Google Little duos, today old Caol Ila

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Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

March 5, 2019


Little duos, today old Caol Ila

Isn’t that a blessing that some old casks of Caol Ila would still be available from some bottlers’ or brokers’? We’ve had some fantastic ones just a few weeks ago, so today our hopes are as high as, err, the Matterhorn. Grüezi!

Caol Ila 1983/2018 ‘Smoky Nectar’ (46%, Wemyss Malts, hogshead, 211 bottles)

Caol Ila 1983/2018 ‘Smoky Nectar’ (46%, Wemyss Malts, hogshead, 211 bottles) Five stars
A name that’s perhaps a little less esoteric than others, but at least you’ll understand exactly what they are meaning at Wemyss’s. Unless that name was found on a Monday morning rather than on a Friday evening. This cask was bottled exclusively for the new Wemyss Malts Whisky Club. We’ve seen that before, haven’t we. Colour: pale gold. Nose: ah, rather one of those slightly acetic ones at first nosing, between almond milk, lemon juice and indeed white vinegar (a droplet, really). That works very well I have to say. Also green apples, then the usual fresh walnuts and carbon paper, engine oil, brand new woollen sweater, a little camphor, a touch of olive, some leather polish... It’s one of those whiskies that seem to be pretty simple and easy when you first nose them, and that would never stop evolving and getting more complex. There, whelks, new books, clams, hessian... Mouth: there’s an Ardbegness in this arrival, trust me. A tarry/petroly side, some old fisherman’s nets, then some more regular kind of smoky fudge, salted caramel, oysters, and the obligatory kippers. Very good, as expected. Finish: long, with a little green tea, ginger, green tannins, salted lemon juice... The signature’s a tad sweeter again, with a little lemon tarte (with meringue, naturally). Comments: the peat in these old Caol Ilas remains tireless. In theory, it should have started to vanish, but it looks like it did not, at all. Exactly that, a ‘Smoky Nectar’.

SGP:367 - 90 points.

Caol Ila 36 yo 1982/2018 (54.3%, Kingsbury, Or Sileis, Taiwan, hogshead, cask #701, 154 bottles)

Caol Ila 36 yo 1982/2018 (54.3%, Kingsbury, Or Sileis, Taiwan, hogshead, cask #701, 154 bottles) Five stars
A new series from Taiwan. We used to write that the whisky scene in Taiwan was burgeoning. Well, it’s now in full bloom! As for the name Kingsbury, it’s always been a very good sign, with only very few minor exceptions. Colour: gold. Nose: ha, it’s one of those Jamaican Caol Ilas again!. You know, when they start like some Hampden or Worthy Park, that is to say full of olives, brine, anchovies and grass smoke, before they become a little rounder, more coastal as well, a notch cleaner than our badass rums, and with more apple peels and rapeseed oil, which is always very Caol Ila in my book. And then, there’s this infernal trio, menthol, camphor and eucalyptus, then iodine. Cures anything. With water: and now bandages and ointments! And more fresh almonds. Have we already mentioned fresh almonds in these notes? Mouth (neat): very brilliant. Mangos and mint, olive oil, beeswax, ink... That’s all very typical, and totally ueber-class. With water: more salt, green lemons, oysters, bitter oranges, greens. Rocket salad. Finish: long, greener, more vegetal and herbal. And yet another dimension. Comments: I find it even more complex than some other sister casks/batches from those good people in Campbeltown. It’ll just need a little breathing. Like, open bottle, drink two or four shots, close, keep closed for one year, drink more.

SGP:366 - 93 points.

More tasting notesCheck the index of all Caol Ila we've tasted so far






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