Caol Ila 18-year-old

Overall rating
86.46/100
votes
1294
Whiskybase ID
WB47393
Category
Single Malt
Distillery
Bottler
Distillery Bottling
Bottling serie
Islay Single Malt Whisky
Stated Age
18 years old
Strength
43.0 % Vol.
Size
700 ml
Barcode
5000281016344
Added on
11 dec 2013 9:54 am
ColoredChillfiltered

Average value

€ 137.96

111 × in wishlist

1294 × member ratings

3373 × in collection

Whisky reviews for Caol Ila 18-year-old

92 users have left 110 reviews for this whisky. Average rating is 86.46 points.

  1. MaroFF scored this whisky 88 points Expert Senior

    A very well-balanced and well-balanced whisky. Delicate in taste, very fruity, with notes of light peat, lots of smoke and sweet toffee. At each stage, the aroma, taste and finish are pleasant to the presence of salt.
    Alcohol very well hidden.
    • Nose
      88 88
      sweet, rose water, wine, fruity, raisins, vanilla, fine peat, slightly salty end with a touch of green apples
    • Taste
      88 88
      creamy, slightly sweet, a lot of smoke, peat, toffee, sugar syrup, a little pineapple, fudge, the end is slightly salty again
    • Finish
      87 87
      medium, sweet, charcoal, plum in vinegar, warming end, delicate salt again.

  2. PanAroma0815 scored this whisky 87 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      88 88
    • Taste
      87 87
    • Finish
      86 86

  3. Dris scored this whisky 89 points Connoisseur

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

  4. zzqfyl scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

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

  5. Malthead19 scored this whisky 82 points Connoisseur

    - round, mild and smoky
    - much more comfortable and softer than the 12 J.
    - however, it is not very complex, therefore for 18 years
    quite disappointing
    - the benchmark and expectations were clear here
    higher than the 12 y.
    - he has not fulfilled at a price of about 100 - 120 €
    - there are much better 18-year-old whiskys, more
    have to offer
    • Nose
      clear, cold smoky note, sweetish secondary aromas, somewhat milder and more aromatic than the 12, not very complex
    • Taste
      Round, mild attack, in addition to the clearly smoky aromas, a very sweet taste (in the direction of toffee), smoke also in the direction of cold smoke (no ham), somewhat sour
    • Finish
      short, slightly sour, soft finish;
      long smoky, slightly sweet aftertaste (toffee, honey)

  6. bankimate scored this whisky 86 points Expert Senior

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

  7. Mordeth scored this whisky 87 points Expert Junior

    Felt a bit underwhelming at first, but grew on me with some time and oxidation. Quite mellow, and well balanced.
    • Nose
      87 87
    • Taste
      88 88
    • Finish
      86 86

  8. Saftkenner scored this whisky 86 points Expert Senior

    Really very nice and balanced standard, which unfortunately has become a bit too expensive for me at 100€. If the drinking strength were also increased to 46% with the price, then I would go with it. But that's probably a pipe dream.
    • Nose
      86 86
      Delicate, maritime smoke, accompanied by light citrus notes.
      Distant campfire on the beach, sea spray, lime, green apple, pineapple, vanilla, aloe juice.
    • Taste
      87 87
      Light body with a fine smoky note. Orange, pine needles, toffee, salt, ash, pineapple and banana nuances, leather, dark olives, oak spice.
    • Finish
      86 86
      Mid-length finish. Extinguished fire, ash, tobacco, olives, espresso.

  9. JBKwb scored this whisky 87 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      86 86
    • Taste
      88 88
    • Finish
      87 87

  10. Albaron scored this whisky 86 points Specialist

    A complex good whisky. Balanced, the taste keeps what the aroma promises, because many aromas jostle, it is difficult to taste and smell anything, it 'sparkles' in the taste. Great
    • Nose
      phenolic smoke, vanilla, pear, caramel, apricot
    • Taste
      clear dry smoke, malt, a hint of vanilla, apricot, more light fruits, very light oak, mild
    • Finish
      long, malt, wood, light sweetness, smoke

  11. Killswitch scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      86 86
    • Taste
      88 88
    • Finish
      86 86

  12. dapoinbua scored this whisky 88 points Expert Senior

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

  13. glenrob scored this whisky 90 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      89 89
    • Taste
      90 90
    • Finish
      90 90

  14. tribe scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    I liked this one better than the 25er. More distillery character and nicer flavor, but less tart wood than the 25 bottle
    • Nose
      89 89
    • Taste
      89 89
    • Finish
      88 88

