though of the reviewed bottle (cask #467). Pictured here is a similar bottle drawn from cask #470. The right bottle should look similar, maybe the box had a different colour.
Color: Light gold.
Nose: Nice fatty old peat. Toned down, laid back and elegant. Quite light. Notes of fern and dry grass. This doesn’t leap out of the glass as your regular Sauvignon Blanc. One to savor right from the start though. Typical Caol Ila coffee I always tend to smell in late 70’s early 80’s Caol Ila distillates. No heavy peat, no heavy smoke. Quite an a-typical Islay Whisky.
Taste: Sweet, herbal and grassy. Short fresh attack, clean at first but not for long. After a few seconds a wave of licorice root and primarily loads of ashes. Crushed beetle. Not so much peaty yet. Extremely warming. This is what you want in your hip flask standing on the beach in a storm. (Apart from a young and feisty Islay Whisky that is).
For a 1981 Caol Ila it ís lacking a bit of complexity. I know examples which had some more fatty and funky peat in them. Good but not as good as Caol Ila from these days can be.
Thanks go out to my mate André for providing this sample.