Caol Ila Stitchell Reserve is named after Billy Stitchell, the distillery manager who is retiring this year after almost 40 years. It is the eight edition of unpeated Caol Ila in Diageo’s Special Releases and the most affordable offer in the whole series.
This NAS cask strength Caol Ila was matured in a combination of American oak, rejuvenated American oak and European ex-bodega casks.
Caol Ila ‘Stitchell Reserve’
(59,6%, OB 2013)
Nose: sweet and fudgy, but with a surprisingly grassy, almost tannic profile. Corn flakes, some vanilla. Lots of lemons, both zesty and candied ones. Some resinous notes and varnish. Liquorice.
Mouth: oily mouthfeel, very sweet again (icing sugar, toffee, fruit jelly candy), but very grassy / oaky as well. Liquorice and herbs. Lemons and yellow plums. Raisins, especially with a few drops of water. Freshly sawn oak, a bit too much if you ask me. Pine sap.
Finish: long, grassy with plenty of wood spices alongside the sweet malt and lemon zest.
I’m not entirely sure about this one. It has an attractive sweet side, nice lemon and the firm Coal Ila character (even without peat), but the wood spices are firmly kicking around. There’s little development as well. Around € 75.