  15. tribe scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      89 89
      Fine, noble smoke, but not so strong anymore. It has a great range of spices.
    • Taste
      89 89
      Something bitter but also sweet comes through
      H. More complex than the others and also a little better than the 25 (which is already too bitter for me) with depth
    • Finish
      86 86
      Finish with smoke

  16. dram-drinker scored this whisky 91 points Photo Moderator

    Very balanced, rather light and easy than old and heavy, very drinkable - why not as daily dram if you like - really not expensive for 18yo - very good
    • Nose
      89 89
      Yellow fruits, little vanilla, pineapple, apricot, peach, lemon, honey, wet tobacco, little toffee, cookie dough, orange peel, and surely quite some peat and smoke - not bad
    • Taste
      92 92
      Oily, creamy, little sirupy, good sweetness, honey, little vanilla, orange and apple juice, also some passion fruit, good level of peat and smoke, little spicy - very good
    • Finish
      91 91
      Medium long, warm, fruity, not herbal and not drying

  17. Martinesk scored this whisky 81 points Expert Senior

    Quite a disappointment for me.
    Just celebrated a 12 year old by a UA and now hoping for an enlightenment, but received a flickering, weak sparkle. Inharmonious. Failed. sorry
    • Nose
      84 84
      clear thick smoke, heather, dentist, citrus, rose hip tea.
    • Taste
      82 82
      vigorous. malty. warm.
      But piquing alcohol.
      Something cheaply perfumed is disturbing in the background.
    • Finish
      76 76
      Smoke and again that penetrant (miss?) Note.
      Bergamot?
      In any case, badly integrated, artificial and inappropriate. Will not come on my shelf.

  18. riegerjonas scored this whisky 85 points Expert Senior

    2021-02-07: a bit boring
    • Nose
      pleasant acidity, minimal sherry ?, gentle smoke, almond
    • Taste
      gentle smoke, cold-ashy, bitter

  19. Mordeth scored this whisky 87 points Expert Junior

    • Nose
      85 85
    • Taste
      84 84
    • Finish
      86 86

  20. Whisky Hamster scored this whisky 86 points Expert Senior

    Solid dram, but not an impressive 18 yo. Never wow-ed me, nor does the 25 yo, unfortunately. With exceptions, I find better Caol Ilas from independent bottlers. A bit of a Bowmore syndrome going on here as well...

  21. Slàinte Mhath scored this whisky 89 points Super Administrator

    With a natural preference for the independent bottlers, one tends to overlook how good some of the official bottlings can actually be. More settled and complex, the years have tamed this Caol Ila 18 quite a bit. Leaning towards smoldering bonfires, sea spray and sour apples, the nose unfolds with buttermilk, lemon and hints of aniseed. A wonderful combination of peaty, salty-sweet and acidic flavors dance on the palate, raw and yet elegant. Herbal tea, dry peat smoke and a touch of miso soup characterize the long finish. This malt is worth every penny!

    RATING: 4.2/5.0 stars ≙ 89 pts → FIRST-CLASS [+]
    • Nose
      89 89
    • Taste
      91 91
    • Finish
      88 88

  22. Mortar1703 scored this whisky 86 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      87 87
    • Taste
      85 85
    • Finish
      86 86

  23. Teomarg scored this whisky 87 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      87 87
    • Taste
      86 86
    • Finish
      87 87

  24. mattheww scored this whisky 86 points Expert Senior

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

  25. Whiskylifestyle scored this whisky 88 points Expert Senior

    I just forgot how good this Caol Ila actually is. Surprisingly, actually. Not to be compared with young Caol Ilas, because he is a lot less aggressive. But it is beautifully subtle and the peat is well integrated and more into the background. The fact that it is bottled at 43% is not an issue at all here. In fact, I would have rated it higher if I had had to taste it blind. All in all, a very nice core range bottle from Caol Ila, and one that I like to go back to once in a while.
    • Nose
      A very subtle and elegant layer of peat. Seaweed and brine. A hint of lemons and some peppermint in the background. Apples and pears. Then Black pepper and liquorice. Later also caramel and a hint of gingerbread. Pink grapefruit too.
    • Taste
      Subtle peat again, but quite in the background. Brine. Which is followed by honey, caramel sea salt and chocolate. Oranges, but also sweet pink grapefruit. Liquorice and black pepper.
    • Finish
      Mid-long to long. with mostly black pepper.

