Singular Caol Ila 12 Year Old Sherry Refill for a Jaw-Dropping Price – Scotch Whisky News

A Screaming Deal on a One-of-a-Kind Islay Stunner
2008 Caol Ila 12 Year Old “Old Particular” K&L Exclusive Single Refill Sherry Butt Cask Strength Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) (Pre-Arrival) ($74.99)
“Damn, this is a great whisky.” — Andrew Whiteley, K&L Spirits Buyer

Today’s offer gets right to the heart of what our Exclusive Cask program is all about. This incredible 12 Year Old refill Sherry butt represents one of our hands-down best single-cask buys of the year. Simply put, you won’t come across a better age-stated Islay malt for the price. Even the lower-proof distillery Caol Ila is going for around $100 on most shelves these days. So, to find a perfectly aged single-cask with an utterly unique Sherry expression for under $75? Well, that’s just unheard-of. As spirits buyer David Othenin-Girard describes, “it has gorgeous snappy peat, fabulously luscious texture, and a long, smoldering finish.” Spirits buyer Andrew Whiteley puts it even more succinctly: “At the obscenely low price, this is a no brainer.” Scotch enthusiasts will take note of the unparalleled value on offer in this cask, so anyone looking for a singular expression of one of Islay’s most beloved distilleries should act fast. This beauty will disappear in a flash.

2008 Caol Ila 12 Year Old “Old Particular” K&L Exclusive Single Refill Sherry Butt Cask Strength Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) (Pre-Arrival) ($74.99)

K&L Notes: Sometimes Scotch doesn’t make any sense. One year we’re able to offer an incredible deal on young Caol Ila, and the next year the same supplier has raised the price by 40%. Douglas Laing, however, has consistently offered us exceptional Caol Ila at ridiculously low prices. This refill Sherry butt is no exception, and while we talk about this as being “young,” these stocks, which we’ve now been buying for several years, really aren’t so young anymore. We had a stupendous 11 Year Old version last year, which sold out on pre-arrival, and we couldn’t believe they had another slightly older cask aged in refill Sherry at nearly the same price. This isn’t the dark, overpowering sherry that some would prefer, but it does add nuance and depth to the already extremely delicious Caol Ila malt. There aren’t a lot of affordable cask-strength, single-barrel Islay’s in the world these days, so we’re really happy this butt turned out nearly 400 bottles. Nevertheless, they’ll be gone way too quickly.

Andrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: October 13, 2021

I can’t stress enough how light the color of this whisky is. Pale straw—not at all what you’d expect when reading ‘Sherry butt’ in the description. If I didn’t know better, I’d say it had to be a fino cask just on color, but it’s hard to believe it wouldn’t be called out as such if that were the case. Likely, just an old, classic refill that imparted its color to some previous whisky. Now, with that housekeeping out of the way … damn, this is a great whisky! I don’t know if it’s the cask influence or just the malt that day, but it feels smokier than a typical Caol Ila. Darker in flavor despite the color. Behind that brooding smoke is the pretty and easy-going fruit the distillery is famous for, but you’ve got to part the streaming smoke from the cold beach bonfire to find it. A little water and you’ve got more of a classic Caol Ila feel—lots of stone fruit, bright zippy citrus, a little seaweed, a bit of BBQ hardwood smoke, and length for days. At the obscenely low price, this is a no brainer. It’s pretty close to the wholesale cost of the OB 12-year these days.

David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 10, 2021

When we say refill Sherry, we mean it. This one is the color of white wine. That’s a good sign in my book. While I love peat and sherry together, there can be a loss of the purity that I often crave, especially when I’m reaching for a Caol Ila. That’s not say this cask is merely a vessel—it’s got some unique character that I’d attribute to the larger container, but nothing that I’d necessarily describe as “Sherry”. These Caol Ila’s we’re getting are starting to get up there in age, and I just can’t believe we’re able to do it for $75. I can’t even get the low-proof distillery bottling on the shelf for under $100 these days. Anyway, I won’t ask too many questions why, but we’ll just keep buying them until our suppliers get wise. Again, the color is white wine. The nose is dark, wet, smoldering peat, somewhat outside the norm for Caol Ila. Behind that, you’ve got salted fish, gooseberries, mesquite, and menthol. On the palate, a darker, smoldering peat than we’re used to at first, but it quickly brightens with some lovely citrus and yellow fruit. The texture is very rich, and the finish is extremely long. With a few drops of water, we’re much closer to the classic, linear peat profile. Less fish and more citrus on the nose, with a palate featuring gorgeous snappy peat, fabulously lus​cious texture, and a long, smoldering finish. Caol Ila is just so damned good, we can’t get enough of it.

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