Pintail Caol Ila 11yo 2012 (cask 12038) – Pineau des Charentes Cask Finish 57.9% ABV


Distilled in 2012 and then matured first in a refill sherry butt. It was transferred to a Pineau des Charantes barrel, the ancient fortified wine of the Cognac region in western France, for finishing before being filled at 57.9% ABV into 659 bottles by Pintail.

Appearance: Light amber. A hairline swirl mark that beads up slowly. A thin film clubs to the glass and many droplets form too. After the glass is agitated a second time some medium trails form.

Nose: A decent alcohol level. That unmistakable aroma of sweet BBQ smoke, caramelised meats and a slight ashy element wafted from the glass. The second sip reveals more jammy red berry sweetness, subtle tropical fruits, some honey and fresh vanilla waffles. The red berry notes morph into blackberry and plum.

Palate: A pleasing oily mouthfeel, plenty of cracked black pepper spice, a touch of mild chilli and those smokey BBQ meats. There is some sweet BBQ sauce too. The rich blackberry notes soon emerge to add a nice balance against the smoke and spice. A vanilla vein runs through the other elements, adding a mellow sweet flavour. Three vanilla seems to become more of a caramel flavour over time.

Finish: Long. The smoke, BBQ sauce, pepper and blackberry all linger for a good deal of time. That caramel element also seems to coat the other flavours in the finish, which I enjoy.

Overall: A really nice dram, I loved the many fruit notes and that gloriously smokey and meaty layer. Not sure I’d pay the £90 price tag though… actually, I am, I wouldn’t pay that for this 11yo.

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