  26. Squinugie scored this whisky 86 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      86 86
    • Taste
      87 87
    • Finish
      86 86

  27. MickMatrix scored this whisky 87 points Expert Senior

    Exactly to my taste! Dry, sweet smoker! Absolutely buy again.
    • Nose
      90 90
    • Taste
      86 86
    • Finish
      86 86

  28. The_Independent scored this whisky 87 points Expert Senior

    —- Blind cost —-
    • Nose
      Nice, dry smoke, mineral, spicy, fresh citrus, incense.
    • Taste
      Strong onset, sweet and oily, very spicy, then comes some smoke, dry ash, light citrus notes.
    • Finish
      Quite long, creamy, fresh and chocolatey, ash.

  29. JNuyts scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

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

  30. TeddyKGB scored this whisky 87 points Member Senior

    Caol ila 18.

    I want to charm friends. To impress them. I need an elegant, fragrant scotch, neither too strong nor too diluted. Sobriety but respondent ... to discover the magnificence of peat scotches of Islay without disgusting them too much.
    Anyway, are you available tonight?

  31. claymore84 scored this whisky 86 points Expert Senior

    Tasted on 11-01-2019 at "The Mash Tun" in Aberlour.

  32. IIIZIII scored this whisky 85 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      Rounded peat smoke, vegetal, grassy. As opens up it is getting rather sweet
    • Taste
      Sharp on the first contact, very luscious sweet development.
    • Finish
      Earthy residual type of peatiness

  33. Archer scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    Usually, I only use a simple Glencairn glass for a tasting, to ensure a stringent evaluation of different whiskys for me. For the Caol Ila 18, I used the 1920s Professional Blenders glass for once, as I had the impression that the Glencairn does not quite live up to this whisky. And it turns out that the 1920s can tease out even more flavors from the whisky. Actually, I do not use this glass anymore, because I had a lot of whisky too concentrated and alcoholic in the nose.
    In any case, the Caol Ila 18 is a gentleman who is at peace and gives you the feeling that he does not have to prove anything to you. Either, you get involved in it, or you just pass by - which would be a pity, because you would miss a very pleasant representative of Islay's north coast.
    • Nose
      87 87
      Since one thinks first of all, to have an unpeated Caol Ila in the glass, so reserved, so subtle is the smoke - and it does not even show up from the beginning, but she has to literally work forward, past the Overripe bananas, gooseberries and pineapple slices. Sweet and fruity, it presents itself in the nose, with a pinch of salt and sea scent. Dried orange slices, honey, milk chocolate. Everything is very gentle, very smooth and dignified.
    • Taste
      88 88
      Mild approach, in which from the beginning - which contrast to the nose - a dry smoky touch on the tongue lays. Creamy and dry in equal parts, with coffee beans, crème brulée, toffee, malt. With its 43% it glides pleasantly over the tongue. Nut brittle and chopped almonds, marzipan bread. The wood content is pleasantly balanced.
    • Finish
      87 87
      Medium to long finish, dry. The dry oak planks are intensified in the finish, salt and smoke attract again clearly, plus a pinch of pepper and mild spices.

  34. LeChiffre scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    Beautiful maritime powerful Caol Ila with the typical fresh citrus note. Very interesting and complex, in comparison to the 25J a bit fresher and more maritime-powerful.
    • Nose
      87 87
      fresh fruity sweetness; Citrus flavors; maritime; Seaweed; nice smoky note (campfire); spicy oak
    • Taste
      88 88
      powerful maritime; Seaweed; also in the taste fresh sour-fruity sweetness (citrus); salty; beautiful oak in the background; great smoky note (campfire)
    • Finish
      88 88
      long; salty; maritime character; spicy; nice smoky note (campfire)

  35. Varrek scored this whisky 85 points Expert Junior

    Really balanced and round. Good start to people who trying to get into peat and smoke whisky - not so aggressive
    • Nose
      85 85
      campfire smoke, vanilla, fruits. Sweet
    • Taste
      86 86
      smoke together with sweetness, vanilla, lemon. A little bit spicy
    • Finish
      84 84
      ashy, oak, pretty long

  36. hs305 scored this whisky 90 points Connoisseur

    This is the review of the very first release of the standard 18-years old Caol Ila from 2002 (hence distilled in 1984).

    [August, 2019] Tonight is the night to do a long-planned old versus new head-to-head of the standard Caol Ila edition, 2015 release (NEW, WB id 96997) versus this first ever bottling from 2002 (OLD, there is neither a Classic Malts logo nor a www.malts.com reference on the back label)...

