Review: Gordon & MacPhail Caol Ila 8 Years Old

Review: Gordon & MacPhail Caol Ila 8 Years Old


Mega-independent bottlers-slash-retailers Gordon & MacPhail are releasing a few new private bottlings this season, notably featuring this new 8-year expression of Caol Ila, served up for your approval.

The initial nose is a hefty dose of peat and smoke, and though the color is just the palest gold, it hints at a mightily big, smoky, and oily Scotch indeed.

But the body is quite unexpected, with a far lighter touch of smoke and a more powerful kick of fruit and sweetness than I’d thought likely. The balance is surprisingly sophisticated for a whisky so young, both easy drinking but lush with hints of dried cherries, violets, lavender, and fresh cut grass. There’s a hint of coal alongside the peat smoke, too… very subtle, but it comes out in the finish.

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this whisky and, should I ever come across one, would happily add a bottle to my collection.

92 proof.

A- / $65 /

Gordon & MacPhail Caol Ila 8 Years Old




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.

1 Comment

  1. J. Lindsey on September 17, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    Any thoughts on Caol Ila’s 12 year old expression?

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