This Caol Ila 1983 is the first official 30 Year Old (as far as I know), bottled as part of the Special Releases 2014. We’ve had a whole list of early 1980’s releases from independent bottlers, so we’re curious to see how the official release compares.
It is a mix of refill American and European oak.
Caol Ila 30 yo 1983 (55,1%, OB 2014, Special Release, 7638 btl.)
Nose: a maritime / medicinal version at first sight. Iodine impregnated gauze, seaweed, with some leather and soot. On a second level, there are rounder, fruitier notes: sweet lemon, melon and sugared almonds. Hints of latte and vanilla. A rather complex version, but the more coastal / austere notes win in the end.
Mouth: more intense, sharp and focused, with a big medicinal side again. Menthol and camphor. Aniseed and salt. Leathery notes. Kippers and olive brine. Quite hot actually, with earthy peat, bitter almonds and a good deal of oak. Just a few hints of vanilla to round things off.
Finish: long, on liquorice, lemon & salt and soot.
A really big expression of Caol Ila that seems to have lost none of its power. Reminds me of the Coal Ila 1982 for Limburg Whisky Fair of last year, but it’s bolder and rougher. And much more expensive than indie versions. Around € 550 (ouch).