Caol Ila 35 Years – Director’s Special

Caol Ila 35 Years – Director’s Special

The Whisky Show 2020 is coming to an end and some of the TWE / Elixir Distillers bottlings are appearing online, worth having a look.

There are two new Director’s Special releases for instance, an Imperial 30 Year Old which I’ll review later, and this Caol Ila 35 Year Old. A single cask bottling.  


Caol Ila 35 yo (50.9%, Single Malts of Scotland ‘Director’s Special’ 2020)

Nose: excellent. There’s seaweed and a slightly sweaty peat, drops of herbal liqueurs, as well as menthol, camphor and subtle fruity touches. Apples, tart plums, as well as some bergamot. Wool and old leather. All this with a lovely, silky layer of ashes and burnt rosemary.

Mouth: salinity up front. Sardines and olive brine, complemented by a fruity acidity (lemons, grapefruit) and sweeter notes (almond paste and shortbread). Hints of herbal tea, salted bread and menthol.

Finish: long, mineral, on kippers, almonds, lemons and plenty of ashy notes.

Another excellent mid-1980s Caol Ila. Complex, balanced, with all the classic markers. Timeless whisky really. Available from The Whisky Exchange soon (although it’s sometimes hard to know whether it’s sold out or coming up…)