Imagine if marzipan pelicans carried smoked sardines in their pouches. You might see a bit of lagoon muck tracing a lipstick smile on the side of the beak, but this is tarry in all the right ways. A clear tar, etiolated with grace. We also found a bit of pipe tobacco and curly-cue shavings from an illuminated manuscript. There’s also a crate of mandarin oranges sitting atop a spice wood pyre.
This spicy wood comes alive on the mouth, as if heat activates the resin like the perspiration along a runner’s brow. What’s puzzling is how this 18 year-old whisky could keep its ABV so high. Hypothesis: no angels got in there at all. This is deep and orotund. I’m dropping a star opal into a dark well on a moonless night, and just want to dive into the void right after it.
The finish gives suggestions of peppermint, which become insinuations on the open. The orange spices, too, are softened by grilled plantain custard. Still, the chewiness persists long after I’ve swallowed. A feeling takes hold of me that I recognize at once as the firm grip of certainty upon my breast. And it is this: I am certain that there once existed cutting-room floor footage of Charles Foster Kane dropping a Glencairn glass and saying, with his final breath, “Caol Ila.”
On the scale of biographical remarks about Orson Welles–
The Caol Ila 18 Year Unpeated 2017 Limited Edition is Andre Bazin’s quip about Welles’ happy childhood that “too many fairies bent over his cradle”–Rather than spoiling the man, it seems to have equipped him with a courage to match his genius.
–Our thanks to Diageo for the sample!