Category Archives: Caol Ila

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar dram # 5 – A.D. Rattray’s 9yo Caol Ila, bourbon hogshead # 303050


Region – Islay – 56.7% ABV

On the fifth day, G-d filled the seas with fishes and other water animals. In to the air above the earth s/he put many birds of all kinds and colors and sizes.

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love sent to me:

  • 5 Golden Rings
  • 4 Calling Birds
  • 3 French Hens
  • 2 Turtle Doves
  • 1 Partridge in a Pear Tree
    • Actually she brought me nothing because Chanukah is early this year…

Scotch Whisky Advent CalendarOn the 5th day of the Scotch Whisky Advent calendar, we are having a 9yo single cask of Caol Ila bottled by A.D. Rattray.  The color is quite light so I am assuming that this is a refill bourbon hogshead which suggests the flavors will be more spirit driven rather than cask driven.

This dram shall set us free:

Scotch Whisky Advent CalendarOn the nose — A good bit of cayenne spice upfront mixed with puffs of schoolroom chalk and well cooked bacon. Now the bacon overtakes and seems to have been smoked with applewood.

Pink salt and crushed green peppercorns on a plate in the middle of a hot/dry attic (so there is some wood presence here!).

In the mouth — Incredible mouth feel here. Oily, ooey, chewy, mouth coating goodness.  This dram is why I’m a lover of Islay whisky.  More applewood smoke, and the taste of the smell of a French patisserie. Biscuits and salty tarts galore!

A lovely note of lavender is quite present here, too. Nice.

Scotch Whisky Advent CalendarBurnt edges of waffles covered in warm salted honey.

Finish — Near endless. Salty, spicy and sweet.

In sum — I need a bottle. It’s as simple as that. This is perhaps the best Caol Ila I’ve ever had (not bottled by me).  Man-o-Maneshewitz!