Caol Ila 16-year-old

Overall rating
Whiskybase ID
Single Malt
Distillery Bottling
Bottling serie
Feis Ile 2020
Stated Age
16 years old
Refill then finish Amoroso-treated Hogsheads
Number of bottles
53.9 % Vol.
700 ml
Personaly selected by Pierrick Guillaume (Distillery manager)
Bottle code
L0030DQ001 00000479
Bottled for
Feis Ile 2020
Added on
06 Jun 2020 12:18 am by Tauti
UncoloredNon-chillfilteredCask Strength

Average value

€ 269.02

35 × in wishlist

102 × member ratings

454 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Caol Ila 16-year-old

21 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 88.58 points

  1. markjedi1 scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    **Carbolic Soap**

    No Feis Ile this year because of Corona (funny detail: there is not one case registered on Islay), but luckily we do get a Feis Ile release. It was sold online via a dedicated website. The fans were not pleased – rightfully so, I think – as Diageo only sold to people with a UK delivery address for ‘tax reasons’. Luckily I know a few people in the UK and so I was able to secure two bottles of this Caol Ila (as well as the Lagavulin 20). The Caol Ila, limited to 3.000 bottles, was sold out in less than three hours. The malt first matured on refill bourbon hogsheads and then got a finish on Amoroso treated hogsheads (BTW: this is the type of cask that Diageo uses for the Distillers Edition of Talisker). Let’s hope – although I’m fairly confident – that its tasty.

    While the DNA of Caol Ila (citrus, seaweeds, peat) is clearly present on the nose, it’s the big dose of sweetness that surprises me. Surprises me happily, I hasten to add. Lemongrass, Haribo bears, winegums and citric acid candy. Then some green herbs follow as does something floral and mild medicinal notes. Carbolic soap. Surprisingly subtle and very summery – for a Caol Ila. Wonderfully different to what I am used to from Caol Ila.

    Oh, yes! The arrival is pretty spicy, a tad creamy even and very clean. Like I’m sucking on some pineapple cubes while standing in the kiln. A big floral top note makes me raise my eyebrows though. This is not going to change into carbolic soap, is it? But no, luckily it does not become soapy. Better yet: after those top notes, it quickly turns very maritime. Salt and pepper appear, are easily overcome by ginger, while the smoke – so subtle on the nose – spreads throughout your mouth, making you feel all warm and fuzzy. There is not much left of the subtle nose, but it’s all grand.

    The Amoroso cask does not stand a chance in the finish. Now the malt shows it’s true colors again: salty, peaty, smoky and absolutely fantastic.

    I had high expectations for this one and – bar that short moment where it threatened to turn into FWP – they are all met. A wonderful, somewhat atypical Caol Ila that really rocks my boat.

  2. Pizzaboxy did not rate this whisky Member Senior

    Was sold out within 3 hours...
    Original bottle price 120GBP incl. UK VAT

  3. Archer scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    Fèis Ìle under Covid 19 conditions. While you have to travel to DIE Insel at "normal" times to get this bottle of festival, this year you "only" had to be able to show a UK address - or know someone who has one in store. ;-)
    On the tongue and in the finish it reveals its full potential - I think it could have started in the nose. You have to be able to deal with his reluctance. But ultimately, complaining is at a high level ...
    • Nose
      86 86
      Freshly poured, it uses its flavors fairly sparingly. First there is only a hint of lemon and something green and fruity that goes in the direction of kiwi. There is little smoke. Chervil, tarragon and a little dill add flavor. His reluctance in the nose, which is somewhat surprising at first and may even appear boring in the beginning, does not go away in the further course of the nosing.
      But: now the dry smoke is there, accompanied by the spice of the herbs, garnished with a few chocolate sprinkles (flavor: De Ruijter Hagelslag Melk) - you can develop joy in this nose.
    • Taste
      89 89
      On the tongue it shows itself as you would have expected it from the beginning: strong, spicy, smoky, dry. A fruity sweetness of grapes, raisins and dried figs resonates. Licorice snails, some menthol. Hearty peat smoke, I would have liked to have had it on my nose, but 16 years of storage and the Amoroso barrels will have done their part to make sure it wasn't. Over time, a pleasant cocoa aroma spreads on the tongue. In addition, coffee powder, milk chocolate, some malt and remove fresh cake batter.
    • Finish
      88 88
      Medium to long and dry. Still the sweet grapes and raisins, now accompanied by wild berries and blueberries. Pleasantly rich peat smoke.

