The Whisky Exchange selected a refill sherry cask of Caol Ila 2005 from the stocks of Gordon & MacPhail. It’s not the first time, there was a sister cask for their 20th anniversary in 2019 for instance.
Caol Ila 15 yo 2005 (57,5%, Gordon & MacPhail for The Whisky Exchange 2021, refill sherry hogshead #301507, 266 btl.)
Nose: not the sweet, raisiny kind of sherry. Instead a medicinal and leafy profile. Iodine, bandages, some irony touches, leather and light tobacco. Some briney sharpness, wet wool and light engine oil as well. Just a hint of baked apple sweetness in the background. Really good.
Mouth: the same leafy sherry profile on top of the expected lemony and briney notes. Cigar leaves. Crushed peppercorns. Tarry and sooty notes, alongside seaweed and mercurochrome. Walnut cake. Just a few sultanas. Black olive tapenade and Lapsang Souchong. Mocha and liquorice in the end.
Finish: long and brighter again, on lemons and herbs, aniseed and chocolate.
There is an intense medicinal Islay character here, which combines nicely with the dry, leafy style of sherry. Perhaps more of an autumnal whisky but recommended in springtime nonetheless. Exclusively available from The Whisky Exchange.