Caol Ila Stitchell Reserve (2013 Special Release)

Single Malt — Islay, Scotland

3.5 out of 5 stars
Nose: Honey, lemon, green apple, white grapes, heather flowers, sea-mist. Adding water mutes the nose considerably and it takes some resting time to recompose. When it does it produces tropical fruit aromas, sweat and a little light honey. [The dry-glass aroma is lightly floral and vaguely similar to Highland Park]. Palate: A strong, forcefully spicy arrival that is completely unexpected from the nose. Sour apples and bittermelon, lemon zest and slightly overbrewed but weak black tea. Pine resin, pine needles, sawdust. Adding water tames the performance but tends to confuse everything - it creates a meld of flavours that doesn't ever really sort itself out. If adding water, don't add too much. Finish: Medium/long. Spicy, malty and grassy. A faint bitter aftertaste. Let this one rest. Give it time. Give yourself time. This is not a peated Caol Ila and it is not like any other Caol Ila you've ever tasted before (unless you've had an unpeated cask-strength IB). It's very tightly locked up by the high alcohol and it demands water, however it's a finicky malt that blooms when the right amount of water (just a few drops) is added, but collapses into chaos if drowned. This taste is based on a bottle-kill. It's probably difficult to find this malt now except through auctions - personally I won't be bothering to acquire another. Interesting, certainly worth a taste, but neither compelling nor value for money. "Good" : 3.5 stars.
200.0 AUD per Bottle