Caol Ila 10 years old The Sipping Shed

Last week I took part in my first whisky tasting on twitter which was fantastic. On the night we sampled four different whiskies from independent bottlers The Sipping Shed. The presentation of the tasting set was very nice indeed and you could tell we were in for a real treat.

Today I’m going to be reviewing the Caol Ila and will get around to reviewing the others at a later date. This particular bottling of Caol Ila was aged for 10 years in a bourbon barrel (cask 301643) before being bottled at a mighty 60.1% ABV. Let’s get into the whisky.


Very fresh, you could almost be stood out on the sea front with the smell of a distant bonfire blowing towards you. Meaty almost smoked ham, light floral note, touch of vanilla, brine, burnt wood, vegital, lemon rind and salt.


Very sweet peat at first, lemon, lime and licorice. Then the smoke comes surging in along with peppered mackerel, wet rocks, vanilla, damp wood, salt and viniger crisps all wrapped up in wood smoke. Very oily in the mouth and the ABV is well integrated.


Fairly long finish with the sweet notes fading leaving lots of smoke and salt. This is one of those whiskies that you will still be able to taste hours after finishing it.


I really enjoyed this whisky, I have had a lot of independently bottled Caol Ila and I have to say that this was one of the best. You can tell that with the presentation and the whisky itself, The Sipping Shed really know what there doing. I’ll be keeping an eye out for future bottlings and they are most definitely one to watch.

Score- 89/100

Many thanks to The Sipping Shed for the samples and to The Whisky Wire for the chance to take part.








Longrow Red 11 year old (2019 release)

Longrow Red is peated whisky from the Springbank distillery that has been aged bourbon and wine casks. The 2019 release spent roughly 8 years in a bourbon cask before spending its last 3 years in pinot noir casks. As always with Springbank it is non chill filtered, natural colour and comes in at 53.1% abv. I paid about £55 when this was released which is fantastic value for money, right on to the whisky.


Sweet red fruits jump out from the glass, strawberries, cherries and plums. Buttery, peppermint, sour, menthol, cough sweets, black pepper, woodsmoke and tobacco.


Big sweet and sour arrival with smoke coming in strong. Fish sauce, balsamic dark fruits, bitter fruit, damp earth, mushrooms, tobacco and salt.


Long and drying, sweetness from the fruit fades leaving rich tobacco smoke and salt.


This really is fantastic stuff that lives up to the hype, such depth of flavour on so many different levels. My first Longrow Red and hopefully not my last.

Score 90/100



Rock oyster sherry edition.

Rock oyster sherry edition is a whisky from the fine chaps at Douglas Laing and is part of their remarkable regional malts range. The whisky itself is a blend of malts from Islay, Arran, Orkney and Jura. Coming in at 46.8% abv it is also non chill filtered and natural colour, all very promising indeed. I purchased the bottle a while ago and there doesn’t seem to be any more of it about.

Now to the whisky.


Sweet dark fruits meet savoury smoky peat along with some salt and cinnamon. Deep and intriguing.


Sweet and peat side by side then rich dark fruits and black forest gateau sprinkled with salt. Lovely meaty note to it, thick and mouth coating.


Really quite long with dark fruits and lots of salt. The saltiness just hangs on in there for ages. Wow

Final thoughts

Very impressed with this whisky clearly very well put together and proves sherry and peat are a great combination. Great value for money at around £45 for a bottle.

Rating 87/100


The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me!

The world of whisky is a never ending journey and there’s always more to be discovered. I’ve been exploring whisky for the last ten years and would like to share my experiences with all other whisky drinkers.

So join me for a dram and I’ll share my thoughts, tasting notes, opinions and recomendations on scotch whisky.

My thoughts and opinions are my own so please don’t let them sway you from trying or buying a whisky. Everyone’s palate is different so always trust your own tastes.