Adelphi Caol Ila 2008 12yo (cask #309453) vs. SMWS 53.325


Today we looks at a pair of independently bottled Caol Ila's. 

Adelphi Caol Ila 2008 12yo Cask #309453

Adelphi Caol Ila 2008 12yo (cask #309453)

Region: Islay

ABV: 53.9%

Price: £90

It’s from Adelphi and a Caol ila, what could go wrong? This one was distilled in 2008, and spent 12 years in a first fill sherry hogshead before being bottled at 53.9% with an outturn of 272 bottles. We’re really not sure how Adelphi does it while pretty much ever other independent bottlers are putting out sherry finished releases Adelphi keeping treating us to full maturation “Bombs”.

Nose

Initially there’s Cola cubes, dark chocolate, faint hint of fish fingers, some ashy smoke (not overpowering), fresh cut grass, sea air/breeze, and something akin to bacon strips.

Palate

On the palate initially there’s chocolate covered treacle, smokey coals, sweet nutty notes (cashews), cigar tobacco and toffee crisp. The sweet and peat notes nicely balance each other.

Nose (with water)

With water this is more fruit forward with raisins, and Terry’s chocolate orange. This is also more buttery with a prominent note of buttered bread.

Palate (with water)

With water we’re also getting espresso, Bournville Dark Chocolate, and dairy milk caramel. This has a medium to long finish now, with the smoke fading to leave more sweetness.

Conclusion

Another top notch release from Adelphi, but we didn’t expect anything else. Most independent bottlers will tell you they only bottle the best single casks available, but Adelphi are one of the few bottlers we believe are being honest.

Score: 8.5/10

SMWS 53.325 (Caol Ila)

SMWS 53.325 (Caol Ila)

Region: Islay

ABV: 61.2%

Price: £54

If you’re based in the UK or Europe you’ll be able to pick up a Caol ila from the society every other week. Not that is necessary a bad thing. this particular release is a little different as it’s finished in a refill madeira hogshead.

Nose

Opens with some BBQ notes, cereal and porridge oats. Sticking with it there’s salt, butter, strawberries, light smoke, and a malty note to finish.

Palate

The palate has smoked salmon, a little sugar syrup, tobacco, Del Monte fruit cocktail and cracked black pepper. This has a medium finish with smoke lingering. This is a little hot, but not bad.

Nose (with water)

With water the smoke dissipates a little, leaving the above notes and some warm butter, a dunnage warehouse, and some pipe tobacco.

Palate (with water)

The smoke has also dissipated on the palate and now we’re getting orange peel, a touch of chilli and caster sugar. The finish has also been tamed the smoke leaving the sweeter notes.

Conclusion

The society 53's are usually solid, and this one is no exception. We’re happy to have a nabbed a bottle of this as with the Madeira finish it’s a little different to the usual releases the society put out while being just as good. If you’ve nabbed a bottle we recommend you enjoy with a touch of water.

Score: 8/10

  • 10 - Perfection. A whisky that we’ll remember forever.
  • 9 - Amazing. We’d pay through the nose for a bottle.
  • 8 - Great. Pick this up at RRP.
  • 7 - Good. Happy to have a dram or two but wouldn’t buy a bottle.
  • 6 - Passable. Would accept a dram, but wouldn’t seek it out.
  • 5 - Poor. Would drink if it was the only option.
  • 4 - Bad. Maybe it can be saved by ginger beer?
  • 3 - Awful. It can't be saved by ginger beer.
  • 2 - Pour it out
  • 1 - We’ve never tried a whisky rated this low and hopefully never will.

Interested in trying drams like these? We've created the Two Whisky Bros Dram Club to help you get access to high quality, rare whisky by the dram.

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