    ...and the differences between the two are really significant. Of course, both present the lovely Caol Ila DNA but OLD indeed offers a complex and bold old-stylish profile while NEW rather goes for the modern wood-driven whisky "zeitgeist" that is much more simple and (to me) rather boring. Do not get me wrong, still the new 18-years old Caol Ila is a nice dram to drink but its profile lacks a lot of personality compared to its 2002 sibling.

    [June, 2021] I re-tasted this dram tonight and fully confirm my old review and score. What a difference to the newer batches, and by the way: Angus from whiskyfun scored a sample from this very bottle 90 points too.
    • Nose
      89 89
      The colour of OLD is one shade darker at old gold while NEW is at yellow gold (despite they use caramel to adjust it). The nose of the two drams is very different: Old offers a truly old-stylish profile with lots of nice OBFs , fruits, honeys, waxes, oils, herbs and significant maritime peaty aromas. This is the adorable sweet-peaty profile from the best years of Caol Ila (simply check the ratings of older vintage 1984 bottlings - 2002-18=1984). Contrary to OLD the NEW release shows much more bitter-herbal wooden notes but misses both the fruity-sweet and maritime flavours almost completely. What a difference!
    • Taste
      90 90
      The taste of OLD is layered and greatly chewable so it offers all its delicious flavours like in a parade. The sweet fruits and barley sugars, the maritime peaty notes , the spicy wooden flavours and many more impressions are in a perfect balance without any flaw. Great stuff to quaff! NEW's taste is not layered, unfortunately and dominated by bitter-peaty flavours with the sweet notes playing a minor role only. It gets rather drying-astringent over time - but again: still NEW is a fine dram that I like to drink. Nonetheless it is a three points difference to OLD.
    • Finish
      90 90
      The initial mouthfeel of NEW is warming and just a little coating without distracting moments while OLD arrives absolutely charming and instantly coats the whole of the mouth. Of course it shows no distracting moments either. OLD's finish is long and vanishes in several fading waves without any distracting moments again. All stays harmonic and balanced and the old-style waxes and earthy notes form a grand finale. The finish of NEW is shorter but still medium to long and stays on the bitter-astringent side (with additional eucalyptus notes, just like the end of the taste was). Again, this is enjoyable but a huge difference to the 2002 edition. Water is not recommended on NEW as it just flattens the dram. OLD is a better swimmer but still I like it best when neat.

  37. WhiskyLovingPianist scored this whisky 86 points Connoisseur

    https://whiskylovingpianist.wordpress.com/2019/08/14/bottle-polishing-an-islay-trio/

    Early this year I wrote [with regards to an 11yo Caol Ila WB] ‘I’m reminded how much I love Caol Ila almost everytime I have it‘. It’s weird then that I rarely buy it,… maybe because it’s always there? I bought this because the price was insanely good. Let’s see where the official 18yo is at in 2018/19.

    N: Dry yet moorish cereal-sweet barley with subtle onion-y > > pickled onion-y, peaty & husky desiccated coconut-y aromas.

    T: Dry-not-dry husky creamy smoky < barley with oily/buttery coconut topped off with a herbal/candle wax, vanilla essence-d icing and a curious combo of boot polish and pub style pickled whelks, a splash of cider and an even smaller splash of lager-lime top. How very 19,… you choose the decade.

    F: Light-smokey barley, dirty lemon-y oily garage floors, some coppery > iron fillings,… concluding with husky peaty dry barley with light black tea, remnants of nicotine and just a hint of menthol-y Jif/Cif-like dry lemon. Finishes true on sweet malted barley.

    C: Over time it showed itself as a dependable deliver-er and yet totally unmoving as if the life had left it before it had even reached the bottling plant. It did however really improve after being poured into an empty glass with the remnants of an Old Elgin 8yo [WLP]. It was the caramel banana > molasses that gave it some body/balls. Maybe this and Deanston 12 would work for a Douglas Laing Double Barrel?

  38. Horror_Vacui scored this whisky 87 points Expert Senior

    Caol Ila 18yo (Batch L7255)

    Nose:
    You notice first of all that the smoke here is much more restrained. A campfire on the beach, with moist wood and seaweed, whose scent is carried from a distance to the nose. Where he has lost smoke, he has gained fruit. The green apple is joined by red, while the citrus is juicy peach. Licorice, some freshly grated nutmeg, the wood is noticeable. Fine herbal scents: thyme, a little coriander.
    A complex nose that invites you to take a long time to sniff, the smoke does not show any medical notes here.

    Mouth:
    In the mouth, it is initially slightly astringent. The 18-year-old is also much more fruity and the smoke is finely integrated in the form of a light ashiness. Apples, peaches, a little pear compote, almond slivers, rum grapes, a few drops of brine, olives, herbs and oak spice.

