Tasting: Gems of Scotland Caol Ila 7 yo 2008 - 2016 cask 311050

Tasting: Gems of Scotland Caol Ila 7 yo 2008 – 2016 cask 311050

Tasting: Gems of Scotland Caol Ila 7 yo 2008 - 2016 cask 311050Dram data:
Distillery: Caol Ila
Bottler: Morrison & Mackay
Distilled: 05.06.2008
Bottled: 15.01.2016
Age: 7 years
Limitation: 414 bottles
Casks: Hogshead 311050
Alcohol: 46%
unchillfiltered and uncoloured

Tasting notes:
Colour:
new make with a slight copper sheen
The nose is dominated by slightly mellowed-down heavily peated new make. In a good way! A pinch of alcohol with dried orange peel and fresh ginger, raw fire, still warm peaty ash, brown sugar and a spent old vanilla pod rubbed on a slate platter. The cask managed to take away the roughness of the new make and add just a smidgen of flavours – at least third-fill wood in my opinion. Not overly complex by any stretch of the imagination but very enjoyable at the same time. The palate opens with quite a bit more alcohol up front while at the same time staying a bit on the thin side. That’s where the shortcomings of the re-re-refill cask start to appear. I get a pinch of smoked chili peppers, quite fragrant peat smoke, cold bonfire, dried orange peel, dried ginger and a slight malty household-sugar sweetness with a hint of vanilla. The medium-intense, long finish is quite a bit nippy upon swallowing, on the dry side with loads of peat smoke (no iodine or bandages to be found anywhere) and a hint of background sugar sweetness. A peaty, smoky aftertaste remains for quite a ling time.

Verdict:
This bottle was an impulse buy when my brother rang me up after discovering it in the Austrian discounter chain Hofer (Aldi). For just under 40€ it was worth a try and I’m glad I got a bottle. Not an earth-shattering dram by any stretch of the imagination, but still a nice, young, agreeable, heavily peated daily quaffer preserving a clean distillery profile.
This is the sign of the times – demand for blended whisky is going down so more and more young surplus blending stock arrives on the market, indicating a change in trends, perhaps. Love the fact they bottled this at 46% without chill filtration or added colour! At least seven different single casks were released for the Austrian market in this batch.

Score: 80/100
(Nose: 82 Palate: 80 Finish: 78)

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