After an excellent Port Askaig 33 Years for the US, a new sample landed on my desk of a Port Askaig 34 Year Old. A single cask release from 1983.
We can never be sure, but this should be Caol Ila.
Port Askaig 34 yo 1983
(49,7%, Elixir Distillers 2018, ex-bourbon hogshead, 180 btl.)
Nose: a very graceful nose. Plenty of beeswax notes, with light buttery touches and a lot of honey. A couple of pineapple cubes. Cuban cigars, a hint of old wardrobes and car workshops. Warm hay. Chamomile. Candied oranges and vanilla. A little mint tea.
Mouth: ooh, oily and quite punchy after all these years. Some burnt oak, smoky liquorice and hints of wet limestone. Then waxy notes again, some olive oil and grassy hints. Growing sweeter, with peppered lemon candy and chocolate with salt. Camphor and honey(suckle). Lanolin.
Finish: long and leafy, with mentholy smoke and grasses.
Graceful, complex and just a superb balance of sharpness and vanilla roundness. I know Port Ellen has been hyped, but these Caol Ilas are on the same level and if you think about it, more reasonably priced. One hell of a dram. Available from The Whisky Exchange.