Caol Ila 2007 15 Year Old RMW Cask #317782 & Ardmore 2009 13 Year Old RMW Cask #709383


We're continuing our look at the new Royal Mile Whiskies IB's with two peated offerings today. 

    Caol Ila 2007 15 Year Old RMW Cask #317782

    Region: Islay

    ABV: 55.0%

    Price: £114.95

    First up today a 15 year old Caol Ila that was matured in a refill bourbon hogshead.

    Nose

    Buttery upfront, all butter croissants, brioche bread, unwashed mushrooms, salted popcorn with a light cigarette smoke in the background. We’re also finding an oiliness reminiscent of a greasy fish and chips. The alcohol is a bit peppery, a bit more than we’d expect for 55%.

    Palate

    Ooft, honeyed sweetness, caramel, sweet seafood. Caramelised scallops, saltwater and dry roasted peanuts. The alcohol integration is good, not too spicy but it’s gives the dram a good body. The mouthfeel is nice, there’s an oiliness, and the finish lingers for a decent length with peppery vanilla.

    Nose (with water)

    The reduced nose loses the bitterness but gains a musty, sourness. Lots of pepper spice now, it’s a bit more challenging now. A bit like flat lemonade with a hint of iodine too.

    Palate (with water)

    The reduced palate is .. less pleasant. Dry dry oak, bitter grapefruit, ashy smoke, with a bit less spice than before. Lime leaves, a little herbal-ness too.

    Conclusion

    Middle of the road Caol Ila for us, we prefer a sweeter Caol Ila, perhaps first fill bourbon would be more interesting. There wasn’t anything here that would implore us to buy a bottle, however it’s perfectly drinkable. The RMW/BBR collaboration Caol Ila from a year or so ago was better in our opinion.

    Score: 6.5/10

    Value

    Caol Ila cask prices seem to be creeping up, but this still feels a bit much.

    Ardmore 2009 13 Year Old RMW Cask #709383

    Region: Highlands

    ABV: 46.0%

    Price: £64.95

    Distilled on the 16th of December 2009, and laid to rest in a refill barrel that previously held Laphroaig. It was bottled by RMW in April 2023.

    Nose

    We’re met with sweet bonfire smoke, pickle brine, dried leaves, burnt newspapers, cloves and light vanilla aromas. As we go back to it we’re also finding a touch of apple sauce, cereals, bread baking in the oven, and burning incense

    Palate

    The palate begins sweet, artificial sweeteners, with dirty wet soil, light medicinal notes, vanilla pods and light peppery spice. The texture is interesting, it’s like when water splits from oil, it’s both oily and watery at the same time. The finish has a reasonable length with charred staves and wet cardboard.

    Nose (with water)

    The reduced nose bring out bundles of vanilla and light smoke, marshmallows and marzipan. The smoke has mellowed, and it’s less earthy - just a bit sweeter now.

    Palate (with water)

    The reduced palate has a burst of citrus, lemon juice, sugar syrup.. it’s like an old fashioned cocktail with a peated whisky as its base. Still earthy and dry on the finish.

    Conclusion

    The cask has added an extra little bit of interest to the palate of this dram. It’s a perfectly drinkable whisky, and a reasonable example of an Ardmore, but we’re not particularly blown away. The texture is a bit weird, we’re assuming it’s been reduced to 46% and it feels like the dram has suffered a little from this.

    Score: 6/10

    Value

    It’s not too bad for the age, although we wish it were cask strength.

    • 10 - Perfection. One in a million
    • 9 - Outstanding. Exceptional whisky.
    • 8 - Great. Would seek this out.
    • 7 - Good. Quality whisky.
    • 6 - Above average. Happy to have a dram.
    • 5 - Average. Drinkable whisky.
    • 4 - Below average. Passable.
    • 3 - Flawed. Noticeable negatives.
    • 2 - Defective. Significant faults.
    • 1 - Offensive. Pour it out.

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