Archives Butterflies from the USA Caol Ila 9 Year (2010)

Scotch Whisky Review #269: Archives Butterflies from the USA Caol Ila 9 Year (2010)

Distillery: Caol Ila

Bottler: Archives

Region: Islay

Age: 9 year. Distilled on June 1st, 2010. Bottled August of 2019.

Cask Type: Hosghead

ABV: 56.90% Cask Strength

Color: 0.3, Pale Gold. Natural Color and Non-Chill Filtered.


Nose: It’s quite heavy and sits deep in the glass almost. There’s a bit of light peat smoke and warm malt barley.

Palate: Hot and cries out for water at full strength water. A bit of water cools things down nicely though. It is on the simplistic side. Sugary malt, lemon, and bit of vanilla icing make up the most part. Along with it comes a strong savory, but not quite meaty, and umami note that I can’t place. It’s somewhere between tonkotsu sauce and barbecue sauce.

Finish: Medium in length. Vanilla and lemon icing. Icing sugar. Roasted barley tea.


Conclusion: I’ve been on a bit of an Islay kick lately and it felt only right that I take a stop over at Caol Ila. This one was bottled by the folks over at WhiskyBase Archives and comes across as a nice, solid young islay. The slightly sugary notes with a little bit of citrus are pleasant but the real star of the show is this savory, slightly meaty, umami note. There’s a bit of sweetness, a bit of tang, and overall quite nice. It’s a bit simplistic but still quite enjoyable.

Final Score: 78.

Scotch Whisky Review #269, Islay Review #41, Whisky Network Review #413


Scoring Legend:

  • 96-100: The perfect dram, nectar of the gods.
  • 90-95: Near perfect, there is something truly special about this whisky.
  • 85-89: Amazing, will always try to keep a bottle of this in my collection (if feasible).
  • 80-84: Very Good, maybe only one minor nitpick about the whisky keeping it here.
  • 75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink.
  • 70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get it.
  • 60-69: Meh, still drinkable.
  • Below 59: If you have a bottle of this, start cooking with it instead.

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