Following on from last week's partly anonymous bottling, here we have a whisky which doesn't hide it's origins at all.
This is the Caol Ila 30 Year Old Single Cask, bottled at cask strength – a fairly robust 57.4% ABV – and obviously a fairly limited edition, being all from the one cask.
The nose is rich; light toffee, vanilla, and with some overripe tropical fruits there too. The peat is there, but subtle, and there are some dark rum notes to be found as well. With a splash of water, those fruit notes are pushed back a little, freeing up more of that Caol Ila smoke.
The alcohol is very big in the mouth; it carries a lot of the smoke through into the flavour. Under that there's a fantastically rich, burnt toffee, dark fruit taste which lingers into an impressively long finish. Water cuts the alcohol down to reveal some dark honey sweetness, more fruit, hints of rum lurking underneath without shortening that marvellous long finish in any way.
This is everything you'd expect from a whisky with such an excellent pedigree – pure Caol Ila spirit aged beautifully.
This review was originally published 13th June, 2012. It was last updated 1st June, 2023.