Cooley 2001 (Whisky AGE / Whisky Blues / Whisky Fair)

Cooley 2001 (Whisky AGE / Whisky Blues / Whisky Fair)

When we think of Cooley from the early 2000s, we think of fruits. Sometimes a bit greener, sometimes more tropical. Today we’re having three bottlings head-to-head, bottled by Whisky AGE, The Whisky Blues (also Whisky AGE…) in Taiwan and The Whisky Fair in Germany. That last one made an uncommon choice: an Amarone wine cask.



Cooley 20 yo 2001 (54%, Whisky AGE 2022, bourbon barrel #3067, 199 btl.)

Nose: a lovely fruity core (mango, banana, lime and orange) with hints of vanilla custard. Then a rather unctuous, waxy layer underneath. Beeswax and pollen. A herbal / minty note in the background, as well as some raspberry yoghurt. Really good.

Mouth: still this creamy layer of tropical fruits (papaya, pink grapefruit, melon and banana) alongside bright, fresh mint leaves. Becoming mentholated after a while. Then the grassy notes (which are quite typical for Cooley from this era in my opinion) come forward. Gets leafy and slightly mineral, with wine gums, white pepper and plain wood.

Finish: long, with this buttery / fruity side and a grassy bitterness.

A really creamy, tropical fruitiness mixed with minty / grassy notes. A classic example of this style, simply really good. Certainly on par with the Cooley 2001 Liquid Treasures, maybe even a little better.



Cooley 21 yo 2001 (54%, The Whisky Blues 2022, bourbon barrel #3071, 193 btl.)

Cooley 2001 - The Whisky Blues Nose: so here I am trying to say smart things about a whisky that is rather similar. The waxiness is bigger in my opinion, showing a lot of beeswax, paraffin candles and parchment paper. The fruits are pushed aside just a little and I’m getting more green fruits like Granny Smith.

Mouth: pineapples, green apples, melons and banana. Almost the same fruit basket. The sweetness is balanced by oak spice and peppermint, even a hint of salt. Slightly bigger grassy notes. Citrus zest becoming stronger.

Finish: long, still a kind of multivitamin juice with grassy touches and mild oak spice.

Same ballpark but the other one was creamier, keeping the (mild) astringency of the grassy notes at bay. Cask 3067 was more colourful, and this one is greener, if that makes sense. Score: 88/100



Cooley 21 yo 2001 (55,8%, The Whisky Fair 2023, Amarone barrel #144978, 239 btl.)

Cooley 2001 Amarone - The Whisky Fair Nose: really not bad, but after the clean, fruity ones, this seems so unnecessary. There is darker honey, mint, vanilla and hints of red berries. Also caramelized nuts. Complexity is good, but no tropical fruits and very little wax.

Mouth: more towards wood spice now. Nutmeg, hints of cocoa, autumnal leafy notes. A subtle bitterness as well. Toffee and liquorice. Subtle wine notes come out, with hints of Mon Chéri.

Finish: quite long, with chocolate dessert, wood spice and drying cinnamon.

As an experiment with Amarone casks, this is fairly successful. However, it takes away a big part of what I like about Cooley. In this line-up it feels a little unnecessary. Still available from eSpirits for instance. Score: 86/100