    Finish:
    Long, only slightly ashen, for the first time the oak dominates. Light grape sweetness.

    Conclusion:
    Very well balanced, a malt without blemish and blame. The cultivated smoke is good for him, the fruitiness and the oak spice in the finish as well. Only that the price jump from 12 to 18 is quite high, is a bit steep.

  39. EnjoyLife89 scored this whisky 90 points Expert Senior

    There's a lot to discover. A 5cl sample is not enough to explore everything. With each sip opens up new impressions. Find him really exciting
    • Nose
      87 87
      Smoke; Iodine; maritime spicy; fruity and sweet; almost a bit herbaceous and malty, a hint of vanilla
    • Taste
      92 92
      Unbelievably mild start; mild smoke; sweet; then sweet; gets a bit salty, absolutely maritime; then sweet again; Oak binds beautifully; becomes minimal sharper over time, but remains permanently sweet.
      Interesting mixture between sweet, tart, smoke and citrus. Something is there (direction herbs). There's a lot to discover. After the third sip, a peppery spiciness also builds, but not too intrusive. Really good
    • Finish
      90 90
      getting a little drier; sweet; then citrus; sweet again; permanently beautiful, mild smoke but rather towards campfire, already partially extinguished; Again citrus; Malt,
      Over time, the oak becomes stronger, slightly astringent, reminiscent of dark chocolate or coffee, but then evaporates and turns into citrus and fruit. Insanely multi-faceted

  40. Totoro scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    An absolute classic. A well-composed and well-aged peated whisky that boasts a beautiful balance of sweet, savory, and fresh notes. Herbal, maritime, salty, with a dash of fruits and an underlying sweetness. Not one for fans of full-frontal smoke; this is rather refined and elegant. I prefer this over the 25-year-old, which is more musty and less well-defined in comparison.

  41. WhiskyLovingPianist scored this whisky 86 points Connoisseur

    https://whiskylovingpianist.wordpress.com/2019/04/22/feis-ile-2018-caol-ila-part-1/

    N: Very light and with light smoke, this is a comforting aged/malty/smoky number with a touch of leather and subtly integrated coastal & tarry notes. I try for more but in this setting, fail to get anything but a general sense of youthfulness & balance with fair/straight forward complexity.
    T: Pretty fine juice with a nice chew and a feeling of more ‘power’ than the previous two. On the other hand, it’s a little fidgety/ungainly and somewhat simple, though balanced.
    F: A long subtlety smokey finish with chocolatey liquorice raisins.
    C: Sits comfortably between the youthful 12yo and the far older 25yo in the Caol Ila range.

  42. KonstUA scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    Nose 21.5, taste 21.5, finish 22, balance 22

  43. Stanzeflasche scored this whisky 89 points Expert Senior

    It is a nose transformed by a long maturation which is offered to us. The peat is more discreet, but very present. Wood, varnish, candied cherry, raspberry, chocolate milk. A little blackberry. It is quite greedy. In the mouth, a slight acidity. Always red fruits. But it is velvety at the same time, softly vanilla. Light pepper.
    Armfuls of mocha on the finish. An ounce of chicory. And this finish is long, almost endless. You can smell the fruit on the tip of your tongue a minute later. It's a really nice, delicate whisky, more subtle than the 12 year old, but it lacks a bit of peat.

    https://ilikesky2020.blogspot.com/2020/06/caol-ila-18-yo.html
    • Nose
      91 91
    • Taste
      88 88
    • Finish
      89 89

  44. wisekyofcourse scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    one of the first dinosaurs in old age released in GS!
    finally tasting!
    • Nose
      strong smoke, woody, vanilla and citrus, some caramel
      spicy, a little hay
    • Taste
      peat!
      citrus fruits a little cooked (lemon ahead, but also tangerine and grapefruit), with traces of cooked apple, spices quite strong too
      the wood calms a little all this, it's sweeter than the 12, almost too much, and it lacks a little alcohol finally
    • Finish
      on the same scents, with ashes that complete the peat and smoke, the wood always present with the fruits!

