Caol Ila 9 yo 2003/2013 (59.6%, Adelphi, cask #301261, 285 bottles) Oh, when I poured this very fragrant dram I instantly thought of Caroni rum. That’s strange… Colour: gold. Nose: high peat and high fresh oak plus some tar and bicycle inner tube. Do bicycles still have inner tubes, by the way? The combo works here, it smells almost like smoked tarry vanilla pods. Add just a few slices of green apples and lemons, just a drop of seawater and you have it. With water: superb, more mineral. Mouth (neat): I have to say this is pretty irresistible. Very oily and yet very fresh, lemony, peaty, briny and full of olive oil and custard. High impact young peater, but it’s not devoid of elegance. With water: tarry almonds and smoked lemons. Or the other way around. Finish: long, ultra-clean and yet pleasantly fat – or oily. Comments: as Pierre Corneille wrote 350 years ago after having quaffed quite a few young Caol Ilas, ‘valour does not depend upon age’. I’d add ‘not always’. SGP:567 - 88 points.