A truly superb bottling from Gordon and MacPhail. Forming part of their extremely highly rated Connoisseurs Choice range (given a rebrand in 2018), this 13 year old has a great provenance.
Having been aged for the first 10 years of its maturation in a mixture of refill and first fill former Bourbon American oak casks, this whisky has been finished in Hermitage wine casks for three years. A 2004 vintage, this whisky was bottled in February 2018.
The Hermitage region is known for producing some of the very finest red wines in the world. Some of the vines in this area were first planted in Roman times, and continue to fruit to this day.
According to legend, the region takes its name from the Knight Gaspard de Stérimberg, who returned to France injured from the Crusades, and receiving royal permission to recover in a small dwelling on this hill by the Rhône river. This hill that makes up much of the Appellation’s area. Gaspard never returned to society, and lived out his days as a hermit, hence, “Hermitage”. Hermitage is seen by many to be the home of the Syrah grape variety.
The effect of the Hermitage casks on this whisky is to add an extra layer of berry-rich, fruity complexity to the peaty spirit of Caol Ila.
Drinkers can expect notes of mineralic, maritime peat smoke, with some crisp oak flavours, vanilla, strawberries, cherries, raspberries and red grapes, almond and toffee.
Bottled at a higher proof of 45% ABV, this gives this dram a little extra warmth.
Yet another tremendous bottling from Gordon and MacPhail.