N: Lovely honeysuckle notes initially. Sugared almonds. Really appetising. Leafy, with restrained oak in the background.
P: Beautiful soft mouthfeel. Slowly growing surge of leafy, smokey, oaky flavours. Appley, with hints of citrus, pepper and chilli. An autumn bonfire.
F: Slow fade, lingering spices.
Nose: nicely coastal, with wet sand and oyster, but quite fruity as well. A soft, liqueur-like fruitiness, rather exotic for a Caol Ila. Nice interplay of two characters. Lemon, honeysuckle, vanilla. A few medicinal notes in the background.
Mouth: lemon at first, then some walnuts and almonds. Apricots. Peat as well, and a few salty notes, which make it sharper than on the nose. Again a nice showcase of older Caol Ila elements.
Finish: long, with spicy smoke, hints of tea and salty fish.
I’m fond of older Caol Ila. Port Askaig 25yo was already my favourite of the range and now this place is taken by the 30yo (although the 25yo has quite a price advantage).
Very elegant while at the same time showing impressive power for a 30 year-old.
After the successful CS, 17 and 25 (including a second batch of the latter), here’s the 30. Please note that we cannot be 100% sure it’s Caol Ila, but that it’s most probably not Bunnahabhain inside. Colour: gold.
Nose: this one is much more vegetal and lemony at first nosing, and rather more medicinal as well. Some camphor, eucalyptus, lemon juice, a little antiseptic, then more coastal notes as expected. Oysters, then hints of wet dog (let’s put a term to our silly jokes with wet dogs) and whiffs of smoke and a little mint. Gets also a tad earthier, with a little vanilla. Globally fresher and less smoky than the CC. Very nice, gets drier after fifteen minutes.
Mouth: less salt than in the G&M (I can’t see how there would have been more salt) but many coastal notes, smoked fish, then lemon marmalade, green tea, leather and notes of fresh walnuts. The medicinal notes are well there, crouched in the background. A little camphor, for instance. Very good but less polished than expected at 30yo.
Finish: long, salty, more on fruit peelings and green tea. Medium peatiness.
Comments: a very fine Caol Ila (oops) that’s rather far from age’s tiredness. Even at 40yo, this will be fresh and lively. SGP:466 - 90 points.