  45. LordIslay scored this whisky 87 points Expert Senior

  46. PatSch23_12 scored this whisky 85 points Expert Senior

    Good. Not more, not less.
    • Nose
      Tart and sour grapefruit, fresh, mineral-chalky, comparatively little (campfire) smoke perceptible, thyme, warm potting soil, some pine needles, very subtle vanilla
    • Taste
      oily on the tongue, cold, ashy smoke, tingling tart citrus notes (again the grapefruit), candied ginger, sourish, slightly salty, smoldering hay (with a few flowers, delicate floral)
    • Finish
      bitter green tea

  47. Rosebank88 scored this whisky 88 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      First tender notes of peat and salt. Then menthol, daffodils or tomato herb and a nice vanilla sweetness.
    • Taste
      Powerful start with distinctly vegetable aromas, rainy hay, juniper, forest soil and slightly peppery-muscat spice. Above all lies a full peat smoke paired with a delicate saltiness.
    • Finish
      Medium long, herbal king, warming.

  48. mema82 scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      88 88
    • Taste
      89 89
    • Finish
      84 84

  49. whiskyinstitut scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    For me as Coal Ila haters a real surprise.
    • Nose
      Cold and ashy smoke, lime skin, a slight dill note in addition, slightly mineral, dirty, engine room
    • Taste
      Sweet smoke, vanilla, sage pepper, creamy, oranges
    • Finish
      Ostensibly the cold smoke, slightly dry oak, lots of sweetness, pleasantly interwoven

  50. WhiskyLovingPianist scored this whisky 86 points Connoisseur

    N: A relaxed sweet herbal nose with stewed veg and tart-ish rhubarb, oriental plastic? and chlorine.
    T: This bottle is a tad weary [low level], but shows no signs of giving up the host just yet. Continues with salty, savoury & herbal smoked barley cereal.
    F: Have you chewed on peated whole grain malted barley lately? This finishes with that kind of honesty, dry, mature yet still youthful.
    C: Caol Ila is quite possibly the ideal peated whisky for those who [think they] dont like peated whisky - a credit to that familiar, dry polite & honest smoke character. Yet another consistently decent batch.Scores a B

  51. WhiskyLovingPianist scored this whisky 86 points Connoisseur

    N: A relaxed sweet herbal nose with stewed veg and tart-ish rhubarb, oriental plastic? and chlorine.
    T: This bottle is a tad early [low level] but shows no signs of giving up the host jut yet. smoked barley, salty, savoury herbal cereal. 
    F: Have you had peated malted whole grain barley lately? This finishes with that kind of honesty, dry yet still youthful.
    C: Caol Ila is quite possibly the ideal peated whisky for those who [think they] dont like peated whisky - a credit to that familiar, dry polite & honest smoke character.Scores a B

  52. jhut scored this whisky 89 points Expert Junior

    Cafe de Toeter on 5 November 2017 with André
    • Nose
      Refined, complex, bit of wood influence, soft, balanced, full,
    • Taste
      Soft, balanced, hardly alcohol taste finished fantastically around
    • Finish
      Clearer Islay character, but much softer and better performed. Sharp edges are completely off. very tasty and complex. Remains long with long and beautiful development. Never had such a soft whisky from Islay.

  53. mer1973 scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

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

  54. mjr1987 scored this whisky 91 points Expert Junior

    Nose: Very vegetal to start. A long since expired autumn bonfire, that consisted of wet leaves, potato/carrot peel, roasted pine nuts and dry dead oak. Very feint sweetness, with a little salty and dry barley. The smoke has a beautiful wispyness to it, as it comes and goes. Lends the nose an air of sophistication. 

    Palate: Sweet potato and orange pith soup. Maybe some cumin and parsley sprinkled in for a garnish. Smoke is still an old bonfire but now with some honey baked ham and hot apple cider to watch it go out. A little sweeter on the palate than the nose but still has that oaky wood chip bitterness to compliment the malt.

    Body: Quite soft, almost cushioned with this level of alcohol. Very desirable when combined with this level of age and sophistication.

    Finish: A sweet dry oak/hazelnut finish. With the smoke hanging in the air like an abandoned croft with the windows boarded up. The ashiness never comes.  A little longer finish than expected for a 43%er but not eternal by any means. 

    It shows how much more you can get out of a whisky with a moderate level of peat smoke. No need to chase ppm. Old school peaty sophistication. A truly fantastic whisky for the price and is becoming increasingly hard to find. Stock up people!
    • Nose
      90 90
    • Taste
      92 92
    • Finish
      89 89

  55. Mannheimer scored this whisky 92 points Expert Junior

    Very nice balance between fruit, smoke, salt / iodine and sweetness, the oily character of Caol Ila is very present, just awesome.
    • Nose
      Oily peat smoke with a lot of oak, very elegant with citrus fruits, white fruits and clear sea breeze and maritime notes (iodine).
      The smoke then goes towards the barbecue and juicy pears appear, becoming even clearer after opening.
    • Taste
      Sweet start, the smoke is there, but not intrusive. Fruits, brown sugar, sweet again, this pleasant sweetness is a wonderful counterpoint to the oily peat smoke, peppery notes are noticeable in the background, hammer part.
    • Finish
      Medium to long with smoke, a bit of oak and a slight acidity.

