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Caol Ila 25-year-old

Overall rating 473 votes 88.11

Tastingtags

73 Notes

hs305
Connoisseur hs305 Review note
13 Sep 2017 9:57 pm
hs305 gave this whisky 92 points

[September, 2017]  What is better:  A batch that contains the flavours of many different casks or a carefully selected single cask release?  To check this I selected two 25-year old Caol Ila from the great 1984 vintage for a head-to-head namely this original bottling (OB) bottled May, 19th, 2010 and a Bladnoch Forum release (BF) https://www.whiskybase.com/whiskies/whisky/17481/caol-ila-1984-bf with 52% abv.

Colour:  The OB is at old gold (but remember Diageo uses caramel to fix the colour) while the BF is at jonquiripe corn.  The texture of the BF shows medium fast legs and many small sticky tears.  The OB shows much slower legs and late fat sticky tears so its oiliness is better.  

Nose:  The OB offers a real great nose on lots of different aromas with adorable peaty, fruity, malty and spicy wooden notes and some OBFs.  It is very complex and beautiful balanced, one to sniff for hours.  The BF is more closed due to the abv but owns a peaty, malty and wooden profile too, just the fruits are shy in the background.  I like the OB more here.

Initial mouthfeel:  The OB instantly coats all of the mouth with a warming feeling, no distracting moments (just as the texture promised).  The BF is coating too (but less than the OB) and it has a slight drying feeling (metallic).  Again I like the OB better.

Taste:  The BF shows a peaty-barley sugary-herbal flavours profile that is somewhat layered and easy to sip.  The OB is truly multi-layered and multi-flavoured on the palate, very delicious.  I do not name all the different flavours but it adds nice chocolatey and honey-sweet notes to the peat and fruits.  This is simply "lecker".  I prefer the OB by several points.

Finish:  Both own a long finish that nicely vanishes in waves.  The OB is really sticky here and I still taste it even after minutes with all of its beauty.  No bitter or drying notes at all.  The BF adds more sugars to the finish and has no distracting moments either.  Nevertheless I prefer the OB again.

Water opens the BF up and the nose gets more complex as does the taste - now it comes closer to the OB and guess what, I like it best when reduced to about the same strength as the OB.  Water is not needed on the OB (it just gets flatter).

So this head-to-head showed a clear result:  A batch of many (good) casks provide a greater aromas and flavours variety and a more balanced profile than just a single cask (of course, it all depends on which single cask was choosen).  As all bottlings of the 1984 vintage of Caol Ila (that I tasted so far) were great the 2010 Diageo 25-year old should be and indeed is a stunner.  I tasted all later 25-year Diageo Caol Ila releases and they are good too, but this one is the best by far (2-3 points better). 

I will do another head-to-head of the 2010 versus the most recent 2016 release soon...

Weighted Rate
91.7
Nose
92
Initial taste
92
Body
93
Finish
92
Price
89
Presentation
90
There is no accounting for taste...
hs305
Connoisseur hs305 Review note
26 Jun 2017 10:10 am
hs305 gave this whisky 92 points

[May, 2017]  I had this dram during the First Annual Caol Ila Feis Ile Dinner (yes, this was the official name of it!) at the Ballygrant's Inn.  And I did it head-to-head versus the 30 year old https://www.whiskybase.com/whiskies/whisky/58218/caol-ila-1983.

Colour:  Both have the same colour of old gold.  The texture of the 25 shows some fast fat legs and late sticky tears.  The 30 shows early but very small tears and some late slow legs and fat tears.

Nose:  The 25 offers this adorable sweet and strong phenolic profile with maritime aromas that I adore, one to sniff for hours.  The nose of the 30 is more subtle but on the same profile.  Hard to say which one is better - the 30 is more complex and delicate while the 25 is more powerful and impressive.  I go for a draw...

