Caol Ila 1981 [Malts of Scotland]Cask #4807 – Review

This sample of MOS CI has been sitting quitetly and waiting for its turn. Actually it’s a part of long gone bottle share arranged by Sjoerd two years ago or so, and I was just checking how aging samples would affect their flavor profile (not really)… the best explanation is Backlog. But I’m happy to have finally arrived at this batch of samples. Now, a 1981 Caol Ila promises more than peat and ash, I was hoping for some exotic fruit goodness, or something of the like, but as you are about to see – no such luck this time.

Caol Ila 1981, Malts of Scotland, 59.8%, Bourbon hogshead #4807

Nose: Pepper. Peat and some big tarry oily black stuff going on here. We’re on caol-ila-1981Islay. That’s for sure. Some heather and sugar. Leather and salt. Water makes it sweeter yet punchier.

Palate: Lots of soot, ash and peat. Pepper and burnt sugar. Crushed coffee beans. Don’t look for any tropical fruit or such here. There are none. Peppercorns  galore and kerosene , tar and iodine are in abundance. Classic.

Finish: Soot. Pepper. And bitter earth. Salt and burnt sugar.

This is a classic CI nose and palate, with a dry, peppery and sooty backbone, which is always nice. If you gave this to me a couple of years ago, I’d say it’s perfect, but recently I find that I enjoy more compelx peated malts, and this one feels a bit one dimensional to me. I would have loved it to be a bit fruitier and less biting with the big soot and ash, and It’s a tad boring IMHO. Enjoyable nevertheless.

Score: 85/100

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