The Schtick: This is a bottling of Caol Ila distillate by Gordon & MacPhail that was matured fully in a refill sherry butt. It was selected by Binny’s – a regional liquor retailer in Illinois. This was bottled without any filtering or coloring and at cask strength.
Coincidentally, I’ve had this a couple of times before. Once as a sample, and once again blind. It led me to buy a bottle, in a somewhat frenzied fashion, and these are my notes after working through a full bottle over the last 9 months or so (give or take).
Distiller: Caol Ila
Bottler: Gordon & MacPhail
Selection: Binny’s Beverage Depot
ABV: 59% ABV
Age: 10 Years
Bottle Code: 21/08/17 | 171301
Bottled: August, 2017
Cask Number: 311989
Bottle: One of 289 Produced
Nose: Rich nutty sherry. Figs, dates, vibrant currant. Blackberry jam. Syrupy honey. Light ashy smoke, faint minerality. Light sea air.
Taste: Thick, rich. No noticeable heat immediately. Rich figs, caramel, nutty sherry. Honey, figs, blackberry and creme brulee. Short delay, and then the peat storms in. Burning, ashy wood. Light sea influence. Lots of pepper, cocoa, pipe tobacco and clove. More rich tobacco and musty parchment. Jammy berries.
Finish: Long, rich and ashy. Tons of burning wood, ashy smoke, and faint maritime air. Rich pepper, loads of red berries like cranberry, raspberry, cherry and some blackberry. Long and smoky.
Overall: The richness here is astounding, and it’s loaded with everything from burning logs to jammy, syrupy sherry. It was a chore to savor this bottle because I found myself reaching for it anytime there was some gloom, or a chill in the air. A perfect synthesis of peat and sherry if you ask me. For a refill cask, it was surprisingly active, also. Really well done.
Thanks for reading!
Other Caol Ila Expressions I Have Reviewed:
- Review #776 — Caol Ila 10yr Gordon MacPhail, Binny’s Selection
- Review #723 — Caol Ila 20yr, AD Rattray Selection
- Review #714 — Caol Ila, 10yr Gordon & MacPhail, Binnys Selection
- Review #702 — Caol Ila 22yr Cadenhead’s Small Batch 1991
- Review #652. Caol Ila 6yr 2009 Old Malt Cask 12936
- Review #607. 1984 Caol Ila Old Particular KL Single Barrel 33yr Ethanized Mystery 3
- Review #555. Talisker Distillers Edition 2003 2014
- Review #534. Caol Ila Unpeated 17yr
- Review #227. Caol Ila 6yr Sherry Hepburns Choice
- Review #75. Caol Ila 12yr