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

Caol Ila ‘Handwritten Label’ 1969 / 1985 59.9% for Meregalli vs Caol Ila 15 yo ‘Celtic Label’  1969 / 1984 Gordon & Macphail 60.4% for Intertrade

Not the Caol Ila we know today, this Caol Ila is the older one demolished to be rebuilt as the one we know.

Caol Ila ‘Handwritten Label’ 1969 / 1985 59.9% for Meregalli

Can Caol Ila get any deeper and tarrier than this? A different style of Caol Ila altogether. Immense yet immediate, so profoundly deep yet you don’t feel you need to drown yourself to be acquainted. A masterstroke of complexity and power. Black coal and cold char, a thick oily and peaty sort of black earth oozing with grime, buckets of smoking tar. Cold grey smoke. The whole thing is saturated with a universe of little phenolic heres and theres and yet it has to contend with the salt and crushed shells and rock gushing in – from dirty seawater churned by angry waves it seems. Wait a little and there’s kelp getting a little ripe on used nets hung out to dry (not quite cleaned yet). And it keeps surprising – on the tongue at twists from salty to peppery-mentholated and back as well, indeed it seems the Atlantic has a bit of an edge here, but in all the marine elements and dirty peat elements clash as giants in an sensory prizefight, neither giving ground. A tour de force of distilling.

 

Caol Ila 15 yo ‘Celtic Label’  1969 / 1984 Gordon & Macphail 60.4%  for Intertrade

As close to the Meregalli as can be in terms of profile. Yet where the 59.9% revels in its expressive verbosity, this one instead folds its layers into itself like fingers folding into a balled fist. Into that veritable gravity well we throw in tons of preserved lemon rinds, the tarriest of black tar, chunks of rock salt, tobacco in cans, clean resins, crushed roots, the flash of a mountain of white minerals on fire, and so many more little fleeting phenolic notes and nuances. All while walking the streets of Centralia. The tension is positively throbbing, the depth is heartbreaking and it absolutely demands rapt attention. And so I find my nose glued to the glass, for I reckon I have more fingers than opportunities to try whiskies of this utmost excellence.

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This entry was posted on November 8, 2018 by in Caol Ila and tagged .
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