Caol Ila 1992 13 year old cask #05/896 (Signatory)
Bottle: Standard Signatory cask strength collection bottling.
Nose: Salt beef and smoked Bavarian cheese (but not overpoweringly so). Calms down with a little breathing.
Body: This is a medium bodied dram with a sticky, oily, mouth coating feel to it. Unctuous.
Palate: Lemon sherbet, rock salt, fading smoked kippers, bramble and… tarragon? Well balanced and equally citrus, smoky and salty with a green edge to it.
Finish: The palate flavours maintain themselves and fade gracefully during the finish which is reasonably long. Some menthol arriving fashionably late as well…
Neat/Ice/Water: It’s a touch hot at 56.7% though entirely drinkable if you are used to cask strength on a regular basis. Otherwise, ice it or water it very lightly.
Verdict: Quaffable. This is a good Caol Ila with the usual pedigree. Light smoke and coastal notes in perfect harmony. Long aged Caol Ila releases (25 years+) are highly sought after with good reason (they rock). The younger expressions I’ve had have been pretty good too and this one is better than most in this age range. It comes off a little more mature than 13 and is quite satisfying even if it doesn’t hit the heights of the older drams. I got this at auction and you will need to as well should you wish to acquire a bottle as it’s no longer generally available.Matured in a single hogshead. 262 Bottles only. Trivia time – the day this was distilled the final episode of “Night Court” aired on NBC-TV. I loved that show…