Showing posts with label 10 Years. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 10 Years. Show all posts

Caol Ila 2005 (Gordon & MacPhail)

“Islay Elle L’A”

Whisky Review # 1014

Country: Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
Region: Islay
Brand: Caol Ila 2005 - Distilled 14-03-2005
Matured By: Gordon & MacPhail, Scotland - Reserve Series
Exclusively Bottled by GM for: Van Wees, The Netherlands on 02-06-2015
Type: Single Malt Single Cask Scotch Whisky
Age: 10 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 46%
Maturation: Refill Ex-Bourbon Barrel - Cask # 302014 - 318 Bottles
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: Around US$ 60 (March 2024)
Price/Quality Ratio: 👍
Buying Advice: 👍 A young but pleasant Bourbon cask matured Islay Malt


Pale Straw/White Wine (Natural Colour)


The Alcohol is noticeable so make sure to avoid nosing in the middle of your glass. The Nose shows a Young Malt but is quite pleasant with Soft Peat and Smoke in the lead. It's a nice combination of Sweet, Sour, Salty and Meaty notes.

Main Aromas:

Barley, Slightly burnt Buttered Toast, Vanilla, Coastal Peat, Campfire Smoke, Grass, Seville-Orange, Lemon, Green Apple, Pear, Nectarine, Dried Herbs, Fish and Bacon on the BBQ, Charred Oak, Pepper, Cinnamon and Mint/Menthol.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Honey, Caramel, Iodine, Ashes, Tar, Soot, Wet Pebbles & Sand, Brine, Dusty Track, Ripe Banana, Floral Soap, Leather, Tobacco and Licorice.


A relatively Young and Light but pleasant mix of Bitter-Sweet, Sour & Salty notes. A bit Dry.

Main Flavours:

Sweet Barley, Caramel, Toffee, Vanilla, Coastal Peat, Campfire Smoke, Fish & Bacon on the BBQ sprinkled with Lemon and Herbs, Grapefruit, Charred Oak, Orange, Pepper and Mint/Menthol.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Honey, Tar, Soot, Ashes, Iodine, Floral Soap, Dusty Track, Green Apple, Dirty Road, Cinnamon, Aniseed and Licorice. A hint of White Chocolate.


Middle-Long. A slightly Hot and Light but pleasant mix of Bitter, Sweet, Sour & Salty notes. Dry towards the end. Its Youth is more noticeable at this point. I find Sweet Barley, Toffee, Vanilla, Coastal Peat, Campfire Smoke, Ashes, Brine, Iodine, Dusty Earth, Tar, Fish/Shellfish/Bacon on the BBQ sprinkled with Herbs & Lemon, Green Apple, Grapefruit, Nuts, Charred Oak, Floral Soap, Leather, Tobacco, Cinnamon, Pepper, Aniseed, Mint/Menthol, Licorice and Orange Liqueur.

Drinking Advice:

I added a bit of Water and while it is less Hot this way, you also kind of remove the Spirit of this Single Malt 😜. I prefer it neat.

Rating: 8 (********)

Nose: 8 - Taste: 8 - Finish: 7.5

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

If the Final score is  8 or higher you can safely buy the whisky in question if and when it fits your Aroma/Flavor profile. If the score is between 6 and 8 you might want to try it out in the form of a sample or if offered at a good price. Anything below 6 should be left alone when you are looking for a nice sipping whisky. You might still like it of course & I realize pricing is an important item for many whisky fans especially when you are used to enjoy whisky in a cocktail or a mixed drink.

Drinking Experience Neat: Good

The Caol Ila Distillery was founded in 1846 and is located close to Port Askaig on Islay. It was bought by DCL in 1927 and through some mergers finally became part of Diageo. The distillery was rebuilt in 1974 and only one old Warehouse reminds us of former days. Traditionally, Caol Ila is an important component of Blends like Johnnie Walker, Bell's and White Horse. But during the last 15 years Diageo has made great efforts to position the Distillery as a Single Malt as well. Caol Ila is really beautifully located alongside the strait between the islands of Islay and Jura. The Core range includes the 12, 18 and 25 Years, the Distiller's Edition as well as the NAS Moch. We thoroughly enjoyed both our visits to the distillery in 2014 and 2017 respectively despite the fact that you're not allowed to take pictures. Caol Ila is certainly one of my favorite distilleries and Single Malts.

