Caol Ila, as I have noted before, produces a very high volume of whisky, and so there tends to be a lot of it floating around from independent bottlers. Despite this and the fact that Signatory is among the more ubiquitous independent bottlers available in the US market, I don’t believe I’ve seen too many Caol Ilas from Signatory. I hope you appreciate this anecdote which is both deeply uninteresting and quite possibly an inaccurate representation of reality. Accuracy and trenchant commentary you can get anywhere–it’s the rare blog that can give you completely useless information.
In that vein:
Caol Ila 10, 2000 (46%, Signatory Un-Chilfiltered Collection, refill hogshead; from a sample received in a swap)
Nose: Green apples, cider, and then sharp, minerally peat. Then we have ozone and wet stones. Gets a little musky but stays acidic. Some salt too. A hint of pepper (capsaicin) too.
Palate: Sweet peat at first and then acidic smoke, a little acrid. A little vinegary. Feels thinner than 46%. Not a whole lot going on here. Let’s leave it for a while and see what happens. Well, not very much, as it turns out. Gets a tad saltier, but, on the whole, it’s the same mix of sweet peat and acrid smoke.
Finish: Medium. Mostly the dry smoke and some salt.
Comments: This is perfectly drinkable but not very much more. The nose is the most interesting part. To be fair, this review is of a sample poured some time ago from a bottle that I believe had been open for a good while before that. So it may well have gone flat. I didn’t bother adding water as it didn’t seem likely that diluting this would do anything good for it.
Rating: 82 points. (But it might well have been higher when the bottle was freshly opened.)