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Caol Ila Distillery Gordon & MacPhail Independent Bottlers Island of Islay Scotland

Gordon&MacPhail Reserve Caol Ila 2008

Review of a Caol Ila in the version bottled by Gordon&MacPhail for the Maison du Whisky.

Origin: Isle of Islay (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Gradation: 40%ABV
Ageing barrels: Ex-bourbon refill
Chillfiltered: No
Additional colouring: No
Property: Speymalt Whisky Distributors Ltd.
Average price: € 50.00
Official Website: www.gordonandmacphail.com
Vote: 83/100

Gordon&MacPhail was missing from our (growing) whisky portfolio, and we finally introduce this independent bottler born, like many, from a small grocery shop.
Founded in 1895 in Elgin, in the north-east of Scotland, where it’s still based, G&M is a family-run business, strongly in the hands of the Urquharts (a name that, for those familiar with British television serials, evokes House of Cards and its protagonist, whose face you can see in my avatar).
In the course of its long activity, G&M has created several lines, each with a precise characteristic, producing customised bottlings from around 70 distilleries.
Not content with that, they bought a whole distillery in 1993: Benromach.

Starting with the Connoisseurs Choice, launched in 1968, the lines created by G&M are many and constantly evolving, some with truly prestigious bottlings: under the Generations label there are whiskies with extraordinary ageing, starting with Mortlach 70yo, which in 2010 set the record for the longest-ageing whisky in the world, followed by Glenlivet 70yo and Mortlach 75yo.
The bottle featured in this article is part of the Reserve line, with a bottling made for Maison du Whisky, a well-known French-based whisky retailer and distributor.
Distilled in 2008 and bottled in 3041 pieces in 2017, this is a whisky that has therefore been aged for 9 years.

The colour, all natural, is a very pale yellow, almost ethereal.
On the nose, there is a gentle peat, grafted onto very marked marine notes. Chocolate, marzipan, a touch of dried fruit. Very calm, almost restrained I’d say, thanks to the minimal alcohol content.
The alcohol content becomes unexpectedly full-bodied in the mouth, revealing a lively whisky: smoke envelops the palate, with burnt and oily wood, dragging along sprinkles of salted chocolate and nuts. A lot of ocean, with the island trait well present and embraced by peat, and in the long run a hint of spice. Elegant with character.
The finish drags along the aromas of the palate, of ash, sea and spices.

A very pleasant bottling, with a minimal alcohol content that turns out to be balanced.
Not very complex, but it will be remembered.

Other bottlings in the blog:
A&G Rare Cask Selection Caol Ila 10yo
Caol Ila 12yo
Caol Ila 18yo
Caol Ila 18yo Unpeated 2017
Caol Ila Distillers Edition 2018
Caol Ila Moch
Caol Ila Natural Cask Strength
Dramfool Cola Ali 4
Dramfool Cola Ali 5
Dream N°2
Golden Drops Caol Ila 8yo
Morisco Spirits Caol Ila 11yo
Signatory Caol Ila 1994 Port Wood Finish
The Islay Star 11yo
Valinch & Mallet Caol Ila 11yo

Other bottlings from Gordon&MacPhail in the blog:
Gordon&MacPhail Cragganmore 1976
Gordon&MacPhail Strathisla 2006

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