Caol Ila 22-year-old

Overall rating
Whiskybase ID
Single Malt
Distillery Bottling
Bottling serie
Feis Ile 2019
Stated Age
22 years old
Sherry-treated American Oak Casks
Number of bottles
58.4 % Vol.
700 ml
Bottled for
Feis Ile 2019
Added on
26 May 2019 1:14 am by maltaholic
Cask Strength

Average value

€ 479.70

103 × in wishlist

291 × member ratings

625 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Caol Ila 22-year-old

44 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 90.62 points

  1. Archer scored this whisky 91 points Connoisseur

    Issue Price: £ 130 (€ 147)

  2. markjedi1 scored this whisky 93 points Connoisseur


    I had to wait for it for a little while, but thanks to a Scottish pal I was finally able to get my hands on this Feis Ile 2019 release from my favorite distillery on Islay: Caol Ila. Very refreshing to see that they very transparently put on the label that the whisky matured on ‘sherry-treated American Oak casks’.

    OMG… I already notice upon pouring the dram: this is going to be an extremely good Caol Ila. It starts with that lovely, sublte influence of sherry on the nose, that offers up a hint of strawberry and heathery honey. But make no mistake: this is a grand coastal nose with sea salt, shells on the beach, dried sea weeds, jute bags filled with lemon and a few leaves of mint with finally a hint of bandages. Despite the high ABV, this is absolutely approachable on the nose.

    Oh, I’m already doing a #happydance (funny hashtag that I launched on Instagram, by the way), because on the palate too, it’s bull’s eye. Lovely mix of sweet versus salt with red fruit, maple syrup and even chocolate with praline filling versus black olives, leather, lemon and mandarin, sea salt and tar. Some green tea, black pepper and smoked ham. But what an elegance! And perfectly drinkable, even though the alcohol is felt more than on the nose.

    The finish – well… the Finish – is quasi perfect, in which the sweetness makes room for the saltiness.

    Out of this world! The sherry was subtle, though unmistakable and a stroke of brilliance if you ask me. Thanks, Neil, for getting me two bottles of this beauty!

  3. thijs100 scored this whisky 91 points Connoisseur

    I can't remember having had a Caol Ila of this age with such incredible complexity. Endlessly pleasing.
    • Nose
      Soft minerals with a subtle sherry influence, mature wood smoke, and cured meat. Hints of seaweed, a whiff of strawberry, some smoked paprika, a bit of burlap. Slightly minty and herbal, but also enough room for plums. Annoyingly complex.
    • Taste
      Incredibly elegant, even at this high strength. A sweet and rich fruitiness, and pleasantly oily. Hints of smoked bacon, maple syrup and wood smoke, but also leather, tar and iodine, and salted to perfection. Just a tad of cracked black peppercorns.
    • Finish
      Lingering spices, yet subtle. 

  4. Tabrulavubeg scored this whisky 87 points Expert Senior

    My, what a great Caol Ila this COULD have been without the "sherry treatment". I have the impression that they spoilt the greatness of the original cask by adding some kind of sherry sweetness that is not well integrated. The kind of modern sherry profile that seems to be "manufactured" in their process of "cask management".

  5. Dram Dracula scored this whisky 92 points Connoisseur

    Newly opened bottle.
    • Nose
      92 92
      A bit closed. It is winter in NYC here. With time, fresh mentholated notes, eucalyptus, citrus, peat, earthy vegetables and herbs.. a bit all over the place actually. Quite jumpy, with flavors dancing on your tongue. With time, dill and pickles. Very nice. Very subtle. Will have to try this when the temperature is warmer.
    • Taste
      92 92
      Wow... lots of little explosions here. Not just due to the high ABV, but a reflexion of its high quality. Initial salty entry, followed by a blast of peat, peppercorn, and mineral and maritime notes. Honeyed sunflower tea. It is complex, but almost in a linear kind of way, if it makes sense. There are myriads of flavors, but they not very wide and don't branch out much. Anyways, high quality here. Compared to many of the indie 30-something year old Caol Ilas being released in the last five years, this is perhaps more subtle, but at the same time has added complexity, and is slightly darker and more brooding. Very "nervous" and jumpy, which is a good thing.
    • Finish
      91 91
      Very long. Lingering pepperiness. Good balance. No off flavors. A star, not a superstar.

