Monopoly Islay

The day ended with a game of Islay-opoly where three people landed on Caol Ila at the same time at one point (apt).

That morning we had headed over to Port Askaig, to that very distillery, to continue the search for our lost dog Peaty…

Have you seen him?




We couldn’t find him…

Peaty found!

…but luckily somebody did, and received some Single Malt Scotch Whisky!!!

Colin Dunn and David Sinclair

We only managed to find these guys…


The ‘Monday Mix Up’ was being run by Colin Dunn and fellow ambassador David Sinclair, a former Head Barman at Gleneagles. They were serving ‘classic cocktails with a twist’ such as a Caol Ila Mojito… or a Caol-Ito as we thought it should obviously have been named. As pineapple was muddled in front of us I couldn’t help but wonder whether we should have worn our Hawaiian shirts again!

Bronx Ben in Hawaiian shirt

Benny Blanco from the Bronx


Unfortunately, the Caol-Ito cocktail wasn’t to any of our tastes in the end… (Sorry!)



Hey, no hard feelings Caol-Ito


Their Old Fashioned made with Caol Ila Distillers Edition, maple syrup and Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel-Aged Bitters was very nice on the other hand. Mmm… Maple syrup…

Caol Ile Feis Ile 2013 bottling

Caol Ila Fèis Ìle 2013 – Triple Matured – 56.5%


Caol Ila’s festival bottling has been ‘triple matured’ and is a release of 3,000 bottles. But pray tell, what does ‘Triple Matured’ mean exactly in this case? Well children, huddle around and allow Billy Stitchell to explain:

“Spirit distilled in 1998 has been triple-cask matured. For 12 years it rested in a combination of Refill Butts, Hogsheads and Barrels. The vatted whisky was then allowed to mature for several months in active hogshead casks to impart a spicy/oaky note to the existing delicate Caol Ila smoke. Finally it was treated to a final gentle maturation in European oak.”

Tasting Note for Caol Ila Fèis Ìle 2013 – Triple Matured

Nose: Sweet, shredded seaweed and a little honey followed by orange peel and glacé cherries.

Palate: Orange bread and cherry cake.

Finish: Hazelnut and dried orange.

Overall: A rich and unusual Coal Ila but not as exciting as Diageo’s other Fèis Ìle special release, the 18 year old Lagavulin.

Ben drinking whisky

Crab hands are no obstacle to enjoying a dram around here…


…although sometimes dancing can be. Awkward.


Later on, deciding to give the nosing contest at Ramsay Hall a miss this year, we set up our own tasting of independent Caol Ila bottlings (including own own of course!).

Caol Ile drams

All these 3cl samples are still available from our Drinks By The Dram service


Tasting Note for Caol Ila 1990 – Mackillops – 43%

Nose: Rhubarb and custard sweets, plantain and gingersnaps.

Palate: Double cream, mild brine and gentle oak.

Finish: Fairly short.




Roobarb and Custard, very little peat.

Tasting Note for Caol Ila 27 Year Old 1984 – Old and Rare (Douglas Laing) – 52.20%

Nose: Sooty, banana (yellow), orange soufflé and ‘distant bacon’.

Palate: Orange and grapefruit juice.

Finish: Big hit of alcohol on the first sip, eventually reveals real lemonade, chilli and a wisp of citric smoke.


Brian Blessed and Sooty

Quite Spiky with citrus and Sooty notes.


Tasting Note for Caol Ila 30 Year Old 1982 (cask 6483) – Cask Strength Collection (Signatory) – 54.80%

Nose: Green wood, peach yoghurt, egg custard, bracken, hint of rock pools, apple and orange tarts.

Palate: Reduced orange and fresh nectarine.

Finish: Quite soft but with lingering fragrant peach


James and the Giant Peach

Peachy. The best of the three single casks.


Tasting Note for Caol Ila – Batch 1 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company) (50cl) – 45.8% (FREE if you Flag Us Down in the Malt Mobile)

Nose: Creamy iodine, linseed, harbour ropes and seaweed. Oily with malt, brine and butter.

Palate: Sitting on a deck out at sea with black pepper and hints of driftwood. The mouthfeel is slightly oily without being too viscous and there is a little late nuttiness to savour.

Finish: A touch of sea sprayed oak, plenty of ocean tang and a little fruitiness towards the slightly drying end.

Overall: We love this, it’s just terrific stuff – don’t take our word for it though, if you’re on Islay at the moment make sure you get your hands on a Free Sample or even Win a 50cl Bottle!!!

Caol Ila That Boutique-y Whisky Company batch 1

Caol Ila – Batch 1 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company) – 45.8%


Caol Ila and the paps of Jura

The view across to the Paps of Jura: our Caol Ila is home!


Jake and the Bolt

Even the nicest views can be spoilt, however.


Hawkmen dive!

Hawkmen.. (sic) DIVE!!!



Islay Ravine

Zip-sliding, just don’t look down.