  4. BarrelBeast scored this whisky 85 points Member Senior

    Youtube Review: https://youtu.be/ekvM7gVj5LE
    • Nose
      82 82
    • Taste
      89 89
    • Finish
      85 85

  5. Mannix65 scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    Smoke and fruit beautifully interwoven - whether the barrel treatment plays an important role here?
    • Nose
      88 88
    • Taste
      88 88
    • Finish
      87 87

  6. face scored this whisky 86 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      80 80
    • Taste
      90 90
    • Finish
      88 88

  7. Horror_Vacui scored this whisky 89 points Expert Senior

    While the previously tried 16-year-old Caol Ila from the 1st fill Bourbon barrel was immediately present, this whisky is a bit more shy. He really needs some time and air (occasionally swinging helped me) and some hand warmth.
    Then he comes out of the glass with a sweet, menthol-like nose. A little red grape juice, dates, a little nutty aromas (rather subtle in the background), tangy citrus, and just a hint (more of a hint) of smoke.
    With a little water and hand warmth, the malt becomes a little sweeter again, the menthol almost disappears (I suspect the alcohol came out fresh in the nose here).
    The sweetness has something of caramelized apples, but also raisins, a touch of space. Rum-grape-nut milk chocolate comes to mind as a good comparison.

    Mouth: very spicy at first, the carburized barrels show up very strongly here at the start. After the first very spicy start, the whisky becomes cozy, soft, sweet. There are also crab chips, subtle grapefruit. The sweetness is almost like cotton candy. Subtly nutty (hazelnut), raisin, fig, a little blackberry.
    Here, too, water helps immensely, takes a little the strong spicy and peppery note in the mouth and brings the sweetness better to the fore.
    The longer it is in the mouth, the more the distillery character comes to the fore. Ash, citrus and apple sauce.

    Here quite astringent, rather much wood influence, oak.


    First of all: these notes roughly meet the "mean" of this whisky. I have never experienced such a changeability depending on temperature and water (or I am not yet warm with it?)
    At warmer temperatures (from about 27 °) I have the impression that the sherry influence comes through more and the seasoning decreases. Then water is not necessary. At slightly cooler temperatures the nose is more closed and he definitely needs water. In any case, it is a Caol Ila with comparatively much / active wood.
    In any case, it is rather unusual, especially for an original bottling. Depending on the weather and the day, it can reach anything between 87-91 / 100, imho

  8. Dominique69 scored this whisky 88 points Moderator

    • Nose
      87 87
    • Taste
      89 89
    • Finish
      88 88

  9. swk27844 scored this whisky 87 points Expert Junior

    • Nose
      87 87
      Apricot, Mango, Liquorice, Ginger Syrup, Granulated Sugar, Light Peat Smoke, Orange Peel
    • Taste
      87 87
      Mint, Vanilla, Peat Smoke, Ginger, Leather, Roasted Notes, Anise, Banana
    • Finish
      86 86
      Medium length, no new flavors compared to the taste

  10. M134481 scored this whisky 87 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      87 87
      Orange, kiwi, nuts, pepper, vanilla, cotton candy, peat and smoke :-), mint, burnt sugar, anise, overripe banana,
    • Taste
      88 88
      Kiwi, overripe banana, vanilla, burnt sugar, anise, smoke, cotton candy, pineapple, light pepper
    • Finish
      86 86
      Kiwi, overripe banana, vanilla, burnt sugar, anise, smoke, cotton candy, pineapple


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