[March, 2017] After both the 1980 and 1982 vintages of 30+ years Caol Ila bottled by Cadenhead all were excellent whiskies I decided to taste the 1984 vintages today. So it is a head-to-head of this 31 year old release vs. the 32 year old edition https://www.whiskybase.com/whisky/85378/caol-ila-1984-ca .
Colour: The 31y is significantly darker than the 32y.
Nose: A very balanced nose of sweet and peaty aromas of the 31y complemented by an interesting nutty and spicy profile (peanuts, pepper). The 32y is more maritime with nice salty and vanilla notes besides the smoke, and a hint of biscuit. It has a more sharp profile, but I like the elegant and rounded nose of the 31y better.
Arrival: The 31y instantly covers all the mouth without any harsh or unpleasant feeling, really adorable. The mouthfeel of the 32y is more powerful with a slight peppery feeling. They are quite different, but both very nice. I vote for a draw.
Body: Extremely soft, but very complex on the 31y with tons of different honey flavours that come in waves. Superb balance together with the peaty and spicy notes. The 32y is very creamy with a vanilla driven spicy profile that gets lightly ashy after a while - very delicious too. Nevertheless I like the honey-driven complexity of the 31y a little more.
Finish: Both very long with a big peaty spike on the 32y that gets a little bit drying/ashy, but by no means unpleasantly at all. Really good, but this round goes clearly to the 31y again: It shows a big movie with all aromas and flavours one can think of and all play together in great harmony. Simply magnificent!
Another great vintage year of 30+ years Caol Ila and a perfect cask
selection by Cadenhead, again... Keep on releasing such delicious stuff!