Grace Ile 25 (48%, The Character of Islay Whisky Company 2020)

At the time of writing, I haven’t actually seen a single review of this mystery single malt, not even a rating on whiskybase. Never let it be said I’m not on the cutting edge of whisky blogging. This is bottled by The Character of Islay Whisky Company, along with a similarly undisclosed 10 year-old that sounds like a suitcase and a venerable 33 year-old. Apparently the bottling strength hints at the distillery it came from, but this is where my detective work ends.

Nose: Seaweed, brine, lime juice – this reminds me of Caol Ila more than anything else. It is surprisingly and impressively fresh after 25 years in casks – both this and the light colour suggest a very restrained cask influence.

Palate: Quite sweet and zesty arrival, with a rather Laphroaiggy menthol note in the background. Impressively balanced – it’s zesty but not too much, sweet but not too much, and the smoke is ever-present and elegant. Quite fruity too, with citrus and grapefruits in the lead.

Finish: Long, ashy.

Comments: Hard to say what this could be, and in truth what matters most is that it’s very good indeed. Would I ever buy a bottle? At almost £300, the answer has to be a categorical ‘no’. It’s actually quite a reasonable price for an Islay whisky of that age, which is a scary thought about well-aged whisky in general. However, we don’t mark the price here, so this gets…

Score: 88/100

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