Caol Ila 11 yo 2009/2020 (57.4%, Watt Whisky, hogshead, 303 bottles)
Colour: white wine. Nose: a slightly lighter and breezier style. Lots of fresh sea air, crab sticks, wet beach pebbles, gorse, starched linens, bath salts and things like chalk, putty and antiseptic on gauze. Pristine, pure, almost irritatingly consistent Caol Ila. With water: deeper and sootier, more things like rope, puffer smoke, anchovies and a little kelp. Mouth: lemon juice, sheep wool oils, mineral oil, pink sea salt and kippers drizzled in brine and lemon juice. Oysters, ink, seawater… you get the picture. It’s basically one of these rather narrow Caol Ilas that displays an extremely pure and chiselled profile focussed on coastal and seashore aspects but with a quieter peat smoke influence. If I put on my ‘Serge Valentin moustache’ for a moment I’d probably say ‘millimetric!’. With water: creosote, black pepper, smoked teas with lemon, pasta water, smoked herbs and more medical things like gauze and TCP. Finish: long, more powerfully smoky, tarry, salty, peppery and with iodine and pure seawater again. Comments: This one rewards water with a little more complexity I think. Yet another superb and very pure Caol Ila, I like the unabashed ‘coastalness’ on display here.
SGP: 356 - 88 points.