Caol Ila 2010 Marsala cask “Firkin Islay, 48.9% ABV.

firkin islay caol ila 2010

This is the story of two islands Islay & Sicily and how they produced an award-winning whisky. 

Firkin Islay combines the peaty smokiness of Caol Isla 2008 with the Muscat grape sweetness of Marsala. The flavours fuse together in our custom cask. Our unique process mellows and softens the peat. Firkin Islay is a new take on a classic Islay whisky! Salty peat & smoke with a touch of sweetness. Bellissima! 

Firkin Whisky Company


This bottling was tasted with the Firkin whiskey Company and Ed Leigh on 23/05/2021.


Medium gold in colour, and Caol ila is usually light gold, so I’m presuming the Marsala cask has had quite a bit of influence. It beads on the swirl line, and drops slow syrupy medium/thick legs.


Oooh there’s quite a bit of sweetness here with the peat, a very nice combination in my opinion. Bonfire ash, petrichor, and minerality bring back familiar aromas, along with a coastal feel. Stoned fruits initially come along with this one, and those Islay medicinal notes are here as always.

Red berries come through more with time, it’s really “Juicy”. A touch of eucalyptus runs through it also, then more Coal ila notes, cooked bacon, and bbq sauce.


Lovely mouthfeel again, it really is quite syrupy. All of the usual reassuring Caol ila flavours are here like the nose. That wet rock/petrichor taste and minerality, BBQ sauce and frazzle crisps. This time i’m getting the addition of toasted bread, and golden syrup.

It develops very nicely, and now i’m getting hazelnuts here also, and something like flapjack, a cereal note, and lots of fruit too. Lots of red berries now, strawberries and cherries, some cranberries and a touch of drying, and stoned fruits, Pineapple, and guava, it’s quite jammy in all honesty, another cracking “juicy” dram from Firkin whisky and it’s sooo viscous.


Stoned fruit sweetness and peat/ash, apricot jam, then ginger nuts, cinnamon swirls, espresso coffee, and still I get icing sugar, dandelion and burdock here too, it’s a lovely finish to be honest.

My thoughts

When many read “Caol ila” they inevitablly expect a peat slap, some coastal sea air, minerality etc. Well it’s all here, it’s easy enough to find, anyone who knows Caol ila will have no problem with this.

Soooo, how about taking Caol ila to a new level, and pushing it into a whole new arena, would you like to know what can be achieved with that Islay whisky with further thoughtful maturation? Well i think The Firkin Whisky Company have achieved this rather successfully. Smokey strawberry or apricot jam with a wonderfully thick mouthfeel, a beautiful dram that we all thoroughly enjoyed, i think it was one of the best received on the evening too.

Would i buy a bottle?

It’s an absolute no brainer for me, i love these new approaches to classic whiskies, for me it helps keep whisky fresh and interesting. Port Charlotte whisky comes to mind here, it’s the level of fruit in this that’s amazed me, i’d very happily spend my evenings sipping and exploring it.

Notes – This whisky is presented in its natural colour and is non chill filtered.

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