Archive CAOL ILA 2003 First fill bourbon barrel

CAOL ILA 2003 First fill bourbon barrel

Single Malt, Scotland / Islay, 70cl, Ref: 18884

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Product details

Tasting note

  • Appearance : or vif.
  • Nose : fin, ample. Tout d’abord, une fumée délicate et des notes de cendres chaudes côtoient des citrons confits et des plantes aromatiques (verveine, tilleul, menthe). En deux mots : Caol Ila. Il évolue sur des notes laiteuses (coco, vanille). Balsamique, il se montre également salin et camphré. Puis, des épices pointent le bout de leur nez (poivre gris, gingembre).
  • Palate : équilibrée, suave. Des fruits juteux (poire Williams, pêche, mirabelle), de la sauge, une tourbe diaphane mais d’une rare élégance, de la réglisse verte alimentent le milieu de bouche. Ce camaïeu de jaunes et de verts possède quelque chose de printanier. La fumée de la tourbe prend possession de la fin de bouche, qui est aussi accompagnée de figues sèches et de gingembre.
  • Overall : dense, concentrée. Une fine amertume d’orge maltée tourbée enrobe les papilles. Elle laisse place à des notes de cendres et de tabac en combustion. Des embruns viennent progressivement recouvrir les champs d’orge situés en bord de mer. La rétro-olfaction est citronnée et miellée (lavande), et le verre vide est tourbé et réglissé.
The brand

The brand

As well as reflecting its smoky, malted barley, Caol Ila is also oily and peaty, with marine and vegetable notes. Its recent official bottlings, which are particularly expressive, have an intense smoky and peaty character with a good balance of saltiness and sweetness. Superb versions of this single malt have also been released by independent bottlers Gordon MacPhail & Signatory Vintage. Caol Ila’s stills, which are large and onion-shaped, have a strong influence on this single malt and give it a fairly light and delicate character. Find out more


This independent bottler is without a doubt one of the most highly acclaimed in Scotland. It stands out, not for its age (though it is the oldest independent bottler in Scotland), but for its complete mastery of cask ageing. Gordon & MacPhail is the only bottler to have its own casks - carefully chosen for the purpose - filled by the distilleries themselves, instead of simply buying the ones suggested to them by the latter. This allows it to determine, in advance and with great precision, exactly how many years a whisky will need to reach ideal maturation.

The line

A new Gordon & MacPhail range, Exclusive was created to bring together a small number of blends, bottled without dilution from single casks, and intended to be sold exclusively through Gordon & MacPhail’s shop in Elgin. La Maison du Whisky was lucky enough to have access to some of these rare, highly-prized bottlings, including the very first release of a 1984 Caol Ila to available outside of Scotland.

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