Caol Ila / 7 Year Old Bealach Ruadh.

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CWCIBR7
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Caol Ila / 7 Year Old Bealach Ruadh

COUNTRY/REGION: Scotland/Islay.

CATEGORY: Single Malt.

DISTILLERY: Caol Ila.

BOTTLER: Chorlton Whisky.

BOTTLED: 2019

AGE: 7 Year Old.

CASK TYPE: Bourbon Hogshead.

NUMBER OF BOTTLES: 152

STRENGTH: 58.2% Vol.

On the nose this functions as an instant sensory teleportation device: it's pure Islay. Peat smoke, beach sand, salt, and just a hint of something pleasingly medicinal. Arbroath smokies too! Or the Ileach equivalent. There's also an extremely appealing fresh herbal quality to be found: lemon balm, bay leaf and even something a bit pine needle-y. Behind that, and developing more with time, there's a really good hit of sweetness with toffee apples, salted caramel and a little bit of chocolate digestive biscuit.

The palate is remarkably complex for a fairly young whisky. The flavours develop and arrive in waves: smoke, sea salt, more chocolate biscuits, charred lemons, little touches of oranges and tropical fruit. There's a slightly waxy and mineralic side, but also more of that bracingly clean and crisp feeling: like being in a coastal pine forest. The finish is long, with herbs, brown sugar and aromatic smoke.

It's lovely stuff, this, with great poise and personality. A bit of a tonic, really.