Today we’re about to taste another TWE Exclusive – this time A 2001 Caol Ila single malt from indie bottler Gordon & MacPhail, matured in a single first-fill bourbon barrel for 19 years.
Caol Ila 2001 , TWE (G&M) , 57.6% , £175
Nose: This brings back memories from the islay coast: seaspray, seaweed, Seabreeze, you name it, it has got it all. But it’s not just like taking a stroll on the CI bay. There are many other things happening on the nose. A nice smoky layer with beach fires, soot, and then a fruity/sweet addition in the form of vanilla custard, cooked apples, lemon zest, and a certain tropical hint I can not quite put my finger on…
Palate: Medium strength entry, with a lot of soot and salt up front, pepper chilly flakes then taming down to fruitier and sweeter notes of more baked apples, poached pears, and more ashy/ sooty influence, and quite a lot of charred oak, quite spicy.
Finish: ashy, salty, and drying with more of the charred oak barrel notes, quite long, with the smoke going on for a long time.
Conclusion: A very good older Caol Ila – maritime notes, salt, fruity at times and also full of ashy/smoky flavors and spices, a well-aged older Islay. Can’t beat that. Really good. Not cheap though.
Available Exclusively on the TWE site, for £175