Mouthfeel:  The 30 instantly coats the whole of the mouth with a slightly peppery feeling but without any distracting (bitter or drying) moments.  That is really good!  Surprisingly the 25 is smoother than the 30 on the mouthfeel but at least as much coating.  So I give this round to the 25.

Taste:  A very mellow and complex sweet-peaty-phenolic-maritime profile on the 25 that is multi-layered, really excellent.  The 30 counters this with more punchiness (surprisingly) and a greater complexity of flavours adding more spicy and malty aromas to it than the 25.  But again I like the 25 a little better (on a very high level).

Finish:  Both are very long with the 30 vanishing in several waves without any distracting notes.  Close to perfection it is!  The 25 finishes a little shorter (just long, not very long...), but again without any flaws or off-notes.  This round wins the 30 year old.

Water is not needed on both of it (it does not really harm and smoothen the drams even further, but it takes away some power too).  I am really blown away by the high quality of both drams, the only flaw is the drinker-unfriendly price tag choosen by Diageo for the 30 year old.  I am willing to pay as much as 250 Euro for the 30 year old - but not a single Cent more!

Weighted Rate
91.8
Nose
93
Initial taste
92
Body
93
Finish
92
Price
88
Presentation
90
There is no accounting for taste...
Archer
Connoisseur Archer Tasting note
14 Nov 2016 7:25 pm
Archer gave this whisky 89 points
Color
Amontillad
Nose

In der Ferne ein klein wenig zarter Rauch, kaum wahrnehmbar. Und wie ein Windhauch schon wieder vorüber. Eine leicht-würzige Specknote kommt, Rosinen und Feigen arbeiten sich nach vorne. Anfangs eher dezent und zurückhaltend, entfaltet die Süße der getrockneten Früchte nach einer kurzen Zeit ihre volle Kraft. Nun kommen auch Leder- und Tabaknoten, dazu feinherbe Schokolade und Vanille. Schöne Entwicklung in der Nase.

Taste

Hier macht sich direkt zu Beginn der Torfrauch auf der Zunge bemerkbar. Er ist jedoch genauso schnell wieder abgezogen wie beim Verriechen. Auch auf der Zunge kommt nach einer Weile eine schöne Specknote, dazu altes Leder und: schöne alte Eichendielen. Vanille und Milchschokolade kommen. Mit der Zeit wird der "ältliche" Geschmack auf der Zunge herber, pfeffriger, beinahe schon pelzig - und bekommt dann die Kurve hin zu einer angenehm fluffigen Cremigkeit.

Finish

Mittellang bis lang, angenehm trocken werdend, pflaumensüß und mit zurückgekehrtem feinem Rauch.

Comments

Fängt mit einer ganz relaxten Nase an. Und wenn man dann denkt: 'war's das jetzt?' macht er auf einmal wunderbar auf und liefert schöne "ältliche" Aromen. Und das sowohl in der Nase, als auch auf der Zunge. Gefällt mir sehr gut. Bis vor kurzem konnte man den noch für weniger als 100€ finden. Jetzt zieht er an, ist aber immer noch sein Geld wert.

scuse me while I kiss the sky
Caoldronach
Expert Senior Caoldronach Review note
16 Dec 2017 11:13 am
Caoldronach gave this whisky 92 points

WWW ... "What a Wonderful Whisky"! Elegant, significant, noble, precious.

Although I normally prefer whisky at cask strength and like to adapt the ABV individually (sometimes leaving it as is), the ABV of 43% fits perfectly to the sophisticated and elegant profile of this outstanding Caol Ila.

It is a typical older Caol Ila, the peat from young Caol Ilas is transformed into an unobstrusive layer surrounding a clean complex taste of highest quality. "This is the taste of distinct luxury" ;-). Check the shop links @whiskybase or browse the internet, you can get it for around 100 Euros, only, right now (before Christmas 2017), this is a real bargain (normally it costs around 150 Euros being still a reasonable price for such a high quality, especially when taking into account that it's a 25 y.o. original bottling from one of the major traditional Islay distilleries. At least regarding the price level of 2017 during the malt whisky boom, especially the hyper boom for Islay malts).

