This complex Caol Ila faithfully displays the make&rsquo:s typical youthful and vibrant DNA as it marries glorious fruit and hints of smoke and the sea with smooth mature tannins, becoming succulent and softly relaxed with water.
On the appearance it is pale gold with green lights and on the nose unhurried, delicate and precise, offering little clue to the forceful palate. Fresh and squeaky-clean, opening with fresh green apple above a soft, creamy layer of toffee and malt. An acetic note gradually becomes increasingly maritime (salt, dried edible seaweed) and attractively spirity, with mint, hints of citrus (fresh lemon) and a drying gooseberry sharpness. Clean and cautiously defined throughout. Water introduces a softer, cooler note of freshly laundered cotton, with a whole fruit stall of fresh fruits plus hints of strawberry, caramel and resin.
On the palate, this whisky is challenging and perhaps too powerful to really appreciate at natural strength, yet essentially fresh, light and spirited, with a sweet taste overall. There&rsquo:s cooling menthol, sharp fruit, then lots of malt and toffee. Much more accessible when reduced with water, the taste now soft, lightly sweet and succulent: the fruity sweetness balanced by salt and slightly sour (as with bitter lemons). Ending chewy, with more fruit, barley sugar and mint.
This finish is compelling, though still powerful! Deeply warming, with bracing late menthol and eucalyptus. Soft and smooth with water: shorter yet still warming and gingery, with a bitter fennel-like edge and an aftertaste evoking pistachio nuts.
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