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From Islay’s least picturesque seaside distillery with Scotland’s greatest still room panorama comes a 25yo whisky that might actually be right for your wallet. Though the initial prices have gone up from the 2010 premier, it is probably the most affordable old whisky from the Diageo stall. That being said is it actually worth the money? At a €190 in Belgian retail, there will be a lot of Independent releases that can outclass it price/quality wise. And the 43.0% ABV does not bode too well.
Description: Caol Ila matured for 25 years in American Oak Bourbon casks, brought down to 43.0% ABV for bottling.
Nose: a gentle maritime malt, only mildly peated, black powder smoke with oysters, lemon and a whiff of breakfast bacon.
Mouth: medium bodied, soft as satin and very clean, flaked sea salt, lemon, soft earthy peat, and again that meaty touch of bacon
Finish: short’ish for an Islay dram in my opinion, salt and peat in the tail.
Verdict: not blown away, but not disappointed either. In balance with a refinement verging on delicacy. This whisky is fine, great even, but by my admittance my preference goes out to rougher and untamed Islay.