Colour: bright gold.
Nose: lively, powerful. Right away, the first nose invites us to discover a Caol Ila that is clearly more peaty than usual. In fact, cartloads of peat literally spill across an aromatic palette bursting with salts. Allowed to breathe, candied lemon and juicy pear appear alongside intense smoke, tar and soot. To ensure the presence of every element required for a great peated malt, medicinal (camphor, iodine tincture) and mineral (schist, slate) notes arrive in a grand finale.
Palate: sharp and creamy. On the attack, the same marine peat seizes the taste buds. Out of this, smoke rings from a chocolatey Havana cigar, frangipane flavours, ash, candied pear, almond milk and a number of aromatic plants (sage, wicker) appear. The herbaceous (cut hay) mid-palate is profoundly malty and aniseedy. Just like on the nose, our peatometer registers an unusually high ppm content for Caol Ila. And yet, and it really is quite a feat, this single malt’s DNA is perfectly recognizable.
Finish: long, generous. At the start of the finish, the peat takes on chocolate and vanilla tones, as grains of salt spread across the palate. Mouth-watering, it becomes increasingly rich (flan, éclair) and herbal (chamomile, mint). Gradually, clove, black truffle and notes of coal set the pace for a very richly expressed end to the palate. Tobacco and white florals (lily, lily of the valley) mark the retro-nasal olfaction with their enchanting perfumes. The empty glass is saturated with smoke, ash and tarry fragrances.