CAOL ILA 2003 Over 15 Years

Islay Single Malt – 55.9%, 70cl
Single Cask #302464 – Hogshead
Limited Edition of 290 bottles
LMDW Exclusive

Created in 2011, La Maison du Whisky’s Artist range has played host to a number of impressive Caol Ilas, including the only Artist over 5 years old (distilled in 2008 and bottled in 2016) in this collection. Testament to the fact that no bottling should be judged solely by its age. This enthralling version immediately sets the tone for an olfactory and gustatory journey that is particularly keen on changes of pace and scenery. Despite being independent from one another, the three stages of the tasting nonetheless stand out for their harmony. In the grand finale, this particularly moving odyssey of flavours finds its marine epilogue just a few lengths from the distillery, in the bay of Port Askaig.

Colour: pale yellow.

Description

subtle, complex. Right from the first nose, it is clear we are in the presence of a supreme Caol Ila. Oily (olive), smoky, ashy, salty, seaweedy and yet fruity (pear, apple), lemony, freshly herbaceous (sage, verbena) and even honeyed, the aromatic palette is impressively natural and overflowing with truth. Allowed to breathe, it becomes even more complex and takes on an exotic register (pineapple, banana, lichee). Exceptional.

sharp, distinguished. The attack focuses first on noble spices (pepper, star anise, nutmeg). Next, a particularly smooth and fruity peat coats the taste buds. Gradually, nuts (walnut, almond) and white fruits (William’s pear, Golden Delicious apple) peppered with a delicious curry bring lots of personality to the mid-palate. Little by little, smoke rings float across the bright end of the palate.

long, serene. The slightly medicinal (ointment, mustard seed) start of the finish is extremely mineral (pencil lead). Resolutely herbaceous, smoky and rich (dark chocolate), it reveals a remarkably fresh expression. With time, heady florals (hyacinth, tuberose) fragrance the very end of the palate. On the retro-nasal olfaction, peat comes galloping back. Gradually it crumbles to take us closer to the water’s edge. From then on, this version’s marine character definitively takes the reins. The empty glass is medicinal, ashy and meaty (smoky bacon).

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