I like most Islay malts and, especially, Caol Ila and this 10 Year old is no exception to the rule. It's a young Single Malt of course and I would have preferred it to stay in the cask for a few more years. But it's pleasant enough as it is. The soft notes of Peat and Smoke are quite nice and the refill cask does a good job in maintaining the Fruity character of the Spirit without adding overly Bitter and/or Tannic notes. If you like Young Islay malts you can't go wrong with this Caol Ila.

Cheers 🥃

Jan van den Ende                                                                      March 14, 2024

Speyside Cooperage 10 Years Review

“The Real Cooper’s Choice” 
Country: Scotland
Region: Speyside
Brand: Speyside Cooperage 
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Age: 10 Years
Alcohol: 40%

Colour: Light Amber

Nose: Sweet but not too Sweet and quite Fruity with Peach, Apricot, Pineapple, Green Apple, Barley Sugar, Nuts, Golden Syrup, Buttered Toast, Fine Orange Marmalade, Toffee, Custard, Honey, Milk Chocolate, Hay, Heather and other Floral Tones. The Nose is not spectacular but Well-Balanced and Pleasant. The Alcohol is quite nicely integrated given the Spirit's relative young age.

You can identify the Coopers by the Red Shirts 

Taste: Slightly Thin but still Creamy Delivery with Golden Syrup, Barley Sugar, Ripe Banana, slightly Bitter Orange, Caramel, Nuts, Oak, Pepper, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Honey and Licorice. This is my least favourite part of this Single Malt.

Finish: Middle-Long with Cocoa Butter, White Chocolate, Orange Marmalade, Buttered Toast, Caramel, light Spices (Cinnamon, Pepper and Nutmeg), Dry Earth and Menthol. 

Crazy Pete at Work!

I added a bit of Water and I find additional Floral Tones and Traces of Porridge with added Honey. On the Palate you get more Oak and Spices while the White Chocolate is enhanced in the Finish. I prefer it neat but you can certainly play with a but of Water. 

Rating: 83

Nose: 21.5 - Taste: 20 – Finish: 21 – Overall: 20.5

That's Me at the Corner, That's Me in the Spotlight!

General Remarks: The Speyside Cooperage was founded in 1947 by the Taylor family. Since 2008, it belongs to a French Group. It is the only operational cooperage in the UK where you can watch the art of coopering. The casks are made from American Oak and are destined for the Scottish Whisky industry as well as for export. The coopers are paid per Cask and it is fantastic to see how fast some of them handle the wood. Yearly, around 150.000 casks are made or reconditioned. The 10 Years Single Malt I'm tasting today is especially bottled for the Speyside Cooperage. We don't know where this Spirit was produced but I would guess it's from da Hood.

There's enough room to operate!

Drinking Experience Neat: Good

Conclusion: I was expecting a Marketing Gimmick but that's not the case. The Speyside Cooperage 10 Years is an acceptable young Speysider. The best part is the Fruity and Floral Nose. The Palate can't quite follow up. The delivery is on the Thin side and I'm not too fond of the Bitter Orange note. The Finish is better again with clear Cocoa, Chocolate and Spice Notes. I couldn't tell you what distillery produced this Spirit. During the Tasting the following names came to mind: Craigellachie, The Glenlivet, Cardhu and Tamdhu. But I wouldn't bet my life on any of them! Let the mystery live on! 

