Showing posts with label Caol Ila 2005 (Gordon & MacPhail). Show all posts
Showing posts with label Caol Ila 2005 (Gordon & MacPhail). 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