Whisky Review: Caol Ila 12 Year Old

Name: Caol Ila 12 Year Old
Spirit Type: Single Malt
Age: 12 Years
Region: Islay
Year Distilled: Not Specified (probably 2000)
Year Bottled: Not Specified (probably 2012)
Cask Maturation: Ex-boubon Hogsheads*
Alcohol %: 43%
Color: Amber – 1
Chill-Filtered, Colored
Date Purchased: 2013.01
Price: $49
*according to Whiskypedia, Charles Maclean


Caol Ila is primarily a blending whisky, being used in Johnnie Walker, Bells, and Black Bottle, among others.  Considered one of the “Lighter” Islay whiskies, in actuality it has quite a bit of flavor!


Balance!  Medium smoke, medium salt, medium iodine.  Honey, sweet lemon.  Hints of coconut, peach, and grapefruit.


Initial sweetness, followed by a growing smokiness.  Pepper, vanilla, and toffee.  well balanced.


Moderate smoke.  A bit dry.  A hint of nice bitterness.


For those who find Laphroaig to be a bit too Iodine or Ardbeg too bright, this is a great alternative.  The balance of this whisky is, in a word, incredible.  Glad I bought it at the price I did.

Overall Rating: 88/100

Compare To:

  • Laphroaig Quarter Cask
  • Ardbeg 10

Caol Ila


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