High strength at 30 years of age, was this matured in Kentucky? (S., drop it). Colour: gold.
Nose: It’s one of these old Caol Ilas that went toward marzipan and walnuts, soot and leather polish, fresh butter and Barbour grease. And fresh paint. Lovely nose, just a bit strong. So, with water: absolutely superb, in the style of the ‘older old Caol Ilas’. There are whiffs of muddy dogs (yeah, a variant of our beloved wet dogs – I’m sorry, dogs), damp newspapers, creosote, some seawater, walnut wine, more fresh paint (any colour)…
Mouth (neat): Fantastic. Some kind of smoked lemon liqueur, with of course a briny side and again quite some walnuts and a little putty. Cigar ashes, fresh walnut skin… With water: ideal. More lemon, more tangerines and a little more salt. And marzipan. And oysters. And salted liquorice.
Finish: Not the longest but it’s all very elegant. Lemon, salt and putty. Comments: it’s rather in the style of the CIs that were distilled 10 or 15 years before. An adorable old Caol Ila that loves water. Well, water is obligatory. SGP:456 - 92 points.