Caol Ila 1983 (Signatory Vintage 30th Anniversary)

Caol Ila 1983 (Signatory Vintage 30th Anniversary)

When Signatory Vintage celebrated its 30th anniversary back in 2018, they released a couple of mouthwatering whiskies. There was an excellent Port Ellen 1982, Highland Park 1988 and Highland Park 1991 for instance.

Just now I also had an opportunity to buy a sample of the Caol Ila 1983, a 35 year old bottling from a single hogshead.


Caol Ila 35 yo 1983 (52,7%, Signatory Vintage 2018, hogshead #5290, 213 btl.)

Nose: rather maritime and medicinal for such an old Caol Ila. Plenty of seaweed, iodine and bandages, with hints of incense as well. Mentholy smoke and toasted almonds. Then lightly fragrant wax candles, nougat and lemons. Sour plums and yellow apple in the background. Jars full of dried herbs.

Mouth: rather fruity now, with a beautiful sweet and sour balance. Lemons and grapefruit, green apple, whitecurrant. Then a wave of salty seaweed, light tarry notes and white pepper. Plasticine and mineral oils as well. Rather perfect, although it is perhaps a little more vertical than some others, lacking some thickness.

Finish: long, on cold ashes, pepper, ginger beer and some woody hints, more than in other bottlings.

Another outstanding anniversary release. Caol Ila is basically indestructible, but here you start to feel some wood in the very end. A little fragile if you add water, by the way. My sample came from Bottles are still available in German stores such as