Whisky Review: Gordon & MacPhail Connoisseurs Choice Caol Ila 1984 Aged 33 Years

Style: Sweet, Smoky and Complex

Fizzling lemonade, slightly salty, stewed fruits and graphite. Lively and surprisingly “round”. Peppermint and rosemary flowers stabbing through layers of fruitiness. Green apples, mangoes and confectionaries forming more beautiful sweetness underneath. Kumquat, seaweed, mineral water and overripe white peaches sitting even deeper at the core. Wow, it feels the depth is simply endless and ever-changing, incredible aroma. A little bit of bacon crisps, sandalwood and assorted pepper at the back. Very complex.

Similar to what the nose has suggested, except it is more compact and consolidated. Lemon citrus, vanilla icing, seaweed soda water and peated barley (of course it is) interweaving together elegantly. Peppermint hitting the high notes, baby kumquats, liquorice, prosciutto and violets placed on top of steaming barley. A thin slice of fig jam and white peach gently cooked and smoked in a barbeque stove. Chilli spike, tropical fruit punch, milk chocolate and coconut jelly at the back to finish.

Lemonade with a twist of smoke. Bacon and iodine droplets. Maritime and mineral notes lingering on a barley bed.

We all now know early 80s Caol Ila are pretty magical, but this one is probably on another level. Simply because of its endless complexity is really amazing, which is built upon the perfect congregation of every single element in the spirit. It feels technically the maturation, intensity, peat, expression, distillate, cask and balance have all hit their respective peaks and are orchestrated to put in a majestic performance. Probably you can dock off a couple of points on the finish, but it remains a 3 stars dram in my book.

☆☆☆ [Most Recommended]

[52.8% Independent Bottling 1984 Distilled 2018 Bottled Aged 33 Years Single Cask Batch 18/062 Refill Sherry Hogshead 216 Bottles Non Coloured Non Chill Filtered ***-]