Signatory Vintage: Caol Ila 1994 (Scottish Islay Single Malt, Single Cask Whisky: 10 Years Old: 43% ABV: Cask 6901 – Hogshead Cask)

Visual: Pale, just off clear. Almost algae influenced water. Mot much colouring at all.

Viscosity: A mix of fast middling and slow streaks, all thin and form within 10-15 seconds.

Nose: Light peat and salt. Brackish water. Still quite fiery. Strong crushed petals. A touch of sugar lattice. Light leather. Water opens up into light smoked meats.

Body: Opens up smooth and syrupy, then forceful salty and seaweed come through. Toffee, strawberry and cream. Becomes lighter front and more evident peat back with water – the toffee becomes more caramel and lime comes out.

Finish: peat and salt, ocean soaked stones. Roast beer, tongue numbing and light wood.

Conclusion: What initially seems to be a too fiery and simple expression of Caol Ila end up really opening up as you get used to its kick, and so reveals a wonderful rich mix of sweet and salt.

The touch extra strength gives it a lot of room for customisation with adding water, and so expresses a fine range on this pleasurable dram.

I believe you would have to work hard to turn out a bad Caol Ila, this doesn’t top the better CC efforts, but it is a fine powerful yet complex drink.