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Caol Ila 1995 Madeira Wood Finish, Private Collection, Gordon & Macphail, 17 years, 850 bottles, 45% abv.

 

Caol Ila 1995 Madeira Wood Finish, Private Collection, Gordon & Macphail, 17 years, 850 bottles, 45% abv.

Matured an additional 8 years in Madeira wine casks.

Nose: major smoked wood, smokey, slight red fruits, almost a typical Islay mafia nose.

Palate: initially sweet, switches to wood on the mid-palate, red fruits on the back palate. However, it gets really really sweet with each sip.

Finish: short to moderate, smoked wood, simmered sweet fruits.

Pretty intense flavor-wise, big flavors of smoked wood in all phases, that classical Islay feel, and an overall sweet fruity taste. But with each sip, the taste and finish got sweeter and sweeter... I was cringing near the bottom of the glass since it basically tasted like honey sweetened smoked wood, but not bbq style. I  finished the bottle since there was very little left (~ 50 ml). Overall, very enjoyable, but totally in a different direction from what I was expecting from a Madeira finished Islay mafia malt. It seems like it was "dried with peat", but I couldn't tell (unless it was integrated with the wood aspects), all that sweetness was a little too much. The power of smoke and ever increasing sweetness made it thoroughly enjoyable.

Grade: A-

Surprisingly, I couldn't find any reliable reviews on this bottling.

 

Image courtesy of Eric Yee.

  

Eric Yee

🇭🇰 🇺🇸(LA, SF) -> 🇯🇵 (京都, 東京) -> 🇰🇷 (서울, 부산)



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