Specialty Drinks Ltd is a sister company of The Whisky Exchange, the well known whisky retailer in London. They bottle Caol Ila under the banner Port Askaig, named after the coastal village in which the large distillery is located, with the view of Jura from the still house. I tasted the excellent Port Askaig 17 Year Old before, so my expectations are high.
Yes, this is a wonderfully fruity nose. Thanks to the high age, the peat has been brought under control, leaving room for the fruit to show itself in all its glory. In no particular order: red apples, oranges, grapefruit, melon and passion fruit. Add a good dollop of honey. Mildly spicy with a bit of liquorice. Very complex and attractive.
The attack is somewhat soft, both in terms of mouth feel and spiciness. Nutmeg, mostly. The fruit of the nose returns on the palate, with citrus in the lead. Coconut peel. Becomes somewhat bitter and drying midpalate, but remains complex. The smoke increases, as does the liquorice. Wonderful salty edge.
The finish is wonderfully sweet and smoky and lasts longer than a tennis match (sorry, Wimbledon on the telly while I am tasting this).
This is another great one, mostly on the nose. That sounds a bit degrading for the palate and finish, while those are very good as well. But the nose is truly outstanding. Gotta get me a sample of the 30 Year Old. Thanks, Jan VC!