Caol Ila 1997
Managers' Choice Sherry Cask

70cl / 58%
  • Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky
  • Distillery Bottling
Caol Ila 1997 / Managers' Choice / Sherry Cask
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Customer Rating

A single 1997 European Sherry Oak cask of Caol Ila chosen to represent the distillery in the cask strength Managers' Choice range from Diageo. This is only the second ever single cask Caol Ila released by Diageo after the wonderful Feis Ile bottling in 2009 (also a sherry cask, coincidentally).

Distillery Bottling
Managers' Choice
11 Year Old
Bottling Date
March 2009
No of Bottles
Cask Type
Cask Number


  • Body
  • Richness
  • Smoke
  • Sweetness


  • Earth Earth
  • Clove Clove
  • Lemon Lemon
  • Brine Brine
  • Honey Honey
  • Oak Oak

Caol Ila 1997 Reviews

Tasting Notes

  • Producer's Tasting Notes

    Colour:  Gloriously attractive; clear, sparkly amber. Lightly viscous.

    Nose:  Instant. Fresh. Invigorating. At first, acetic dryness fuses with honey, Beech wood-smoke, salty sea air and lemon juice. Wood-smoke rapidly becomes full-on coal tar as phenols move to the fore. Then, with water, a subtle, tropical fruit sweetness plays with its savoury partners; toasted cumin, porcini and sage-butter.

    Body:  Light. Soft.

    Palate:  Instant phenol. Sensuous. Coating. Pure smoke briefly cut through by a honeyed sweetness. Later fresh fennel and tarragon; followed by drying, oaky, vanilla and crunchy, grainy cereals.

    Finish:  Long and smooth; sweet, smoky, herbal, earthy and peppery. Traces of clove. Splendidly savoury: the earthiness of beetroot, roasted with salt and virgin olive oil in a wood fired oven. Comforting late smoky breath. Complete.

    Comment:  An outstanding whisky that just can’t help playing games with us: Is it sweet? Where’s the acid gone. Nope - here’s the lemon. Wait, where’s the honey? But that’s olive oil! Throughout, an unpredictable interplay of sweet, tart, savoury and smoky notes; astonishingly fresh and ferociously appetising. Caol Ila never fails to engage, surprise and delight.

3 Customer Reviews

  • Add Your Review
  • 5
    10 July 2014

    Despite the fact that this is "only" 12 years old, and despite the skepticism of the price that it carries, it truly lives up to all expectations, and the reviews and scores bestowed upon it. It is the best Caol Ila I personally have ever tasted, and bests many other highly esteemed Islays.

  • 4 July 2010

    366 bottles and first single cask of Caol Ila from the producer widely available.

  • 12 May 2010

    How can a 11y old whisky cost £285! please someone explain the rarity of this bottling?