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This tasting note is far overdue, I admit. I tried it in February while on ski holiday in Austria (be sure to check out the little video on YouTube). It is one of my favourite official bottlings, as you will soon find out. It was bottled at natural cask strength, implying also no colouring and no chill filtration.
The nose is grand, vibrant and very expressive. All elements of the sea are there. Salt, smoked herring, creosote with loads of smoke, balanced thanks to a dollop of honey and lime zest. Diluted it becomes more accessible and offers breakfast cereals and butter.
Kaboom! It explodes in your mouth! Makes me all warm inside. The maritime elements of the nose return. Oysters. Brine. Some vanilla, lime zeste again, hints of burnt rubber (the good kind). Can take quite a bit of water. Becomes less intense, admittedly, but does not lose a lot of flavour. It offers even more. A swimmer.
The finish is very long on peat. Fades ever so gently.
This is a bodybuilder of a whisky. Not for the faint hearted. Caol Ila remains at the top of my list of favourite Islay drams.