Weighted Rate
92.2
Nose
93
Initial taste
91
Body
93
Finish
92
Price
92
Presentation
92
Paszko
Member Senior Paszko Review note
22 Nov 2017 2:35 am
Paszko gave this whisky 89 points
Weighted Rate
89.2
Nose
88
Initial taste
91
Body
90
Finish
90
Price
86
Presentation
88
morris
Expert Junior morris Note
12 Nov 2017 9:21 pm
morris gave this whisky 89 points

A mature and very oily old OB, but crisp, coastal and fresh in the meantime. All aromas are well integrated, whispering, fragrant and complex. No islay loudspeaker here. Very sensual whisky! I love it!

malthead-1984
Expert Senior malthead-1984 Review note
30 Oct 2017 8:04 pm
malthead-1984 gave this whisky 89 points
Weighted Rate
88.5
Nose
92
Initial taste
87
Body
85
Finish
89
Price
89
Presentation
90
malthead-1984
Expert Senior malthead-1984 Tasting note
30 Oct 2017 8:52 pm
malthead-1984 gave this whisky 89 points
Color
Amber
Nose

Direkt volle Aromenfrach, komplex und rund steifen sie in die Nase. dunkle Honigartige Früchte, pflaumen datteln und ein paar Waldbeeren. gleichauf steht ein schöner milder warmer Rauch der sich aber schön einbindet. er macht umgehend einen komplexen und wirklich reifen eindruck. die Würze des Fass bleibt im Hintergrund ist aber dennoch spürbar, dann noch etwas jod, gummi und heide welche sich schön miteinander verbinden

Taste

etwas samtig mit leichtem körper läuft er auf die zunge fast schon etwas wässrig. hier sind der Rauch und die Würze vom Fass dominant, allerdings sind kaum tannine vorhanden eher eine schöne würze. Zwischendurch kommen sogar noch ein paar Sherrynoten durch

Finish

ein langer aber nicht sehr komplexer Abgang. der milde jodhaltige Rauch und die Würze vom fass sind auch hier vorstechend. der Abgang ist mittellang jedoch bleubt der Rauch schön lang am gaumen

Comments

schöner Malt und ein guter einstieg in die 25iger Islay Malts. Ein attraktives PLV um die Merkmale von Reife zu merken, allerdinfs noch keine Konkurrenz zu einem Bunna oder Laga 25y

jazzpianofingers
Connoisseur jazzpianofingers Note
25 Sep 2017 1:13 pm
jazzpianofingers gave this whisky 88 points

https://whiskylovingpianist.wordpress.com/2017/09/25/bottle-polishing-scottish-islands/

  • N: Pretty dreamy. Vegetal, soft smoky toasted vanilla, some fruit decay, mature ‘open’ soft French cheese[s] [but which ones?], a smidgen of soot=shoe polish and liquorice wood [spot on Serge]. It’s all perfectly soft for my nose.
  • T: A decidedly firm savoury/mulch-y/malty start, the mouthfeel dry-oily and moving chocolate-y and the smokiness deep and subtly penetrating. More toasted vanilla again, a touch squidgy-malty-spongy and medicinal hints equal to more liquorice wood.
  • F: Once the smoked vanilla sponge settles, it’s decidedly dry, ashy and vegetal-sweet – the spirit smoky-clean.
  • C: Showing no lack of commitment at 43%, 25 years+ has delivered a wonderfully mature, super-chilled Islay malt that goes for a very respectable €140 [Sept ’17]. One of my favourite smokers this year.

Scores a B[+]

jeoff
Member Senior jeoff Review note
06 Aug 2017 10:34 pm
jeoff gave this whisky 87 points
Weighted Rate
86.7
Nose
88
Initial taste
87
Body
85
Finish
88
Price
85
Presentation
86

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