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Friday, December 8, 2023

Caol Ila 9 year old 2010 Signatory, cask 316659

(Caol Ila cluster homepage)

This Caol Ila cluster started off weirdly with Wednesday's Signatory Small Batch, which was assembled from three refill hoggies and two refill butts. Today's CI comes from one of those butts' sibling butts, cask 316659, which isn't shocking because Signatory has already bottled more than seventy 2010 casks from the Port Askaig distiller. Like most of those casks, #316659 was a sherry butt. My experience with this parcel has been very positive so far. Will this cask continue up that route, or will it go weird like the Small Batch?

Most of these Siggy 2010 CIs
look just like this!
(pic source)
Distillery: Caol Ila
Region: Islay
Owner: Diageo
Independent Bottler: Signatory
Range: Cask Strength Collection
Age: 9 years (22 Sep 2010 - 10 Feb 2020)
Maturation: Refill sherry butt
Cask #: 316659
Outturn: 673 bottles
Alcohol by Volume: 60.1%
Chillfiltered? No
e150a? No
(from a bottle split)


The nose is packed with dates and fresh apricots on top of heaps of almond butter and cashew butter. The toasted seaweed, moderate oceany peat, and hint of yeast have plenty of stamina too. Very nutty sherry merges seamlessly with a medium-peated spirit in the palate. Baking spices, figs, anise, blood oranges, and a hint of blossoms arrive with less heat than expected. The lean finish is all earth, salt, and a little bit of seaweedy peat.

Reducing it to the Small Batch's strength:

DILUTED to 47.1%abv, or 1⅔ tsp of water per 30mL whisky

The farmy, meaty nose also offers almond cookies, grilled pears, and seaweed. The palate becomes creamier, peatier, and earthier, with subtle notes of molasses and almonds. It finishes brighter and sweeter, with a slight tartness in the back.


This is about as good as it can get at 9 years old. The finish reads a bit limited, but everything else is great. I'd even say the palate is better than the nose. There's no rawness, no prunes, and very little burn. And there are dates, figs, blood oranges, apricots, and cashews. Would another year or two have improved it, or would the oak start to take over? I don't know, but if you have a bottle of this stuff, give it a hug and a pour.

Availability - Maybe a few bottles remain in Europe
Pricing - €130 - €160
Rating - 88