After being founded in 1846, the Gaol Ila distillery was entirely rebuilt in 1972, when it became the largest distillery on Islay in terms of production capacity. Equipped with six imposing stills, it produces a single malt renowned not only for its peaty, smoky and iodine character but also for its finesse. Beaming with maturity and complexity, this version showcases a particularly altruistic peat whose main aim is to ceaselessly highlight the other facets of the palette of flavours and aromas. The oily, marine, spicy and medicinal character unique to this iconic Islay is like Ariadne's thread, allowing tasters to follow a path that unmistakably leads to the distillery's home of Port Askaig.
Colour: deep golden yellow.
Profile: the distinguished first nose wavers between an oily peat, a delicate smoke and strong spices (black pepper, ginger). Allowed to breathe, it becomes increasingly mineral (ointment, camphor). Then, gradually, pear and citrus fruit bring lots of freshness. Split between fruit and peat, the attack is then spicy. Acting as a fusion of all these elements, the mid-palate is particularly well-balanced. The very expressive finish reveals every shade of yellow, as William's pears spread their deliciously sweet juices across the taste buds. On the retronasal olfaction, coconut milk adds a hint of the exotic.
The whisky was disgorged and bottled under my supervision in the Town of Pitlochry on 12th December 2018.Andrew W. Symington, Managing Director, Signatory Vintage