Caol Ila is probably my favourite Islay distillery. Although come to think of it, depending on my mood I could easily be swayed in the direction of Bowmore, Lagavulin or Bunnahabhain. Anyway, today Caol Ila has the top spot. I’ll be taking a closer look at the Caol Ila 1978 23 Years Old from the Rare Malts Selection.
Caol Ila 1978 23 Years Old (61,7%, OB ‘Rare Malts Selection’)
Nose: Incredibly crisp and fresh at first nosing. Lemons with brine and some light peatiness, which develops into more of a smouldering campfire with a touch of rubber. Changes again into a more grassy an waxy profile, with a touch of sugary sweetness. Taste: Brine and peat, with tar, smoke and lots of vanilla sweetness. Very vegetal and spicy as well. Black pepper and nutmeg. Broccoli. Finally some citrus fruit and mango. Finish: Long with plenty of brine and peat smoke.
While very good, I find it doesn’t really shows its age, which is a pity when tasting something of considerable age.