Review: Gordon & MacPhail Benromach 10, Caol Ila Madeira 10, and Caol Ila Port 10
Our good friends at Gordon & MacPhail sent along these three new independently-bottled single malt whiskys for our consideration. Naturally we oblige them with our fair-minded coverage.
Gordon & MacPhail Benromach 10 Years Old is a privately bottled whisky from a relatively quiet Speyside distillery. It’s clearly young, with a bit of bite on the tongue and a lack of cohesion, but it’s a whisky that grows on you with its rugged character. A kind of nutmeg finish and a lot of wood, but very little peat, makes this a curio worth a try. Would like to have tried this after another 4-5 years in cask. 86 proof. B+ / $TBD
Gordon & MacPhail Private Collection Caol Ila 10 Years Old Madeira Finish continues the minor trend of finishing Scotch in Madeira casks. This one spends 20 months in Madeira casks, giving it a very big Madeira character to reckon with. There’s a surprising vanilla character in the mix, but the finish is really wine-like. At 90 proof, it feels a little on the rough side. B+ / $75
Gordon & MacPhail Private Collection Caol Ila 10 Years Old Port Finish is the flipside to the Madeira finish Scotch, spending 20 months in Port pipes before bottling. It’s a much darker Scotch, a pretty, deep amber that is matched by a lush, rich body. It’s not overly Port-like, with smooth honey, caramel, and chocolate character. Not much bite, it goes down way too easy. I love this malt. 90 proof. A / $75
We just got the 10 Year Caol Ila-Port Finish into our store today, thanks for the recomendation. It looks exceptionally rich. A couple more months in cask and they could have called it an 11 Year. Very happy to be the first and only store currently in the state of Washington to offer this product. If you’re in the Seattle area, check us out at 152nd & Aurora in North Seattle/Shoreline. We might have to try and get the Madeira finished malt, as well. Cheers!