Whisky Review: Cadenhead Single Cask Caol Ila 1983 Aged 33 Years

Style: Fruity, Slight Smoky and Complex

Beautiful honey marches in together with fresh green lime slices, while peat smoke is carefully infused into the aroma. Oh my god, this is incredible. Fragrance and oiliness at perfect balance, very vibrant as well. Chalks, more lemon, probably in the form confectionaries, grapefruits, pineapple and even a tiny bit of jackfruit, quite tropical. Pine and grass undertone, subtle smoke lurking beneath the surface as well. Mussels and grilled asparagus hiding very deep. Spicy notes picking up towards the end, very nice.

Lemon citrus and stewed tropical fruits leading at the front, lime cordial drizzling on sage and Brazilian steak. Peat smoke humming softly, yuzu combines with rosemary flowers and malt biscuits to form a beautiful secondary layer. Acrylic and chalky notes resonating at the background, taro, dying coal ambers and wood wool sitting at the back. Barley surfaces towards the end.

Lime and grapefruit pie, subtle smoke subside even further. Just a touch of lemon vera to finish.

A clear crowd favourite in my 80s Caol Ila tasting and rightly so. This Cadenhead is surprisingly vibrant, and its complexity stretches beyond one’s imagination. Not only flavour-wise, but also the combination of its parameters – the fruitiness, flavour palette, oiliness, vibrancy, layers and maturation is very complete and highly sophisticated. One of the most complex Caol Ilas I have tried to date. For me, it is only one magical touch away to reach three stars. Top dram.

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]

[50.2% / Independent Bottling / 1983 Distilled / 2017 Bottled / 198 Bottles / Cask Strength / Single Cask / Non-Chill Filtered / Non-Coloured / **+]