Whisky Review: Signatory Vintage Caol Ila 1983 Aged 32 Years

Style: Delicate, Sweet and Smoky

Caol Ila in the calmest form – peat smoke, tropical fruits syrup and cereal interweave silkily with finesse and composure. Spearmint shoots through with minimal burn. Crayons, brine, white flowers and pulled pork rumbling beneath the surface, mineral notes, aloe vera and lemon tea teasing at the back. Finish with a pinch of chilli spice. Elegant.

Lemon aloe vera overflowing on the interwoven layer of peat, stewed tropical fruits and cereal malt. Absolutely delicious. Peppermint humming merrily, vanilla cream and yuzu jam going under. Flint stone and smoked ham forming a beautiful base. A soft acrylic overtone, malt going dry towards the end. Gentle, neat and tidy. Excellent.

Smoked lemon tea, citrus confectionaries and thick-cut ham. The flavours are slowly mellowing down with some extra bubbly chocolate cream.

Interestingly, this wasn’t rated very highly in my 80s Caol Ila tasting I held a while ago. But when this bottle is assessed individually and has my full attention now, all the nuances, twists and turns manifested beautifully in front of me like a landscape oil painting and it is pretty magnificent. Then I realised – it is not that this Caol Ila isn’t great, but the others in the lineup are even better. But for now, I am pretty happy with this one.

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]

[49.3% Independent Bottling 1983 Distilled 2016 Bottled Hogshead Cask Number: 5292 Bottle Number: 91 of 249 Non-Chill Filtered Cask Strength Non Coloured **-]