Caol Ila 2000 17 Year Old Batch 18/026 - Connoisseurs Choice (70cl, 57.5%) ***sold***
A Gordon & MacPhail bottling of 17 year old Caol Ila single malt, drawn from a single first-fill bourbon barrel 18/026. The whisky was laid down in 2000 and bottled in February 2018 as part of the Connoisseurs Choice series with an outturn of just 180 bottles.
Caol Ila distillery was built in 1846 by Hector Henderson, who was bought out from the venture a little over 10 year later by Bulloch Lade. The blending firm merged with DCL (now Diageo) in 1927, who still run the distillery today. In 1972 the original site was demolished and replaced by a new one. When distilling resumed in 1974, Caol Ila was the largest producer of single malt on the Isle of Islay. Despite this, due to its importance in popular blends such as Johnnie Walker, its single malt brand disappeared under United Distillers, and it was not until 2002 that it would return, when the 12 year old was revived by Diageo. The Flora & Fauna release was well-regarded in the meantime, but it was independent releases like this that gave the best opportunity to sample this much-loved single malt.
Gordon & MacPhail are one of the largest and most recognisable whisky companies in the world. Although they began distilling at the newly refurbished Benromach distillery in 1998, for most of their history they were an independent bottler. Their labels are recognised by whisky lovers the world over, and their licensed bottlings from distillery's like Macallan and Talisker in the 1970s and 1980s, when the companies were not bottling themselves, are a huge part of the success of those distillers today.
The Connoisseurs Choice label is one of the most recognisable independent bottlings on the market, and this release follows the 2018 rejuvenation of the brand, which saw it reimagined as a premium single casks range.