Gordon & Macphail Connoisseur’s Choice Caol Ila 2008 14 Year Old (55.6% abv)

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CRAFT CELLARS EXCLUSIVE – Single cask No. 312051. Distilled June 18, 2008 and bottled August 5, 2022. First-fill sherry butt.

Created in 1968 by whisky visionary, ‘Mr George’ Urquhart, the Connoisseurs Choice range has featured more than 2,000 bottlings from almost 100 Scottish distilleries.

Each Connoisseurs Choice whisky’s story is told through its label: cask type, bottling date, strength, vintage and tasting note.

Always non‐chill‐filtered, these rare single cask and small batch expressions have been created by Gordon & MacPhail’s unique expertise in matching spirit to oak casks, handed down through four generations of the same family.


Now I know not all of us are die-hard peat-heads. It’s a tough one to get into for some, I get it. But for those of us who either fought through the “rubber tire and bandaid” flavours long enough that we liked them, were hooked on the earthy, smokey, punch from the get-go, or grew up eating dirt and getting a face full of smoke while sitting around the campfire long before our first sip of alcohol, peated single malts will always be a go-to.

I’m a huge fan of whiskies that can blend the influence of peat and sherry together, and have the flavours dance together without either one limping off the floor with a couple of broken toes. This Caol Ila, bottled by the fine folks at Gordon & MacPhail, seems to have hit the perfect balance. There’s definitely no shortage of Indie bottled Caol Ila kicking around, but trust me when I say that this is one worth trying.

The nose opens with honey-smoked ham, sweet cedar smoke, figs, and spices.
On the palate, the sherry influence hits first with cherries and dates, before the sweet smoke rolls in, covering the berries in caramelized sugar and burnt ash.
The finish is long and powerful. Bonfire smoke lingers with roasted almonds, cinnamon, and leather.



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