Caol Ila 15-year-old

Overall rating
Whiskybase ID
Single Malt
Distillery Bottling
Bottling serie
Golden decanter (22 carat)
Stated Age
15 years old
43.0 % Vol.
750 ml
Bottled for
Bulloch Lade & Co. / Zenith Italia Sas di G.P. Bonfanti & C. (Milano)
Added on
07 aug 2010 5:30 pm

Average value

€ 1202.95

13 × in wishlist

65 × member ratings

54 × in collection

Whisky reviews for Caol Ila 15-year-old

13 users have left 16 reviews for this whisky. Average rating is 91.10 points.

  1. DrunkDude scored this whisky 89 points Expert Senior

    scbp-6523, the smell is active, but the taste is full of oldness. The flavor expression is low-key and subtle, not negative but slightly simple.
    • Nose
      91 91
      No negative flavor, peat is quite active, animal fat, mint, milk powder, rosin, wood and tree aroma, old pharmacy. Wormwood is slightly bitter, with a slight smell of sea salt and dried fish. 90
    • Taste
      87 87
      The wine is weak, the oil is weak, the flavor concentration is not high, not salty, not bitter, and slightly spice. Under light peat, licorice, mint, milk powder, maltose, chilli, citrus bitterness, the flavor expression is not very clear. p88b85
    • Finish
      88 88
      Peppermint, chili peel, evaporated milk fragrance, slightly astringent, refreshing and relaxing, non-negative end rhyme performance. 88

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  3. Dram Dracula scored this whisky 92 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      92 92
      Fine, gentle peat... soft aromas, yet very precise, with obvious citric fruits and vanilla. Every time I drink, or nose, an old Caol Ila, I am in awe of how great the old distillate was... very much akin to old Ardbeg, but without the benefit of the many great casks that Ardbeg was matured in back in the days that eventually were bottled as single casks. Drinking old Caol Ila is like drinking pure Islay, with no interference from the cask, and that is always a thrill.
    • Taste
      92 92
      Initially, this seems a bit frazzled and not so composed... it pulls you in several directions.. but then, it settles, and yes, this is beautiful. Not complex, which can also be said of another old Bulloch Lade Caol Ila 15 yo that was bottled at 57%, but still such a pleasure. This feels young though, to be honest, and I'm sure the time spent in the decanter has softened much of the harsher edges. Gentle salt water, soft peat, with some hints of sweetness, along with a certain rawness which I alluded to earlier.
    • Finish
      91 91
      A true finish, without diversion, but it's short, likely as a result of the 43% dilution.

  4. detachedblue scored this whisky 90 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      warm peat, asphalt, new paint, quite rich and dignified, iodine as the backbone, more cigar smoke, and sour pear.
    • Taste
      Mellow, mint and camphor, almond milk, smoky, sweet pear, dried pear, very easy drinking.
    • Finish
      Cigar smoke, charcoal, roasted almonds.

  5. Baanaanaabob scored this whisky 90 points Connoisseur

    Creamy peat mixed with lemon curd and other citrus fruits, great balance

  6. Horror_Vacui scored this whisky 92 points Expert Senior

    Citrus fruits are totally dominant here. Maritime aromas and smoke are behind it, the smoke is back towards coal smoke with a bit of tar smell.
    I find it fascinating that the malt smells incredibly intense for 43%, and is also more complex and older than it is (a short comparison with the CI 18 OB confirms this).

    Mouth-filling, intense, again very strong smoke and citrus, salt, walnut and sesame oil.

    Long, earthy, some honey sweetness and citrus fruit


    A very strong citrus-heavy and at the same time maritime Caol Ila, the intensity here is surprisingly strong for the alcohol content. Current 12s and 18s, on the other hand, appear almost watery and flat.

  7. ctu scored this whisky 91 points Connoisseur

    Very good old italian import Caol Ila, deserve the golden decanter.
    • Nose
      91 91
      Creamy peat and fruits. Orange peel, camphor, salted minerals, herbals and grass.
    • Taste
      92 92
      Powerful and creamy. Peat, citruses, salted caramel, honey and spicy oak.
    • Finish
      91 91
      Long, creamy, peaty.

  8. lincolnimp scored this whisky 93 points Connoisseur

     A younger Islay tasting tonight but 10-15 years of age from days gone by, tasted in this order:-     

    The Lagavulin knocked the Ardbeg out cold taste wise     

    This is where I would put them but there is little between the Caol Ila, Lagavulin and laphroaig.   

    1 - Caol Ila    

    2 - Lagavulin   

    3 - Laphroaig   

    4 - Bowmore   

    5 - Ardbeg   

    The caol Ila has the best nose, the Lagavulin just shades things on the palate but overall the Caol Ila wins as the nose is so good. The Laphy is a solid third.   

