The Whisky Exchange is celebrating its 11th annual Whisky Show with a series of show bottlings entitled ‘The Magic of the Cask’, highlighting the mystery of a cask’s influence by keeping the details on each whisky’s label hidden until ready to be revealed. A first for whisky labels, they are printed with an ink sensitive to UV light, hiding the details of each whisky until a torch, included with every purchase, is shone onto the label to reveal the hidden text.
The theme of Whisky Show 2019 – ‘The Journey of the Cask’ – celebrates both the effects that casks have on maturing whisky as well as the journey that a cask takes from forest to filling and beyond. This year’s show bottlings delve deep into that magic, each presenting a different way that a cask can shape a whisky…
Sadly I was unable to attend the show (once again, bummer. it always falls on Jewish holidays and you know life get in the way of whisky again…). Fortunately for me, I was able to pre-taste the 4 whiskies released for the show (all will be online after the show on the TWE site, no worries). The first of which I am about to taste is also the youngest of the bunch, and also the peatiest… A Caol Ila matured in a very old Sherry cask. Bottled at the tender (but peferfect age for peaty whiskies) of 9, and bottled at a very nice 58.7% ABV.
Caol Ila 9 Year Old – TWE for the Whisky Show , 58.7% , £84.95
Nose: Lovely stuff on the nose, been a while since I had a nice sherried Caol Ila… This one’s deep and earthy, with sweet notes and musty touches, mushrooms, dunnage warehouse, peat and black tea. Ground pepper and wood smoke on top of notes of licorice and ash. Very nice.
Palate: quite a lot of wood smoke, more black tea, licorice and fruit, with a touch of lemon zing, smoky baked apples, soot and spicy chocolate bon-bons. mouth coating, and very pleasing, a nice combination of fruit, wood smoke, peat and dark musty goodness.
Finish : More of the smoky fruity goodness, hint of ash and over-grilled apples.
Conclusion: This is an excellent sherried Caol Ila. One of the better ones I’ve tried recently. Good choice of cask and profile there. As it is the cheapest of the range It is really is an easy buy for me. I know I’m going to get one. Good work , lads.