End of May I had the pleasure of visiting Bert Bruyneel (owner of Asta Morris) and got to taste one of the best Caol Ila I have ever tried. Strike that: one of the best Islay whiskies I have ever tried. The fact that it was distilled in the year that Star Wars hit the siliver screen has nothing to do with that, nor the fact that I tried it on 25 May 2017, exactly 40 years after my favorite film saga began. Nope, promise, there is no link. It was one of the first releases ever by Blackadder. And quite unforgettable!
The nose is very layered and complex and simply marvelous. On the hand sweetness in the shape of sugared citrus peel, walnuts and licorice – after a few moments it even turns tropical with papaya and the skin of pineapple – while this is upholstered nicely on the other hand with dried sea weeds, garden herbs, incense, grass and sandalwood. Nice, soft smokiness. A hint of kerosene in the background. Simply grand. What a nose!
Perfect arrival on the palate: rich and round, feisty on spices with a grand smokiness. The peat is very much in your face before lemon and lime – with a salty edge, I might add – kick in. Wow! Salt versus Sweet, both with capital letters! Then some mint and liquorice join the fray, as do some other spices from the wood. I get some coriander and even some chili peppers. Oh, boy, this is simply delicious.
Great finish, long on more of the above, in which the salt finally meet its match in the sweetness.
On this – to me! – holiday, I thought I’d treat myself to something special. I more than succeeded. Pity that you cannot find it anywhere anymore. Very memorable. Make that unforgettable. Thanks, Bert!