Reviews: “Jewels of Scotland” 1965 Springbank and 1984 Caol IlaAugust 7th, 2009
There are some very good “Jewels of Scotland” bottlings that were bottled years ago getting into circulation here in the U.S. I reviewed a lovely brora bottling here back in April. Here are two more. This first one is an excellent Springbank. The next one is a very nice Caol Ila.
Jewels of Scotland (distilled at Springbank), 1965 vintage, 46%, $400
Bottled in 2001, but still in circulation and (fortunately) just finding its way to me. These Springers from the ‘60s are getting rarer and quite expensive. This is a great example of why they are so coveted—clean, well matured, with no signs of excessive oak. Elegant sherried fruit dovetails nicely with the polished oak and a steady stream of dried spices. Look for citrus, nectarine, red licorice, coconut oil, ripe banana, and vanilla custard with warming cinnamon and brine. Warm, spicy finish. Very polished!
Advanced Malt Advocate magazine rating: 95
Jewels of Scotland (distilled at Caol Ila), 1984 vintage, 50%, $170
Bottled in 2004 and still in circulation. Very traditional Caol Ila. Not a heavy-bodied whisky, but it throws a strong punch. Notes of tarry rope infused with seaweed and brine, all on an oily, malty, vanilla foundation. Throw in some orchard fruit, Manzanilla olive, black licorice stick and soot, with brine and Tellicherry pepper on the finish. Clean, fun and dynamic.
Advanced Malt Advocate magazine rating: 88