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Caol Ila 25-year-old

Overall rating 438 votes 88.05
Category
Single Malt
Distillery
Bottler
Distillery Bottling
Bottled
2010
Stated Age
25 years old
Number of bottles
14000
Strength
43.0 % Vol.
Size
700 ml
Bottle code
L0139CM000
Barcode
5000281027098
Added on
22 Jun 2010 11:59 am
Colored

Tastingtags

68 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...
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
kimmosuo
Expert Senior kimmosuo Review note
22 Jul 2017 9:20 pm
kimmosuo gave this whisky 85 points
Weighted Rate
85.4
Nose
85
Initial taste
85
Body
84
Finish
84
Price
95
Presentation
83
ctu
Connoisseur ctu Tasting note
16 Jun 2017 12:22 am
ctu gave this whisky 88 points
Color
Yellow gold
Nose

Oily. Sweet peat, salt, green tea, grapefruit, grass and herbals.

Taste

Fresh. Big dose of sweet peat, tannic oak, vanilla, bergamot oil, ash and iodine.

Finish

Long, dry and spicy with tobacco and ash.

Comments

Pleasant, complex, matured Caol Ila.

pianoman
Expert Senior pianoman Tasting note
07 May 2017 9:48 am
pianoman gave this whisky 89 points
Color
Amber
Nose

Zurückhaltend. Entfernter Rauch, ätherische Öle. Minze, Salbei, Eukalyptus. Zitronen. Gebackene Banane mit Honig. Leichte Glut vom Kamin.

Taste

Honig, Vollmilchschokolade, orientalische Gewürze. Etwas Pfeffer, Haselnuss und gesüßter Schwarztee. Mittellang.

Finish
Comments
StyrianSpirit
Expert Junior StyrianSpirit Tasting note
06 Apr 2017 7:05 pm
StyrianSpirit gave this whisky 88 points
Color
Deep copper
Nose

Kommt sehr schön fülig ins Glas. Schöner Rauch -- eher leicht medizinisch-phenolig (im Unterschied zu den selchrauchartigen Benromachs); erinnert da an die Lagavulins. Schon im Rauch schwingt eine leichte Süße mit.

Taste

Kommt sehr sanft in den Mund und wird dort tatsächlich noch fruchtiger; sehr weich weiterhin. Was die Fruchtkomponenten betrifft, kann ich mich ganz den Vortestern anschließen.

Finish

Geht über in einen sanften, aber warmen Abgang. Erinnert mich stark an die Lagavulin DE; wird beim zweiten Schluck merklich fruchtiger.

Comments

Die 25 Jahre spüre ich hier gar nicht -- keine Eiche, kein wirklich langer Abgang. Das muss nicht schlecht sein und ist auch immer eine Frage der Erfahrung und der Erwartungshaltung. In einem Blind Taste wäre dieser 25-Jährige wahrscheinlich weit vorne. Mir persönlich schmeckt die Lagavulin Distillers Edition noch einen Tick besser.

My Collection
domani
Expert Senior domani Tasting note
25 Mar 2017 8:55 pm
domani gave this whisky 87 points
Color
Amber
Nose

Rauch ist sehr zurückhaltend, leicht mineralisch, salzig-maritim, Räuchernoten, Apfel, Birne, Sternfrucht, Aprikose, seidig, cremig, feine Kräuter, würzig-süßliches Bouquet   

Taste

Cremig, buttrig, salzig-süß, die Aromen werden von leichtem Rauch getragen, würzig, feine süßliche Malznote, etwas Tannine, überraschend wenig Bitternoten  

Finish

Mittellang

Comments

Ein seidiger und geschmeidiger Whisky mit feinen Aromen. Eher still und zurückhaltend mit würzig-süßem Bouquet zum genießen ohne zu überfordern - 25.03.2017 

hans1971
Expert Senior hans1971 Review note
19 Feb 2017 12:51 pm
hans1971 gave this whisky 86 points
Weighted Rate
85.9
Nose
86
Initial taste
86
Body
87
Finish
86
Price
84
Presentation
85
Hans Bolt

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