  56. hs305 scored this whisky 90 points Connoisseur

    [December, 2003]  Together with friends I emptied a bottle that I bought for 73 Euro in November, 2002. 

    [November, 2010]  Together with friends I emptied another bottle that I bought for 49,50 Euro in February, 2003.  In my old rating system (ten scales that translate into WB points: 50 - 66 - 75 - 80 - 82,5 - 85 - 87,5 - 90 - 92,5 - 95) I scored it 87,5.  I took no detailed notes.

  57. ctu scored this whisky 86 points Connoisseur

    Complex CI, which works really well in cask strength.
    • Nose
      Sweet peat, lemon oil, salted caramel, herbals, hay and camphor
    • Taste
      Citruses, tannic oak, vanilla, salted caramel, herbals and phenol
    • Finish
      Medium length, clear, ashy

  58. hs305 scored this whisky 90 points Connoisseur

    [May, 2017]  I had this dram during the Manager's Masterclass tasting at Caol Ila open day (Feis Ile).  So it is the most recent batch.

    When this 18 year old was first released in 2002 I instantly loved it for its boldness and rich flavours.  And the price was very okayish back then with just 55 Eurobucks.  Since then I regularly try new batches and still they are all good.  But there are significant differences too, so the newer batches became more woody and drying due to heavy tannins (obviously they fell victim to the cask supply shortage too as many other standard whiskies did).  Nevertheless a very nice and easy-to-drink dram with a charming peaty-sherry-vanilla profile.
    • Nose
      88 88
    • Taste
      86 86
    • Finish
      85 85

  59. OlivierSegers scored this whisky 86 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      85 85
    • Taste
      88 88
    • Finish
      88 88

  60. hs305 scored this whisky 90 points Connoisseur

    [November, 2010]  I had this during a community tasting near Bonn.In
    my old rating system (ten scales that translate into WB points: 50
    - 66 - 75 - 80 - 82,5 - 85 - 87,5 - 90 - 92,5 - 95) I scored it 87,5.  My
    notes state a bold and complex profile on both bourbon and sherry casks.  The taste is rich and well rounded...

  61. LiquidThoughts scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    That all sounds like it. not necessarily multi-layered or long as a description of my circumstances, but somehow he convinces with his consistent, maritime simplicity
    • Nose
      Brine, finely oily as I like it at Caol Ila, some hay, lime, nice grapes
    • Taste
      Salty, motor oil, bitter-kräutrig, thyme, lime with shell, hints of vanilla and caramel with beautiful pepper on the back
    • Finish
      Dry oily, citrus notes, fish on the beach

  62. Helgo scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      87 87
    • Taste
      86 86
    • Finish
      84 84

  63. Eilean a' Cheo scored this whisky 90 points Expert Senior

    soft and delicious, a perfect first class everyday dram
    • Nose
      subtle but yet complex peat, sweet and coastal, wood smoke,campfire, lemon wax, some farmy notes as well
    • Taste
      mellowed ,waxed, buttery, vanilla, creamy lemon fudge, a bit watered down but still powerfull,  with a middle aged peat adding layers of complexity
    • Finish
      long but subtle because of the low abv

  64. Arno Pelgrim scored this whisky 87 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      87 87
    • Taste
      90 90
    • Finish
      87 87

  65. Gilles_V scored this whisky 86 points Expert Junior

    • Nose
      95 95
    • Taste
      84 84
    • Finish
      84 84

  66. Gilles_V scored this whisky 86 points Expert Junior

    Of a noble austerity. Its complex nose is worth the detour.
    • Nose
      Dry peat but also a palette of complex aromas, difficult to describe (coriander, lemon, ...). Complex and delicious.
    • Taste
      Peated, slightly peppery, less oily than the average Caol Ila. Near a Bowmore.
    • Finish
      Long enough.

