This Caol Ila 1984 is also part of the latest batch of Maltbarn bottlings that will be presented in Limburg.
Although the early 1980s were a difficult period for the whisky industry in general, with seemingly less stunning results than we’ve seen in the 1970s, I’ve had several wonderful 1980s Caol Ila expressions.
Caol Ila 31 yo 1984 (54%, Maltbarn 2015, bourbon cask, 68 btl.)
Nose: stunning really. Starts on putty and camphor, tobacco leaves, sea shells, lemons and wet wool. Then I get some light farmy notes. Hints of almond oil. Old wardrobes. And then a wonderful fruitiness unfolds. Tinned pineapples and tangerines. Back to kippers, resinous / waxy notes, menthol and leather.
Mouth: really big and briney, with limestone, medicinal peat, a little petrol. Still a nice fruitiness and sweetness underneath: oranges, almonds, lemons. Some coastal / salty notes and mint too. Slightly grassier towards the end.
Finish: long, on liquorice, smoked lemons and salt.
I’ve compared Caol Ila from this period with Brora before, and this is really close as well, especially on the nose. Caol Ila can be unsurprisingly good, and even then this surprised me. Enough said: don’t miss this at the fair. Around € 300.