This Caol Ila 1984 is one of these 30yo+ single malts that have recently been bottled to ‘enhance’ the Connoisseurs Choice series, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. They come in a bulkier version of the new bottle, presented in a wooden presentation box.
Whereas the old Connoisseurs Choice range (map labels and later) used to be an entry-level range, often at low ABVs, it has now been given a significant push upwards.
Caol Ila 33 yo 1984 (52,8%, Gordon & MacPhail Connoisseurs Choice 2018, refill sherry hogshead, 216 btl.)
Nose: unsurprisingly great. Excellent combo of sweeter notes (marzipan, sweet herbal liqueur, sugared grapefruit, poached pear, walnut cake) with sharper notes (wet rocks, camphor). Waxed papers. Salted toffee. Hints of tobacco and gentle smoke.
Mouth: sweet fruits (papaya, mango purée, yellow apples and plums) and creamy almond oils with huge briney notes (sea salt, olive water). Sweet mint. It’s quite massive but also elegant. Funny hints of sunflower oil. Late chocolate.
Finish: long, with tobacco and
Excellent. This is quite a rich Caol Ila in comparison to others, with above average creamy fruits, but a very intense salty side as well (Fino style). Really expensive (€ 500+) and like the Mortlach 1987 nowhere to be found in shops. Recommended nonetheless.