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Friday, December 15, 2023

Caol Ila 9 year old 2010 Signatory, cask 316637

(Caol Ila cluster homepage)

Sorry for the blog silence this week. Between the dates, hangouts, and holiday parties this month, I'm feeling a bit boozed-out. It got to the point where I felt it, both physically and mentally, during the day. So I've had some alcohol-free nights, and they've been great! I've slept better too.

I do have one Caol Ila for ya this week, the last of the three 9yo 2010s from Signatory. The first one, a small batch, disappointed, while the second CI, a single butt, delighted. Today's pour is another refill sherry butt, and part of the same big parcel of 2010 Caol Ilas from Signatory's warehouses.

pic source

Distillery: Caol Ila
Region: Islay
Owner: Diageo
Independent Bottler: Signatory
Range: Cask Strength Collection
Age: 9 years (22 Sep 2010 - 27 Aug 2020)
Maturation: Refill sherry butt
Cask #: 316637
Outturn: 665 bottles
Alcohol by Volume: 59.9%
Chillfiltered? No
e150a? No
(from a bottle split)


The nose jumps out with barbecue pork, apples, honey, fruity cinnamon, and steel wool. Brazil nuts and anise populate the middle, while a few oysters stay in the background. The spirit defeats the cask in the palate. Big, bold (and kinda minty) beach bonfire peat leads the way. More chile oil than sugar here. Some tart raspberries arrive later on. It finishes with that beachy smoke, lots of salt, and a squeeze of lemon.

DILUTED to ~46%abv, or 1¾ tsp of water per 30mL whisky

The nose turns more forest-like, leafier and earthier. Hints of cocoa powder and orange blossoms offer slight angles. The palate has become lighter, sweeter, and simpler. The chile oil remains, and a few flower blossoms join in. It finishes young and edgy, loaded with soot and salt, leaving one with a bit of cigar throat.


While this whisky is more than a half-year older than cask 316659, it feels much younger. I appreciate the spirit leading the way, but it gets ashy and raw at times, getting a bit violent with the tastebuds. I'm also not crazy about the turn the palate takes once water is added. More complex and enjoyable when neat, the whisky also works better when aired out a bit, like 30+ minutes. Perhaps 316659 offered tough competition, but at their prices these 2010 casks had better deliver the goods at 316659's level.

Availability - Maybe a few bottles remain in Europe
Pricing - €125 - €140
Rating - 85

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