Caol Ila 10, 2011-2022, Sherry Hogshead 5846, 57.5% – WhiskyNerds

It’s been a while but it is time for another WhiskyNerds bottling. A cask selected by Bram and Floris for the Dutch market, and in that market only selected retailers. Mostly, that boils down to the shops that the Nerds have a good relationship with.

As with many of this kind of bottling, it has sold out already. I believe it was released about two or three weeks ago, so it wasn’t lightning fast but you shouldn’t have taken too much time pondering your purchase either.

This is quite contradictory to their previous Caol Ila bottling, which was a tremendous whisky, although it also was tremendously expensive. Even after three years that’s still sitting on shelves in shops below it’s original recommended retail price.

Also, as if they’re compensating, even though it went for € 100 per bottle, that is pretty affordable for a 10 year old Islay single cask whisky. Many of these sit closer to € 150 nowadays, although Caol Ila is quite available and therefore the cheaper of the brands.

Image from Whiskybase

Anyway, a sherry hogshead. A decade old. A high ABV. Let’s go!

Sniff:
Rather light on the smoke, but huge notes of caramel apple, treacle, raisins. There’s a hint of bacon and barbecue later on. Pastry cream too.

Sip:
The palate packs more punch than the nose. The sweeter sherry notes are largely gone, but there’s a lot more peppery heat, more oak, more dryness. Still rather light on the typical smoke and engine grease.

Swallow:
The finish brings a slightly sweet ashy note, with a lot of barbecue-y notes, bacon, soot, greasy and all.

It’s quite noticeable that this is an American oak cask used for sherry. You get the sherry notes on one end, and the American oak notes on the other end. The heavier, darker European oak that is so rare nowadays isn’t there.

Having said that, this is a nice combination of flaovrs. The dryness is something I like (as you might know from reading things here…). It’s quite typical of Caol Ila to be a bit on the creamy side, and the barbecue and soot notes are not unfamiliar either. All in all, a rather lovely whisky, well worth the initial asking price!

87/100

Thanks to the Nerds for a sample!

About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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