2009 Caol Ila 8 Year Old "Signatory" K&L Exclusive Single Hogshead Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) SKU #1383235

Price: $89.99

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Tasting Notes

We've made it a point this year to buy as much young Caol Ila as possible! Not only is the distillery cranking out some of the finest peated malt anywhere on Islay, but it tastes extremely delicious even at a very young age. When Signatory showed us this exceptional cask, we knew it would be a struggle to get it to the states at a price that makes sense. Luckily, the new local representation for the brand are old friends and they were able to work out a deal to bring this exceptional cask into stock at a relatively reasonable rate. Of course, these Signatory casks don't compare on paper to our Directly Imported casks from Hunter and Douglas Laing, but they also offer something different than we've ever been offered from our friends in Glasgow. This small lot of top tier Caol Ila was filled into fresh bourbon barrels on October 22nd, 2009. It has a freshness and intensity unsurpassed by any similarly priced peater in the shop and beats even the wonderful young Ardbegs in terms of sheer power. It's a perfect contrast to the soft rounded single barrel of Sovereign. While it doesn't offer quite the same ridiculous value, it takes the complexity to a whole new level. With that in mind, we think this special whisky still stands out as one of the best peated values in the shop.

Staff Reviews

  • Will Blakely
    By: Will Blakely
    K&L Staff Member
    For fans of Islay, Caol Ila should be a consistent feature in a well-stocked cabinet. This bottling is a singular example - an unadulterated expression of everything the distillery has to offer. The peat here is perfectly integrated, combining smoky mesquite wood, sea air and mossy earth. There is a subtle sweetness, with green fruit and vanilla wafting above a firm structure. A dose of water reveals further depth, with iodine and herbs entering the smoky fray balanced by ocean brine and a hint of lime essential oil. The flavors here are indelible and inseparable. An exquisitely expressive dram.
  • Jackson Lee
    By: Jackson Lee
    K&L Staff Member
    This dram was a bit of a chameleon, every time I put the glass up to my nose it seemed to morph from my previous impressions. A strong, woody smoke was first out of the gates, followed by what was undoubtedly my dentist’s office (kind of a menthol-y antiseptic). Preserved lemon and orange blossom honey gave it a nice, bright, citrus component with demerara sugar tying it all together. The first sip was dangerous, as we’re required to spit while tasting at work and I had to fight my instinct to imbibe. With a medium body a sweet, light, smoke flavor tickled the palate as rock candy with flowery notes and an almost maraschino liqueur flavor walked the line between sweet and bitter. A distant smoke lingered in the finish, as if smelling a far off fire.
  • Andrew Whiteley
    By: Andrew Whiteley
    K&L Staff Member
    Fall is the most magical time of year in my book. It always brings with it a new container of Scotch! And that almost always includes a couple of beautiful young peaty whiskies at reasonable prices. This year, there is one of the best side by side comparisons I've seen in years. 2 different Caol Ila barrels, one 7 years old, the other 8. One in first fill bourbon casks, the other in sherry. Both well under a hundred bucks. This Signatory barrel is all about the smoke and earth. The vanillans of the bourbon barrel just raise the smoke on a pedestal. The aroma is crystal clear - beach bonfire fueled by soaking wet logs. The palate is richer than expected, giving much more spice than you find in the nose. For the finish, the logs dry out and you get the beautiful warmth of a glowing fire. This will take you from the start of the evening right on through until morning.
  • Neal Fischer
    By: Neal Fischer
    K&L Staff Member
    It's eight years old, but boy is this whisky light in color! This Caol Ila's pale straw color makes it look like a ghost who's been hiding from sunlight all winter, but it has quite a lot of flavor. The nose presents smoked bacon, BBQ char, saltiness, light cherry, and apricot. The palate boasts chili pepper with medium peat, a soft vanilla character, along with nice brininess and earthiness.
  • Jeffrey Jones
    By: Jeffrey Jones
    K&L Staff Member
    This is an excellent selection from a first class independent bottler. The nose is on the subtle side with the smoke aromas inviting and present but not too heavy. In the mouth it is clean and pure with a nice juicy note. Some smoke flavors help add to the experience. There is a long finish. This is a single malt that is ready to drink. Do not be afraid of its young age because each barrel of spirit ages differently and this particular cask is a joy to drink in its youth.


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