Anytime I see a 53 on an SMWS bottle I get excited because I love Caol Ila. It’s one of those distilleries that, despite being a huge production facility, manages to continually put out the good stuff. SMWS 53.257 “Restorative, Relaxing and Refreshing” is a single refill hogshead from that distillery that’s crisp and tasty.

SMWS 53.257

Not much else to cover, single Caol Ila refill hogshead, aged for 11 years. On to the Scotch review.

SMWS 53.257 “Restorative, Relaxing and Refreshing” Review: Details and Tasting Notes

In SMWS’ Words:

We imagined sitting on the beach with a lit barbeque and a fatty oily fish, possibly a Florida pompano, seasoned with herbs on the grill and just about cooked as we splashed freshly squeezed lime juice and a light drizzle of truffle oil on top. On the palate ginger spice at first followed by dry, wet slate, sweet smoke with a hint of minerals and petrol so distinctive of old riesling wines from the Mosel valley. When we added some water it was like a pu-erh tea with some earthy notes balanced by a clean, smoky sweetness and to taste, as gleaming as a steel knife and as refreshing as coconut water.

Details (price, mash bill, cask type, ABV, etc.)

Region: Islay, Scotland

Distiller: Caol Ila
Mash Bill: 100% Malted Barley
Cask: Refill hogshead
Age: 11 Years
ABV: 54.9%

Cask Strength | Non-Chill Filtered | Natural Color

Price: $130

Tasting Notes

EYE
Light yellow, nearly clear

NOSE
Honey, peat, fruit, malt, vanilla salt water taffy and a bit of citrus.

PALATE
Peat, fruit, honey, graham, buttery biscuits, oil and some toffee and lemony citrus.

FINISH
Long -> Smoke, fruity citrus, graham and vanilla.

BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Great balance, full body and a nice oily feel.

This is a crisp, tasty and aromatic Caol Ila.

SMWS 53.257 “Restorative, Relaxing and Refreshing” Review: Overall and Score

Really nice. SMWS 53.257 “Restorative, Relaxing and Refreshing” is a solid whisky that ends up ringing crisply from start to finish. The Aroma is a bit light at first, but it opens up to be a nice complex smoked fruit drizzled in honey experience. The palate starts complex with similar notes and ends the same way.

Adding water blasts open the aroma and it gets bolder and deeper with a bit of salted butter joining the party. The palate adds a touch of spice, but otherwise keeps the same notes but at a richer frequency.

SCORE: 88/100 (B+)

SMWS 53.257

SMWS 53.257 "Restorative, Relaxing and Refreshing" Review 130
  • Nose - 88
  • Palate - 88
  • Finish - 88
  • Balance, Body & Feel - 88
88

SMWS 53.257 "Restorative, Relaxing and Refreshing" Review Summary

SMWS 53.257 “Restorative, Relaxing and Refreshing” is a crisp, tasty and aromatic Caol Ila.

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