Rating on Whiskyfun by Serge
Caol Ila 28 yo 1990/2019 (55.3%, OB ‘Feis Ile’, cask #9373, refill bourbon barrel, 180 bottles)
I remember there was quite a fussy queue for this one on the day of release; something to do with the card machine not working… Colour: gold. Nose: we’re in some kind of halfway house between the early 80s style and the mid-90s. A very attractive mix of petrol, tautly structured minerality, pink sea salt, pine cones, sandalwood and more tertiary aromas of hessian, camphor, oily rags and rope. There are wee moments where it could almost be a 1990 Ardbeg with these oily and tarry aspects. I find it quite elegant, subtle and impressively complex. With water: saltier and showing a greater degree of precision and purity now. Also with these meaty notes of pork scratching, frying pancetta and something like smoked olive oil and ink. Mouth: wonderfully intense oiliness. Glisteningly tarry, mentholated, herbal, sooty and showing this almost waxy peaty quality. Some kind of salty, aged mead, heather ales, pine resins, putty, seawater cut with petrol and pickle brine. Beautifully concentrated, textural and direct but never losing this sense of captivating complexity. With water: salty butter with chopped green herbs, anchovy paste, langoustines, fabrics, lanolin, seashells and hints of iodine and herbal mouthwash. Finish: long, limey, lightly ashy and showing hints of raw ingredients like sourdough, smoked cereals and smoky wort. This very lovely briny and lemony aftertaste lingers with notes of smoked teas. Comments: I will say one thing for Diageo, they know how to pick a cask! I love how this one seems to get brighter and more youthful with evolution and water. It also makes sense that they would pick this cask as it seems to showcase multiple Caol Ila eras and personalities rolled into one.
SGP: 467 - 92 points.