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.
A- / $65 to $70 / gordonandmacphail.com