22 January 2021

Caol Ila 5yo by Single Note

This dark 5yo Caol Ila is inspired by the maker’s passion: Jazz. Jazz is like whisky, it’s about experimentation, passion and interpretation. 

It’s the first release of the new Dutch independent bottler Rick van Diepen, the brand has been given the name Single Note. 

How high or low the octave, it doesn’t matter, what matters is that this whisky was finished in a superb Oloroso sherry octave and bottled at cask strength (58.5%). A combination of octave casks and a young Islay spirit can be intense, like a passionate play between musicians, but when done right it works like magic. 

Does this scotch hit the right notes? Let’s swing into the tasting notes, shall we:

Tasting notes


A lovely nose with a winey character. Marzipan, creamy butter, bread and peanuts. Sweet spareribs, straight from the barbecue, some grilled sausages and a coastal character with sea salt, chlorine and peated barley betray it’s a Caol Ila indeed


Full, sweet and drying, with honeyed spareribs, red fruits and spicy oak


Wonderfully salty, savoury and long, with burnt hazelnuts, walnuts, dried meat, plums, grilled pineapple and orange zest

A fierce little one, but so right up our alley. The sweet and salty notes are just right. It’s hard to go wrong with Caol Ila, but because of that, there’s a risk of being boring. Not with this one though, this is best described as an adventurous expression of our beloved Islay distillery in Port Askaig. 

Light up an imaginary bbq and put on a piece of your favourite music, you won’t need any meat, because this dram has it all. 

Good job Rick, this is very promising. We’re looking forward to your next masterpiece!