    The Bowmore had a nice nose but lacked power, the old Ardbeg was found wanting against such stiff competition but still a decent dram.

  9. lincolnimp scored this whisky 93 points Connoisseur

    This is why Caol Ila is my favourite Islay distillery, this reminds me of a powered down version of the Signatory 1974 17 year 61% cask 5-9 in profile/
    • Nose
      94 94
    • Taste
      93 93
    • Finish
      92 92

  10. lincolnimp scored this whisky 93 points Connoisseur

    Great stuff
    • Nose
      Excellent, classic Caol Ila, sharp peat, lots of white fruits with bags of citrus.

      The peat grows in the glass, faint hints or orange come in mixing with lemon sherbet and fresh warm pastries just out the oven.
    • Taste
      Bingo, the peat is huge but does not overpower and there is now a lot of grapefruit.

      A very simple profile with some sweetness creeping in that adds to the balance.

      The sweetness grows in tandem with the peat, on on candied dried fruits and peels
    • Finish
      Good medium length, remaining peaty and sweet.

  11. whiskycuse did not rate this whisky Expert Senior

    Tasting Notes:

  12. Jean-Brice scored this whisky 88 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      Tourbé, fumé, citronné, ciselé
    • Taste
      Beaucoup de lavande en bouche et de violette comme dans certains Bowmore 80s mais sans être trop dérangeant.
    • Finish
      Plutôt longue

  13. checkpointuk scored this whisky 93 points Connoisseur Color: straw yellow
    Nose: Creamy nose with aromas of cardboard, leather, vanilla, some honey and delicate fruit components of yellow apples, pears, limes and honeydew melon. The sweetness is underlaid with dull and dry notes of hemp rope, paper, peat, smoke, wet coal and delicious mineral notes.
    Taste: Full, fat and creamy - vanilla, herbs, a plethora of peat and at the same time sweet and tart kept. Some oak, then again notes of dry cardboard, wet coal and lead. The palette is lined with fruit notes - great!
    Finish: long - peaty-fruity-creamy-dull. Beautiful wood flavors combine with the vanilla, to burn forever peat sweat on the tongue.
    Remark: A prime example that it does not always have to be cask strength! With the best that Caol Ila has brought to the market with 43%.
    93 points (nose: 92 / taste: 94 / finish: 93)

  14. Jeep51 scored this whisky 89 points Expert Senior

    Another beautiful expression of Caol Ila carried by a very nice balance and more fruity than newer traffic jams.
    • Nose
      Very fresh, iodized, marine, very citrus (lemon). Some mechanical notes in the background: engine oil, grease, and we want to guess some exotic fruits too. Beautiful power for whisky reduced to 43%
    • Taste
      By cons, on the palate it lacks a little punch but the whole is very balanced: peat, licorice input then it evolves to more roundness (full of fruit, vanilla, honey)
    • Finish
      Long on ash, licorice and honey.

  15. Johan Van Samang scored this whisky 93 points Expert Senior

    Great old style Caol Ila. Mineral, fruity and sweet, with the perfect amount of peat. Typical Caol Ila of the 1960`s.
    My tasting notes in Dutch: another blissful nose. This mixes Islay elements with delicious, soft sherry tones. Delicious peat, seaweed, salt (bit), licorice, thyme, dill, orange, apricot, walnuts, almond nuts, antique shop, balsamic cream. I think of Fino rather than Oloroso. Great to smell in any case. Just as soft in the mouth, the start is fairly light but it gets firmer in the middle and at the end. In terms of associations I think of white fruit, nuts, coffee, rhubarb pie, rum, herbs, salt and peat smoke. Long finish that reminds me of rum again. Slightly pealed and some salty rum. Complex and very concentrated old Caol Ila. Would it be the metal jug? In ceramic jugs it is after all often the opposite (risk of flat, flat whisky). 93/100

  16. checkpointuk scored this whisky 93 points Connoisseur Color: straw yellow
    Nose: Wow, a freshness of lemon remover and green apple, metallic maritime, slightly pungent nose with some peat, honey syrup, malt and wet hay.
    Taste: Lemon pudding with hints of vanilla; maritime, strongly salty apple and lemon mix; but absolutely delicious. In addition peat, light smoke, leather and tea; just delicious.
    Finish: Very long and complex. The salty fruitiness remains until the end. The peat spreads stronger. Add to that some vanilla and malty notes of cereal surrounded by fresh peat fire. Dry peat fading out.
    93 points (nose: 92 / taste: 92 / finish: 94)

  17. mmaclean did not rate this whisky Connoisseur

    "A special edition 15 year old Caol Ila - packaged in a 22 carat gold plated ceramic jug."


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