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So much whisky, so little time | Singapore | Tasting Notes

Caol Ila 30 yo 1983 Special Release 2014 vs Caol Ila 33 yo 1980 #10159 Directors Cut

No messing about. I want something good, peaty and well matured tonight. Laphroaig and Caol Ila usually hold court in that category. It’s going to be Caol Ila since it represents the value proposition, and financial markets haven’t had the best year.

Caol Ila 30 yo 1983 Special Release 2014 55.1%

caol-ila-301983

Nose Nose: Outstanding. The high price it was asked for in 2014 is well worth it. Beautifully composed nose displaying the perfect balance of these classic Islay-esque scents of clean salinity, warm embers, smoking peat, a gentle rounded garden fruit, more white smoke, something green and just some maritime medicine like seaweed pulled from the sea and chopped up, and then some buttered malt. Not a huge peater at 30, and no heavy hitter but great elegance and graceful poise. Much better, I daresay, than some 30 yo officials floating about.

Taste Palate: Exactly. It is in fact all that, but much bigger sweet peat and more smoke than on apparent on the nose. Quite salty too, salty fruit and grass juice. as clean and soft as ever a peated whisky can be. No obvious sherry influence, no obvious bourbon influence, just great Caol Ila and great blending.

Finish Finish: Long and longer, some medicine, some oak tannins show up now, more salt, more smoke.. getting bitter.

Score95

It was seen as expensive at that time, and a second version has since come out as well, so I am somewhat behind the curve, but damn this is good Caol Ila.

 

Caol Ila 33 yo 1980 #10159 Directors Cut Douglas Laing 58.8%

caol-ila198010159

Nose Nose: So we’ve lost the sublime balance of the 1983, but we’ve gained a big burned out firepit full of white ash while a storm at sea lashes about. An entirely different style. Those who dismiss Caol Ila as boring have no idea. The storm is really quite huge and there’s salt water everywhere, and seaweed too apparently because it has a dollop of medicine, also salty lemons. All the while there’s burning peat and black smoke; plus some spilt diesel. Also only 3% more abv, but it feels oilier and weightier. And all this at 33 years.

Taste Palate: Much rawer, full of menthol lozenges, ash and soot and burnt embers and a dry peaty smoke. Really quite a phenolic one, and quite a big kick, a peppery smoky hot kick. Gets more and more maritime – salty rocks, jackets and seaspray. Really good.

Finish Finish: Long again, salty and peatsmoke. Still very exuberant.

Score97

The glories of single cask.. where the cask did not previously hold some wine, and is just a tad tired… Reminds of the older white paper label 25 yo.

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This entry was posted on December 20, 2016 by in Caol Ila and tagged .
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