A Closer Look at a Cask that's almost ready

Some Data: The Speyside Cooperage is located just outside the centre of the little village of Craigellachie. It's open all year from Monday to Friday from 9 AM until 4 PM. The last tour of the day starts at 3.30 PM. The Cooperage is closed over Christmas and New Year from December 19 until January 5 (2014/2015 Season). The Tour costs 3,50 Pounds for adults.

All Casks Are Thoroughly Tested Before Release!

We visited the Speyside Cooperage on Thursday May 22, 2014. The weather was awful that day and it hardly stopped raining. We did the Tour that starts with a very nice video presentation that shows all the ins and outs of coopering from Acorn to Cask. The Tour itself is very nice and you are allowed to take pictures along the way. At the end of the Tour you can try to assemble a mini cask. I can assure you that it's not at all easy! The big attraction is a cooper nicknamed Crazy Pete. He's the fastest of them all and, consequently, earns more money than all the others. It's fascinating to see him dance, twirl and run around the cask like a madman. After the tour we had a very mediocre Cappuccino in the Coffee Shop and did some shopping in the very nice Gift Shop. If you are in Speyside, don't forget to pay a visit to the Cooperage. You won't regret it!

The Guy in Front is from Hungary and came to Scotland by Bike!

Jan van den Ende                                                             January 7, 2015

Brother in Law Jan in the Crowded Coffee Room!

Teaninich Flora & Fauna Review

“Blend It” (*)

Country: Scotland
Region: Northern Highlands  
Brand: Teaninich Flora & Fauna
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: 10 Years
ABV: 43%

Colour: Light Gold/Straw

Nose: Certainly more Flora than Fauna! I find Fruity and Floral tones like Apple, Orange, Pear, Straw, Grass and Floral Fragrances. It's all quite Light and Clean. Additionally I smell Buttered Toast, Malt, Dough, Rice Vinegar, Pineapple Juice, Herbs, Oak and light Varnish. The Alcohol is not fully integrated. From time to time the Nose reminded me of light Irish Whiskey. It's okay I guess but nothing to get excited about.

Palate: Dry, Sour-Sweet and Buttery with Barley, Toffee, light Vanilla, Dried Herbs, Pepper, Oak, Salted Butter, Orange - and Lemon Zest and light Honey.

Finish: Middle-Long, slightly Sour and Bitter Sweet with Orange, Fresh Herbs, Straw, Toffee, Pepper, Nut Shells, light Varnish or Acetone, Mint and a distant hint of Dark Chocolate. I wouldn't be surprised if a reasonable amount of Teaninich goes into the JW Red and Black Blends.

With a bit of Water I find more Malt, English Marmalade, Vanilla, Buttered Toast and light Honey on the Nose. Palate and Finish become quite Floral but also very Thin. Better sip this Teaninich neat. 

Rating: 80.5

Nose: 21 - Taste: 20.5 - Finish: 19.5 - Overall: 19.5

General Remarks: The Teaninich distillery was founded in 1817 by Captain Hugh Monro just south of the village of Alness. In 1933 DCL bought the distillery and subsequent mergers and take-overs brought it under the wings of the Diageo Group. The Spirit is mainly used in the Johnnie Walker Blends. There are some exceptions. In 1992, the 10 Year Old I'm reviewing today was introduced as part of the Flora & Fauna Series. Flora & Fauna has been discontinued in the meantime and it gets harder and harder to find this expression. It sells at an average 65 US Dollars.

Drinking Experience Neat: Okay/Good

Conclusion: The Light, Fruity and Floral Teaninich Spirit is without any doubt quite suitable for Blends. On a stand alone basis however it's Clean to a point where I really would like to see some more Depth and Complexity. It's okay as a Summer Malt with perhaps a little bit of Ice but at 65 US Dollars I can find better and cheaper alternatives like Glenfiddich or The Glenlivet. It was nice to taste an expression that gets rarer all the time but at the same time I do now appreciate why Teaninich Spirit is hardly ever sold as Single Malt. 

(*) Bend It was a hit single for Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich in 1966.

Jan van den Ende                                                        November 30, 2014

Picture Credit: Lion's