Coal ila 5 yr old, 58.5 from Single Note

single note Caol ila 5

This is the first release from the new Dutch independent bottler Rick van Diepen, the brand has been given the name Single Note

This first bottling from Single Note was matured in an Ex – Bourbon cask, and finished in a first fill Oloroso octave. Distilled 18/05/2015 – Bottled 10/09/2020.Cask #302616A, none chill filtered and natural coloured.

This was tasted as part of our 6th Whiskey chaps blind tasting, this month with @newdramdrinker and @Mrs_NDD – (follow buttons are at the bottom of this review).


Wow that’s dark, burnished and oxidised copper in colour, the swirl line beads up, and has lovely thick droplets and medium legs.


This comes across as rich and nicely married. We have black cherries, dates, and black treacle initially. Lots of stewed dark fruits, wood varnish, black liquorice, glazing putty, a dustiness, and ginger keep the nose packed with wonderful aromas.

This is only one of a handful of whiskies that i nose and get the flavour of it in the back of my palate.

With more time in the glass there are tropical fruit notes, a hint of perfume, and cola cubes, and they all come together to make me salivate. It does entice you to taste it to be honest.


Very very nicely married, and a lovely mouthfeel, with lots of stewed dark fruits, and it’s quite spicy too. There’s also a lovely sweet note like icing sugar, and it’s gone. It’s so warming, a proper winter dram, with Xmas pudding, figs, dates, brown sugar, and golden syrup, it’s very nice indeed.

The spice becomes quite strong towards then end of the palate. Chilli’s, char, ginger, anise, coffee grinds, bonfire smoke and ash, and cooked bacon, and strangely for Caol ila the medicinal flavours have taken a bit of a back seat, i think the sweetness has neutralised them.


The finish is long side of medium in length for me, and i do get more sweetness here. Brown sugar, sweetened molasses, caramel, and caramac bars, bring this superb whisky to a close.

My thoughts

I can see why Ant and Nicky love this whisky so much, and i’m very appreciative that they sent us samples for our blind tasting. There are just so many aromas and flavours in this dram, it’d be very easy to sit with for an hour or two gently sipping it and letting the warmth infuse your chest.

An added bonus for me is that it’s sulphur free, i can’t detect any at all, i know some whisky folk love a bit of sulphur dirtiness in their glass, i’m not one of them, this bottling is nice and clean, no iffy sherry cask involved.

Would i buy a bottle?

Yep, it’s a belter, and it’ll be interesting to see what Single note bottle in the future. If the rest of their bottling’s are as good as this one they have a bright future ahead of them in my humble opinion.

Thanks to – Ant and Nicky (@newdramdrinker and @MRs _NDD on twitter).

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