53.323 - Cheshire cat

11 years old, distilled 1st September 2008, 58.8% abv, Refill Ex-Bourbon Hogshead, 293 bottles, dram price C

SMWS 53.323 - Cheshire catThe nose has bonfire smoke, raspberry pavlova and hints of toffee. The mouthfeel is thin with no cling. The body has bonfire smoke, honey and chorizo. The finish has bonfire smoke and honey.

Water brings thin, short-lived whorling that doesn’t mottle. The nose gains a herbal note - thyme? - and some light notes of pear. The smoke is quite diminished. The body gains thyme and toffee, and loses the chorizo. The finish gains thyme.

A decent Caol Ila that does what you’d expect, and does it well.

One for autumn evenings.

Technical score: 4/5

Personal preference: I’d have another dram.

This whisky was provided by the SMWS in a preview session - thanks to them for that. Full editorial control has been retained in the tasting process.