85

Caol Ila unpeated 15 YO 2000 61.5%

11th SpRel 2016, refill am hgsh/refill eur sh butts

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Price: £90
Score: 85p (N: 19 T: 22 A: 23 C: 21)
Clean youthful bouquet as usual. Candied almonds and butterscotch with immature raspberries (stain remover at the rim). Despite 61.5% surprisingly mild palate. Oily round light mouth, fruit cake and liquorice-oak adds weight. Butterscotch and fruit cake in the offing, winning dark oak gives a sooty feeling, fresh mouth feel of apple peel afterwards. A half spoonful of water provides a long complex flavour of apple soda and almond paste, sweet-spicy oak gears up halfway with menthol backed by austere brine. Long smooth finish with more fruit and almond paste and enhanced apple sweetness, plus sooty dark chocolate oak. Here you get the best taste and most characterful aftertaste. More water adds power to the palate, citrus bites and jams, sweet malt rounds off, swinging oak wrangles. Pretty tough finish with plenty of tight oak and acidity backed by sweet phenols and warmth – the outing is easier though thinner. Unpeated Caol Ila usually slaps on sharply. The lack of temperament pulls down the overall grade, go for the 15-year released in 2014 where the contrasts are greater.