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2004 Gordon & Macphail Connoisseurs Choice Caol Ila 13 Year Old Hermitage Cask Finished Single Malt Scotch Whisky (700ml)
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G&M are unusual in being the only independent bottler to mature their whiskies on location at the Caol Ila distillery, rather than in a bonded warehouse on the mainland. Caol Ila has become a staple in their ‘Connoisseurs Choice’ and ‘Cask Strength’ ranges, often released as a wood finish. After a period in first-fill bourbon and refill American casks, this spent a final maturation in x-Hermitage (French Shiraz) casks for three years with an outturn of 3950 bottles.Notes from the bottler... Aroma: Complex and fruity: light peat smoke and dry cured meats mix with vanilla pod revealing cranberries, redcurrants and delicate orange blossom. A dried apricot and plum edge develops. Taste: Creamy, hints of liquorice and warming pepper transform into spicy oak notes. Chocolate, ripe raspberry, and blackcurrant transform with gentle beeswax undertones. Finish: Long, forest fruits mature into lingering peat smoke infused with charred oak and bonfire embers. 45% Alc./Vol. The fifth largest in Scotland was built in a disused lead-ore quarry by Hector Henderson in 1846. The seaside location was purposely chosen for its abundance of water. Hidden away in a cove just north of Port Askaig, overlooking the water from which it takes its name. This wonderfully smoky malt has a phenol content of 35-38 ppm (roughly equating to 20 hours under a peat fire). Its tall copper pot stills produce a light spirit that not only matures well in both Sherry and bourbon casks, but also finishes nicely in wine casks. It remains the main component of the Johnnie Walker Blends.