Review: Caol Ila 22 Years Old 1992 – 53.212 Peat smoke and Para Handy puffers
Category: Islay single malt scotch whisky
Origin: Caol Ila distillery
Bottling: Scotch Malt Whisky Society Cask 53.212 Peat smoke and Para Handy puffers
Cost: £89.60 from SMWS [sold out]
What they say:
53.212 Peat smoke and Para Handy puffers
Liquorice, fennel, Christmas trees and peat fires; toasted nuts, crusty bread; harbours, first aid boxes and sweet popcorn – the classic nose was rich and varied. The palate was intensely smoky, tarry and sweet, with flavours of chewed pencils, toasted pine needles, leather, sweet peat and soot; plus smoked mussels, sea-spray, barbecued scallops and prawns, sugared almonds and treacle toffee and finally a suspicion of bicycles. The reduced nose evoked peat smoke wafting down an Islay street in winter, pipe tobacco and Para Handy puffers. The palate was a delight of toasted marshmallows, Germolene and dying barbeques. From the ‘Sound of Islay’.
Drinking tip: Perfect for a beach bonfire – preferably to celebrate defeating and humiliating your enemies
Date Distilled: 17 January 1992 Colour: Pale gold Age: 22 years Flavour : Peated Cask Type: Refill ex-bourbon hogshead Whisky Region: Islay Outturn: 291 bottles
What I say:
Sampled 13th March 2015 at SMWS Queen Street, Edinburgh. Sadly I had wanted to sample the newest grain bottling from the SMWS (G14.1 from Dumbarton) but I arrived at the bar just after the last dram from the last bottle had been purchased. So instead I decided to back-to-back compare the latest Caol Ila (SMWS Distillery Code #53) 53.222 with a previous bottling, this 53.212.
Light straw gold (5/20) medium tears
Less peaty than 53.222, gentle peat smoke not as oily, more toffee and malt, pine and oak wood, liquorice, and calcium of seashells or shell beaches and bonfires
Treacle toffee and fudge, rich toffee malt, thick and oily, mouthcoating, salt caramel and briny sea spray, shellfish mussels and scallops barbecue roasted with a little BBQ sauce, more smoke, bbq beef monster munch snacks
Long, sweet bbq meats and peat smoke some tannic and almost leathery oak wood and treacle toffee
Of the two expression I definitely preferred this one. The increased maturation time had softened the peat smoke a lot in this though it was still ample. The resulting flavours were a little of a culinary masterpiece! A meal of a dram if smoky shellfish is your bag.