Caol Ila 25-year-old

Overall rating
Whiskybase ID
Single Malt
Distillery Bottling
Stated Age
25 years old
43.0 % Vol.
700 ml
Bottle code
Added on
04 Nov 2017 7:11 pm by hs305

Average value

€ 249.06

26 × in wishlist

182 × member ratings

602 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Caol Ila 25-year-old

33 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 89.25 points

  1. hs305 scored this whisky 91 points Connoisseur

    [January, 2018]  To check my statement from November (where I declared this 2017 edition as the best since the first release from 2010) I do a head-to-head with the 2016 bottling tonight.  Unfortunately (or fortunately for my taste buds) both bottles are already gone that is why I had to buy and open a new set of this delicious stuff - and luckily the dutch online shop renewed its special offer of 96,40 Euro.  That is what I call a bargain these days!

    The nosing profiles of both drams are comparable but the 2016 is a little more punchy and sharp than the 2017 that is more delicate and balanced.  Clearly I like the 2017 better on that dimension.  The initial mouthfeel of the 2017 is nicer because it is more coating and without any distracting moment while the 2016 shows a tiny peppery (hot) feeling (that is not annoying at all).  The taste of both drams is complex and layered.  The 2017 offers slightly more flavours and aromas than the 2016 but it is a very close call.  The finish is a clear draw where both offer a great length and add more flavours (spices) with a minor drying feeling (tobacco ash).  Both are excellent swimmer where the 2016 benefits more from some water added and closes the (small) gap to the 2017 by a fair share. 

    You can nail me down on this statement:  The Caol Ila 25-years old is the best buy in the market these days (if you find it for under 100 Euros, but to be honest: as a drinker I am willing to pay up the 150 Euro for a dram of such quality) and the most recent release is the best since years.  To me this is no surprise as the early nineties are (most probably) the best years of the Scotch whisky industry since the sixties/early seventies.  Why?  Quite simple:  The eighties bust period had just ended and the actual whisky boom not started yet.  So production was in a "normal mode" and not harmed by cost cuts or yield pressures...

  2. hs305 scored this whisky 91 points Connoisseur

    [November, 2017]  Since a couple of years I am really a fan of long-matured Caol Ila so I bought this new release of the standard 25-years old on the spot (I had all previous releases and the first from 2010 was the best so far - but all were really good).  I bought this bottle for as low as 96 Euro in a special offer from a dutch online shop (and I call this a real bargain these days)...

    ...and this is the best release since 2010, I tasted them all and I swear my rating is honest (according to my taste buds)!  The price point of this special offer simply is unbeatable - a 25-years old high quality Islay dram for south of 100 Euro!  Hey, even nowadays there are real bargains out there...  Grab it while you can!
    • Nose
      91 91
      The colour is old gold but this does not matter as Diageo uses caramel to tamper with the colour (why don't you stop this practice - do you really think that a consistent colouring matters to single malt drinkers, stupid?). The texture shows slow legs and late fat sticky tears. The nose offers an adorable profile of peaty-vanilla-herbal aromas in a close-to-perfection mix. This is the best nose of a 25-years old since the fine 2010 release!
    • Taste
      91 91
      The taste is truly complex and multi-layered with flavours that show up and leave one after the other as if they march in a victory parade. There are farmy, medicinal, ashy and herbal notes as well as molten sugars, honey and maritime peaty impressions. All pretty balanced and delicate without any off-note.
    • Finish
      90 90
      It arrives instantly coating and warming on the palate with a slight astringent feeling (hot bonfire ashes) that actually is pretty nice. The finish is long and adds more spicy and tobacco flavours to the mix, the latter turn it a little drying (but not unpleasantly). Water is not needed.

