1999 Connoisseur’s Choice Caol Ila 10 Years Review

1999 Connoisseur's Choice Caol Ila 10 Review

1999 Connoisseur’s Choice Caol Ila 10 Years is the 3rd stop in our trek to 12 and it’s interesting to see how minor the overall difference in quality is between this and the 7-Year-Old Caol Ila. I was expecting something with a bit more depth, a bit more maturity, a bit more oomph behind it. A bit more of that inky iodine awesomeness that shows up in the OB.

In Gordon & Machphail’s Words: 1999 Connoisseur’s Choice Caol Ila 10 Years

“AROMA WITHOUT WATER
Sweet Sherry notes, with sweet cured bacon and stewed pear aromas. Hints of cinnamon and cloves develop.
TASTE WITHOUT WATER
Smoky and sweet initially with vanilla and ripe banana flavours developing. Hints of orange and milk chocolate linger.”

Just to be clear I’m not disappointed in the 1999 Connoisseur’s Choice Caol Ila 10 Years, it’s a fine – perfectly drinkable – dram by any measure, but I was hoping it would hone in closer to the OB Caol Ila that I enjoy so much. Well, enough stalling, on with the review.

1999 Connoisseur’s Choice Caol Ila 10 Years Info

Region: Islay, Scotland

Distiller: Caol Ila
Bottler: Gordon & Macphail
Mashbill: 100% Malted Barley
Cask: ex-Sherry (refill)
Age: 10 years
ABV: 46%

Non-Chill Filtered | Natural Color

Batch: 1999

Price: $65

1999 Connoisseur’s Choice Caol Ila 10 Years Review

EYE
Light yellow

NOSE
Apples, pears, peat, honey, malty sweetness, smoked meat and toffee with bits of plastic and clove. Not amazing, but not bad either. Decent.

PALATE
Smoked meat, orchard fruit, honey, vanilla frosting, toffee, charred bread and a touch of clove. Decent… like the aroma, it’s decent.

FINISH
Long peat, clove, vanilla frosting, saline and smoked meat.

BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Decent sense of balance, full body and a soft oily feel.

OVERALL
1999 Connoisseur’s Choice Caol Ila 10 Years is balanced and poised, but a bit limited in complexity. The Aroma is enjoyable and remarkably fruity as is the palate. I was expecting the sweeter fruit and honey notes to be more muted than they are and the inkier notes to have shown up more. I was expecting something closer to the 12 than the 7 year, but that could be the fault of the refill sherry cask.

By all accounts this cask appears to have had all of the sherry sucked out if it before the new-make that became the 1999 Connoisseur’s Choice Caol Ila 10 Years ever touched it. Which is too bad because a bit of chewy dark fruit paired off with the orchard fruit and malty sweetness would have been perfect.

SCORE: 85/100 (B)

I got some samples mixed up so thanks to either Mr. Krouse, Mr. Kravitz or Mr.Boykewich for the sample.
1999 Connoisseur's Choice Caol Ila 10 Review - Score Breakdown
  • Nose - 85
  • Palate - 85
  • Finish - 85
  • Balance, Body & Feel - 85

Summary

1999 Connoisseur's Choice Caol Ila 10 Years is decent.

1999 Connoisseur's Choice Caol Ila 10 Label

Josh Peters
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Josh Peters

I read about, think about, write about, and drink whisk(e)y. In short, it's my passion.
Josh Peters
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