Caol Ila

Caol Ila 5 Years Old 2011 Provenance (46%, Douglas Laing, Refill HH #11346, 428 Bottles, 2016)

Whisky Review: Caol Ila 5 Years Old 2011 Provenance

caol-ila-5-year-old-2011-cask-11346-provenance-douglas-laing-whisky

What they say

Douglas Laing’s Provenance Single Malts are bottled exactly as the distiller intended – without colouring and without chill filtration, so that the naturally present oils, fats and enzymes in the Whisky are allowed to make their own special contribution to the nose, mouthfeel, palate and finish. This particular expression from the Caol Ila Distillery has spent 5 years maturing in a Refill Hogshead.

Official tasting notes:

  • Nose: Earthy-rich – oily and maritime with sea-salt and wisps of smoke
  • Palate: Damp leaves developing to bonfire smoke and summer BBQs (smoked meat)
  • Finish: Surprisingly sweet – lusciously long – soot, charred wood and honeycomb (CSL)

What I say

Bottled as part of Douglas Laing’s Provenance range, this 5 year old was distilled in 2011, I recall a similar 2010 example too, from a single refill cask. Don’t let the lack of colour put you off as these usually pack quite a lot of peat into them!

Thanks to Tom at Tom’s Whisky Reviews for the wee sample of this one.

My tasting notes:

  • Appearance: Almost colourless (0/20), slow medium-fine tears and m-large legs abound
  • Nose: Quite industrial on the nose with smoke, engine oil, grease, like a mechanics workshop, that malty and lactic peaty new make character follows, before it settles into smoked bacon and bbq beef flavour crisps, malt loaf and just a touch of feints from the still arise as a mineralic/flinty note with hints of hard vulcanized rubber.
  • Taste: Presents initially with a light vanilla and biscuit malt, sweet honey-glazed ham, bbq beef brisket, charcoal briquettes, honey, engine oil, toffee or caramel sauce, salted and a touch nutty like peanut or satay.
  • Finish: Medium length, sweet and nutty peat and burnt toast

Overall

Very pleasant, sweetened and peat-fuelled with a little honey and toffee malt to keep it pleasant, Caol Ila is surprisingly good at this age and this is a particularly great example!

Score 86/100

Shop for Caol Ila 5 Years Old 2011 Provenance (opens Master of Malt)

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