  3. ARDBERG scored this whisky 90 points Connoisseur

    Lots of lovely gentle but deep peat and medicinal flavours in the nose. A liquid ashtray or ash from a cosy campfire in the aftertaste with liquid liquorice. All Islay, straight forward, very well matured and vatted. Hey, a 25 yo @ this price. Dramtastic. Wish other Islay distilleries would have this kind of pricing and quality.
    • Nose
      91 91
    • Taste
      89 89
    • Finish
      90 90

  4. Malthead19 scored this whisky 91 points Expert Senior

    - a very good Caol Ila filling,
    - significantly better than the 18,
    - ripe, pleasant and noble
    - for the price a top single malt from Islay with 25 years !!!!
    • Nose
      very pleasantly soft, sweet, little smoke (for a Caol Ila), oak, vanilla
    • Taste
      mild sweetness, very strong intense sweetness, less smoke than expected and compared to other Caol Ila fillings, toffee, rose water, marzipan
    • Finish
      long soft finish, long smoky, sweet aftertaste with caramel

  5. Lu Cifer scored this whisky 91 points Connoisseur

    slight medicinal note, some peat smoke, cooked vegetables, a touch of seaweed (maritime), fruit, sweetish

    slightly oily, soft, sweet, fruity, fine smoky, delicate ashy, warming, oak.

    persistent, fruity, fine smoky, delicate ashy, warming, oak, soft and sweet.
    • Nose
      90 90
    • Taste
      92 92
    • Finish
      90 90

  6. EnjoyLife89 scored this whisky 98 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      98 98
      Smoke; maritime (iodine); but also very sweet; The iodine gives a medical note; some citrus; Honey and malt; Slowly fruits, herbs and nuts (all small nuances, but still there) show some vanilla, some other spices (nutmeg?);
    • Taste
      97 97
      Smoke, salty; Fruit; dark chocolate; maritime, sweet again; Wow, what a prelude; Herbs; then a strong oak tree; but again very sweet;
    • Finish
      98 98
      Oak, dark chocolate, coffee and espresso; some cinnamon; beautiful oak and the coffee gets stronger; really impressive. becoming slightly bitter; the smoke develops into extinguishing fire;

  7. KayMeertens scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    Disappointing for its age. It is a nice peated whisky, but it doesn't show its age. Compared to the 2012 version (ID 81151) it misses that old fruit and honey profile. It's in the same league as the Distillers Edition.
    • Nose
      Peat, cherry, vanilla cookie, pure chocolate and apple.
    • Taste
      More sherry. Peat, cranberry, Printen in chocolate.
    • Finish
      Peat, Printen and blueberry.

  8. Lakerfield scored this whisky 91 points Expert Senior

    Despite the filtering, watering down and what so not.. This is a really fine, 'luxurious' whisky with enough power left to convince. It holds a very fine balance and actually goes down like velvet. From nose to finish, it gets better and better. At high strength you could play around with water to find that sweet spot. But keep the price in mind, even at todays standards I rate this as 'affordable'. Don't take my words for truth but you really don't need cask strength, non-chill filtering and a natural colour to get above the 90 mark. Brilliant and now I want another one.
    • Nose
      Lots of fruitiness playing together with beautiful, tamed peat smoke. For starters: peat, cold smoke, camphor, sea air, smoked meat and citronella. Then there's lemon, apricot, passion fruit, raisin and maraschino cherry. Also salted caramel, chocolate brownie, cheap passion fruit yoghurt, pastry, old honey, pine needle and crushed walnut. After 25 years, a decline in peat kick is natural. But the fruits though! Really nice.
    • Taste
      Delicate and oily with a kick that's just about right. We have mild peat, brine, camphor, pine needle and cough syrup. Followed by apricot, lemon, fig, white grape and raisin. Further on chocolate brownie, custard, honingdrop (Dutch licorice with honey), creamy malt, muesli, ginger, mint, and something else.. Yes! Chicken soup. I think it's a wonderful thing when the punch or kick, however you like to call it, comes from the aromas/flavours themselve instead of the alcoholic sting. Velvety and fierce at times, that's well done.
    • Finish
      Long! Slightly ashy, salt, lemon, toffee, licorice, dark chocolate, tonic water, smoked bacon and wood polish.

  9. Pie3k scored this whisky 88 points Expert Junior

    • Nose
      87 87
    • Taste
      88 88
    • Finish
      88 88

  10. NorthCoast500 scored this whisky 90 points Expert Senior

    Pure elegance in a bottle. Not too much smoke and a huge complexity. Try it if you can...


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