REVIEW: Connoisseurs Choice Caol Ila 1998
Something a bit special, for a price that’s pretty accessible
I like to think of myself as a bit of a whisky connoisseur, I can wax lyrical about most things whisky and have a thirst for knowing more and never want to stop learning about something I love and care so much about.
This is exactly why, whilst on a ‘retail audit’ for a client I noticed the Connoisseurs Choice collection
Having always been a fan of trying the produce from new (to me) distilleries, I opted for the Caol Ila 1998 Connoisseurs Choice , a rather modest 16 year old bottled in 2010 having been distilled in 1998 and costing around £45 that I have been enjoying ever since.
Being used to Islay single malts and their strong taste pre, curing and post consumption, I have been taken aback by just how smooth the Caol Ila 1998 Connoisseurs Choice is with its sweet and delicate smoky nose, followed by a rather lighter taste that finishes pretty smoothly, leaving a subtle smokiness on the tongue.
The distillery itself’s name derives from the Gaelic for “sound of Islay”, and is a near secret Islay malt, rarely being seen in the single malt space so it was definitely a treat to be able to enjoy this dram in all its glory.
AROMA WITHOUT WATER
Sweet cured bacon influences, with a delicate smoky nose. Some fruity notes emerge.
TASTE WITHOUT WATER
Delicate spice – pepper, a rounded hint of smoke develops. A sweet cured edge is retained with a heavy creaminess
AROMA WITH WATER
More pronounced smoke, with lighter influences of sweet cures, fresh with a hint of citrus fruits.
TASTE WITH WATER
Initially mouth warming, becomes creamy, with a lighter hint of smoke lingering. Smooth and sweet.
Smooth and lingering.
First fill Sherry butt.
Sweet, smooth and smoky.
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