As it involves a journey through time filled with moving memories, tasting a single malt of this age – and perhaps more so in the case of an Islay – is always enthralling. It is generally said that with time “old” Islays tend to see their peaty and smoky character subside a little in favour of the other facets of their personality. With notes of peat and smoke that continue to assert their supremacy over a palette of flavours and aromas that has become more creamy whilst maintaining lots of freshness, this Caol Ila is the exception to the rule. With superb intensity, the dried extracts found in the empty glass are a perfect demonstration of this.
CAOL ILA Over 40 Years ARTIST 10TH Anniversary S.V
Quantity limited to 1 bottle by client.
Islay Single Malt, 54.9%, 70cl — Single Cask #7709, Hogshead Limited edition of 156 bottles — LMDW Exclusive
Refined, distinguished. Animal (leather, bacon) and powdery (ginger, rice), the first nose shows us Caol Ila in a more peated and roasted (coffee) light than usual. Allowed to breathe, soot falls on the palate, as thick smoke creates a particularly opaque screen. Suddenly the sun appears, with candied lemon, juicy pear, bouquets of heady florals (peony, gladiolus), acacia honey and aromatic plants (verbena, sage), as a sea breeze irrigates an aromatic palette in which maturity is rivalled only by complexity.
Rich, full-bodied. The harmonious attack is peaty, earthy, fruity, floral, herbaceous, spicy and salty… in a word, “complete”. All of these tones rival each other in intensity. With an incredibly noble expression, the mid-palate is malty, spicy (saffron), honeyed (lime blossom), infused (camomile), delicately chocolate and liquorice. The very evocative end of the palate takes us deep into a field of freshly cut barley under the last rays of the day’s sunlight.
Long, silky. At the start of the finish, delicious notes of lime, vanilla flan and exotic fruit (passion fruit, guava) play opposite stunning chocolate, liquorice, earthy and salty flavours. Intensely smoky and slightly camphoric, the retro-nasal olfaction beams with youthful spirit. Much later, the empty glass releases blocks of dried peat, sea spray and smoky malted barley grains.