      With air, 91 --> 92 points.

      After drinking this for the umpteenth time, I can't help but imagine what this would taste like with 30-40 years of bottle aging. This is quite perfect in a lot of ways already, but extra aging may put this over the top. Perhaps I should buy another bottle and just put it away in storage? But then, I would be 70-80 years old... Would my palate stay the same? Ahhhh, 2am in the morning is a contemplative time for me...

  6. Archer scored this whisky 91 points Connoisseur

    Anyone who appreciates a large sample of this Caol Ila would be happy - ideally at the issue price that you can not (nowadays) complain about. Very nice original bottling.
    • Nose
      91 91
      In the nose, he greets you with roasted lime peel, dry seaweed, oak and pepper. Chain fat and warm tar. Smoke. All very discreet, but insistent, as you would expect after 22 years of aging. After some time leather notes and flavored tobacco push forward. Nutmeg, clove powder and a small dash of anise give spice.
    • Taste
      91 91
      Although he gets close to 60%, he has only a wonderfully soft and warm start with well-integrated alcohol. The smoke was more intense and penetrating than in the nose, accompanied by kelp, warm tar, salt, oak, leather, tobacco, raisins (where were they in the nose?) And lime peel. Sugar beet syrup and ripe peach put a pleasant sweetness on the other flavors. In between pepper and pepper and a little cumin flit through.
    • Finish
      90 90
      Long, slightly dry, clear smoke, milk chocolate, coffee beans, pepper. He does not want to leave his tongue. As a more than welcome guest but you can go through it very happy ...

  7. SFWC scored this whisky 83 points Expert Senior

    Initial tasting of this reveals a real lack of distillate balance with the sherry casking. The sherry has quite a bit of sulphur. Gunpowder and candy sugared sweetness. This lacks the grace of other bottlings. Its good but its not very good and its certainly not great. We will revisit when the bottle has a bit of air in there and the sulphur has relaxed a bit.

  8. Mannix65 scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    well matured, needs some water to open it
    • Nose
      88 88
      cold, sour smoke from a cold campfire, grape juice - some ventilation and water open up a herb garden - lovage, meaty beef broth
    • Taste
      88 88
      tizzles peppery on the tip of the tongue - smoked ham, but also maritime, gooseberry - with water, the expected menthol note finally appears
    • Finish
      87 87
      long with intense sweetness and sharp smoke

  9. Kantenmechaniker scored this whisky 89 points Connoisseur

    The secret favorite from 2019. A really tasty Caol Ila. Not overwhelmed by the sherry, exciting interplay of flavors is fun!
    • Nose
      starts quite fresh, slightly floral, light honey sweetness, the smoke is there, but not very strong, kiwi, fresh and sour, vanilla, creamy, dark chocolate, a little tobacco, caramel, biscuit, with time it gets better, more and more Towards cake, nut cream, the smoke has a nice tobacco flavor, slightly dirty, at the back there is also a bit of red fruit, but at first there is no sherry bomb, raspberries, sweet and slightly effervescent
    • Taste
      ui, good start, intense, sweet, definitely sherry, raisins, chocolate, also in the mouth super creamy, salty, vanilla, biscuit dough, some cinnamon, subtly spicy, delicious, you have to smack, the smoke is there and goes hand in hand with the salt impact
    • Finish
      now really maritime, smoky, warming, fresh, some mint, slightly floral, in the mouth he somehow plays the program from the nose backwards

  10. ctu scored this whisky 91 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      91 91
    • Taste
      91 91
    • Finish
      90 90


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