Caol Ila 12-year-old

Overall rating
Whiskybase ID
Single Malt
Distillery Bottling
Stated Age
12 years old
43.0 % Vol.
200 ml
Added on
28 Jun 2012 12:16 pm

Average value

€ 17.75

10 × in wishlist

174 × member ratings

623 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Caol Ila 12-year-old

43 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 83.77 points

  1. Moses scored this whisky 82 points Connoisseur

    Can I be brief because we don't get warm, the two of us. Everything is as it has to be and nothing is special. Just as labid as I described the two sentences, that's exactly my impression. Respectful but bored.
    • Nose
      I'm not a friend of these lemon cleaners. I probably never will. But I show my respect. Basic made solid.
    • Taste
      It comes across as smoky, spicy and even slightly sweet. Slightly salty and completely ok.
    • Finish
      Medium length but drying quickly. The smoke and sea air remain. Island experience 1.0;)

  2. Jordanite scored this whisky 86 points Expert Junior

    Caol Ila might be Islay's largest producer, but there is certainly no inverse correlation between quantity and quality. The nose is classic Islay: rich (but not dominating) smoke, maritime saltiness, gentle medicinal notes, along with touches of apple cider. On the palate the smoke is again rich but is layered atop a sweet, fruit base. The 43% feels just nice to me, no alcohol burn but still a good amount of oomf. The finish is characterised by long, lingering smoke. Easily one of the better standard peated whiskies out there.

  3. ahroeen scored this whisky 84 points Expert Senior

    Like an old bonfire exposed to rain; wet, ashy peat. Classic Caol Ila! Orange zest and spices.
    • Nose
      84 84
    • Taste
      83 83
    • Finish
      84 84

  4. martinbuettner scored this whisky 84 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      81 81
    • Taste
      86 86
    • Finish
      85 85

  5. Myke scored this whisky 85 points Expert Senior

    a typical and classic Islay representative, who presents a nice peaty smoke in the nose and the taste, but also looks quite sweet. Without corners and edges, but very classic and elegant for sniffing around. Even if I'm not a smoke lover, it's great and should at least be tried.
    [85 - 81 delicious --- get a second bottle if price is within the range]
    • Nose
      86 86
      of course, there is peaty smoke / ash (for me more like dry ash in which a piece of wood has just been put in) that everyone will somehow have in their noses.
      In addition, a nice, sugary sweetness comes to the fore, as well as a tart fruit that tends towards lemon or orange, but tends towards a more sweetish orange over time.
      Far at the back I can still see roasted bacon with nuts.
      I think it's really great that the smoke doesn't cover everything up. In terms of the odor profile, I think it is between a Bowmore 12 and a Kilchoman Machir Bay.
    • Taste
      84 84
      the start is as smooth as butter. The peaty character comes through well again. But the sweetness also comes through surprisingly well, which is now more orange.
    • Finish
      85 85
      The peaty aromas accompany you for a long time, which over time change into a phenolic-medicinal character.
      After five minutes I feel like sea salt on my tongue.
      When I exhale slowly through my nose, I have the association of gunpowder in the nose (it reminds me so much of my childhood, when you put these little red plates in (children's) revolvers and when they pop, they have a typical 'gunpowder aroma' the air left).

  6. tangtang scored this whisky 86 points Expert Senior

    find this standard very tasty and drinkable.
    Nice smoke and citrus notes. some campfire and slightly sweet and nutty.
    Sure it's not particularly complex, but I like it quite a lot.
    One of the best young smoky standards I've had in my glass so far.

  7. Falang scored this whisky 79 points Expert Senior

    Nice whisky with a good balance between something peaty and the floral aromas combined with cane-sugar, salt, etc. Little dry in the mouth.
    • Nose
      74 74
      Nailpolish, hint of citrus and a speck of vanilla. A distant scent of burning and a hint of rubber.
    • Taste
      81 81
      Watery and smokey at first but the smoke is not very strong. Pleasant mouth feeling. Hint of rubber and yeast. Bit orange-like and some floral tones, a hint of salt, a hint of peat. Not too sweet! Lovely.
    • Finish
      82 82
      Dusty aftertaste, soft but very enjoyable. Hint of white pepper. A drink that can please in every season… In winter the finish seems rather woody. And in spring it almost has something deep grainy (but maybe this is due to the environment or some exterior factors?).

  8. Martin1965 scored this whisky 83 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      Aromatic smoke, citrus,
    • Taste
      Heavy smoke tending to the campfire, a little vanilla
    • Finish
      Long, smoky with sea aromas

  9. Arnewinke scored this whisky 80 points Member Junior

    Beautiful Islay, delicious smoke peat flavor. And some medicine. Certainly start sweet.

  10. Thermidor scored this whisky 84 points Connoisseur

    Based on the bottling code I think mine is from 2017. This is still a lovely core range malt at a good price. A cargo crate floating in the Sound of Islay, soaked in lemon juice and sea water, with one corner charred. The finish is surprisingly long for 43 %.
    • Nose
      More bourbon sweetness than I remember from the last time I tried the 12yo 3 or 4 years ago, but maybe it's just me. Woodsmoke, tar, and very ripe lemons in salt water, plus some sea air.
    • Taste
      Fairly strong for a 43 %. Very vivid burnt wood sootiness, sweet lemon, and a perfect peat for this age; rounded enough, without any of that biting harshness, and feels like central to the whisky's structure instead of a separate element. It's very simple, but everything is in tune and balance.
    • Finish
      A little hollow, with some staying peat, a bit of chalk, and a coaly tail.


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