Caol Ila 1983 31 year old cask #5294 (Signatory)
Bottle: Standard Signatory cask strength collection bottling with the notable exception, as stated on the label, that the cask has been hand picked by The Whisky Exchange. Should be something a little bit special then (other than the fact it’s a 31 year old Caol Ila!)
Nose: Dusty rubber, softening gradually into gentle smoke with a tinge of pear. A hint of milk chocolate underneath it all. Elegant.
Body: Medium and touch waxy.
Palate: Bam! This is gorgeous. The second it hits your palate you know this is an utterly superb dram. Honey and gentle smoke, then some more rubber with fruit compote and finally, a sour, creamy, herbaceous note. Extraordinary!
Finish: Dry gentle smoke and creamy, stewed orchard fruits.
Neat/Ice/Water: Neat. Anything else would be a crime against whisky.
Verdict: STUNNING!!! This is one of the best whiskies I’ve ever tried. The age really softens the smoke and blends it with the fruit flavours perfectly. I discovered it at the 2015 TWE whisky show and it stood out by a country mile over the course of a day sampling many different drams. Of course that was only a tiny pour but it was enough to convince me to get one at all costs. On that topic, there’s good news and bad news. The good news is that even though only 255 bottles exist, you can still get one from TWE (at the time of writing). The bad news is the price at £250. It hurts, until you drink some that is…