Caol Ila 1989 11 Years Old (Signatory Vintage)
Bottled over fifteen years ago, there’s not much online information on this Caol Ila 1989 11 Years Old from Signatory Vintage. I received a sample (thanks Tom!) of it a while back, and since I can’t tell you much about it, we’ll just dive right in. But before we start, let me at least share that this matured in a sherry butt.
Caol Ila 1989 11 Years Old (58,1%, Signatory Vintage, C#5360)
Nose: The balance here is admirable. Smoked bacon, smoked paprika and lots of brine with a hint of strawberry, and burned orange peel. There’s peat of course, as well as ripe banana and pineapple, and a pinch of pepper. Really, incredibly good.
Taste: Peat, ash, soot, and again lots of brine and salt, accompanied by chili peppers, seaweed and a whiff of rubber. All very intense. There’s some fruit here, like pickled lemon, but otherwise this is a peat lovers dream. Extremely maritime.
Finish: Very salty, and brine-y, and peat-y of course. Long.
Excellent whisky, with a nose that is up there indeed, followed by a palate that is a bit more one-dimensional (relative to the nose that is).
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.