Caol Ila 2004 Hermitage finish, G & M Connoisseurs Choice

door | november 11, 2020

Again we have received some very nice samples from our friends at Gordon & MacPhail, the Maturation Expert. In next weeks we will publish our thoughts about the five different whisky’s, all from the new Connoisseurs Choice range. The first sample is the 2004 Caol Ila which was finished in a Hermitage cask. I wonder what the impact of the winecask will be.

Hermitage wines are French wines which are produced exclusively in the northern Rhône wine region of France. The grapes used for the production of these wines may only be grown in this specific region. To guarantee the origin the wines have a protected designation of origin (Appellation d’Origine contrôlée AOC). Mostly red wine from the Syrah grape is produced; however, small quantities of white wine are also produced from Roussanne en Marsanne grapes.

The Syrah wines are known for aging up to 40 years, the dry white wines are aged up to 15 years. Younger Syrah wines might be meaty and powerfull, well aged wines get a palate with notes of violets, herbs and berries. The white wines have a waxy structure with tastes of hazelnut, peach, apricot and some perfume notes. 

Enough background information don’t you think? Let’s “attack” the sample! The whisky was distilled in 2004 and the first maturation period took place in first fill Bourbon barrels. For this whisky G&M chose first fill Hermitage casks. The whisky was recently bottled with a stated age of 13 years. The ABV was dilluted to 45%. 

Notes by Jeroen

  • Nose: Delicate peatsmoke, alcohol, some meaty notes too. Fruity notes as well, sweet and sour like berries.
  • Taste: A bit of a drying mouthfeel. Salty liquorice notes, some menthol freshness too accompanied by a hint of smoke. Not very powerful
  • Finish: Not a very long finish, I hoped for a bit more here. Only the peatsmoke lingers on for some time.

Nose and taste do show the Caol Ila spirit style but I just don’t know what to think about the wine finish. The drying mouthfeel in the taste together with the berries for me are the only pointers towards the wine casks. Maybe this just isn’t my cup of tea. 

Notes by Peter

  • Nose: Peatsmoke, meat and some dark red fruit
  • Taste: It’s softer then I thought, with again peat, some red fruit and herbs. A little bit of cinnamon.
  • Finish: Medium finish wat ends with meat and peat.

A nice and typical Coal Ila with a twist!

Thanks Gordon & MacPhail for the sample!

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