Nose: This, is different. Much sharper, zesty and mineral than the 1983s, more ‘chiselled’, less rounded (not that the 1983s were ‘rounded’ whiskies) and with more soot, smoke and ashes. It’s rather more coastal as well – more seawater than brine.
With water: The differences with the 1983s are even more obvious. Bandages, kippers, graphite oil…
Mouth (neat): Exactly the same feeling as on the nose. Ultra-zesty, lemony, sharp like a blade (well, as sharp as a 29yo whisky can be) and absolutely wonderful if you’re an aficionado of this style. Rieslingesque, as barbarians would say. A lot of salt too.
With water: Perfect. Right between a slightly candied fruitiness (kumquats) and all things coastal/peaty. Finish: long, with touches of olives and tar. The lemon is back in the aftertaste.
Comments: A good example of one of these old Caol Ilas that are true bang-for-the-buck whiskies. At less than £100 a bottle (google is your friend), it’s all almost ridiculous. In a great way ;-). Yeah, or it’s a mistake!