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Caol Ila





Caol Ila, 18 Year Old, Islay, 2017 Release, NV

1x70cl £83.33

7 bottles

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Tasting Note:

Fresh and citric, this is an excellent example of Caol Ila sure to make a stimulating apéritif. Delightfully rich, with a fruitiness usually just hinted at in Caol Ila, it’s a fine dram that’s even better with a drop of water.

Appearance: Pale yellow gold. Moderate beading.

Nose: Surprisingly weighty, with a meaty backbone that doesn't rely on the distillery's usual smoke for depth. Initially sharp and prickly, the first impression is of lemon zest, edging towards lemon drizzle cake and lemon sherbet sweets, or perhaps honeysuckle, vanilla cream and egg custard, along with toffee, green-leaf herbs, fruit gums and soft spiciness. Later, a dry minerality builds in the glass, adding a chalk and flint austerity. The addition of water softens the nose and adds fleeting scents of pine-sap and artist’s studio, against a maritime background.

Body: Weighty, with fast running legs.

Palate: The taste is sweet (boiled sweets), acidic (bitter lemon) and salty, walking a knife edge between all three. Occasionally it slips into sour orchard and sweet candied fruit, then into intense salted caramel and toffee. Hints of sea-spray dance the edges, along with barrel-char smokiness, oak, black-pepper spiciness and fresh clean notes. Finally, the fruit and char unite in triumph, as fresh-baked apple pies. Water amplifies both fruit and spice, with liquorice and orange zest, the spice gaining heat and a hint of chilli. With water, these primary tastes soften yet remain clear, becoming more rounded and accessible.

Finish: Warming, soft and long, with notes of vanilla and spiced pastry, succeeded by aniseed, polished oak, bittersweet liquorice and a last burst of red berries, which fades to soft spice, sweetness and oak.

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