  67. peterhorror scored this whisky 88 points Expert Senior

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

  68. Tobias B scored this whisky 81 points Member Senior

    Feels way younger than 18y, i'm very disappointed. Price/Performance 3 of 10.
    • Nose
      Decent smoke, but not the medicinal version like laphproaig, it's more like smoked ham. If you take some time you'll get used to it and there are some really pleasant vanilla and citrus notes with malty sweetnes.
    • Taste
      Lots of smoke and a bit spicy. The vanilla and citrus notes from the nose can only hardly be recognized, what a pity!
    • Finish
      Medium, smoke dominates, a bit of oak remains but nothing special

  69. domani scored this whisky 80 points Expert Senior

    Very spicy and powerful but well balanced with smoky sweet flavors, not very complex but down to earth and with character - 22.10.2016
    • Nose
      Phenolic smoke, oak, mineral, oily, salty-maritime, lemongrass
    • Taste
      Smoky-sweet, it spreads in the mouth, first oily then drier, black pepper, spicy, salty, oak
    • Finish
      medium

  70. Achany scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    What a nice dram. More gentle and complex than the 12y old. Smoke, salt, some fruits and nice spices. Very well balanced and long finish. Would be interesting to see how more ABV would work on this one.
    • Nose
      87 87
    • Taste
      88 88
    • Finish
      89 89

  71. WhiskyLovingPianist scored this whisky 86 points Connoisseur

    A showdown between Colin Dunn vs Joe Clark. Three drams each, blind. Colin's no.#2
    N: Interesting fact: Caol Ila has only been released as a single malt since 2002! Surely Ardbeg, or is it Lagavulin? Regardless, sweet, oily peat it is.
    T: Ok, er, Laphroaig?,… No Ardbeg? It's a bit thin with a green note, old green [but no pot-still]. Could be a good age, 18+ No water required.
    F: Yep, thumbs up for the finish.
    C: Aah, I love Caol Ila. Feels like it needs more power is all. Joe's no.#2 is up. WB

    Scores a B[-]

  72. robain scored this whisky 85 points Specialist

    • Nose
      85 85
    • Taste
      85 85
    • Finish
      88 88

  73. zormik scored this whisky 86 points Expert Senior

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

  74. ovanpuyvelde scored this whisky 86 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      85 85
    • Taste
      87 87
    • Finish
      84 84

  75. pianoman scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      Subtle aromatic smoke. Bright fruits, lemons, grapes. Vanilla. Coffee, earth.
    • Taste
      Gentle smoke. Fruity, then a little sharper. Chocolate with chili. Liquorice. Pleasant warming.

  76. spigray scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      90 90
    • Taste
      88 88
    • Finish
      87 87

  77. spigray scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    n: the peat is nicely embedded in malty, leathery and spicy aromas.
        slightly ashy, slightly tarry. salted caramel, dried wood, seashore and beach.
        not spectacular, yet very nice. really!
    t: creamy mouthfeef, salted caramel again, a good thread of smoke, quite malty.
       medium dry, roasted chestnuts, walnuts, black tea. I can hardly find any fruit.
    f: a bit short maybe, but very clean. makes you want more.
    comments: a very good dram, old school gentleman.
    88/100

  78. ApricotOne scored this whisky 87 points Expert Senior

    A really great malt. It offers all the facets one would expect from an Islay whisky. The smoke is more towards campfire than phenolic. The smoke is well integrated and a bit more discreet than the younger brother of the 12er but the oak freight is one size bigger. Interesting is the finish of the pepper notes similar to the Chilichatch of Talisker but more towards black pepper. No matter more complex than the 12, if you give it time, can find many things in this malt: salty sea air, campfires, citrus fruits, subtle vanilla, pepper and more.
    • Nose
      88 88
    • Taste
      88 88
    • Finish
      87 87

  79. hartist scored this whisky 82 points Expert Senior

    A little disappointed by this 18 too wise, finally I prefer 12.
    • Nose
      Quite intense, a little sweet and quite complex. Discreet smoke, citrus, vanilla, spices, vegetal aromas, malty sweetness. Less oily than 12.
    • Taste
      Light body, soft texture. Smoke of chimney a little liquorice, notes of fruits (pears), grilled almond, spices (clove), malted notes, touch of coffee.
    • Finish
      Medium finish on cold smoke, soot and a salty touch.

  80. Daan Tje scored this whisky 85 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      86 86
    • Taste
      86 86
    • Finish
      86 86

  81. Tom na Gruagaich scored this whisky 80 points Connoisseur

    Amazingly soft. Not overly complex, but pleasant to drink.

    "Blindtasting"
    • Nose
      Beautiful peat, does not smell too old, a little oak, a little vanilla, citrus but above all aromatic peat.
    • Taste
      very soft, slightly dry, smoky.
    • Finish
      strong pepper, of course also plenty of peat, a bit maritime, hints of sea, some oak and light citrus notes.

  82. Helgo scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    Nose: slightly oily, neat oak, peat, musty kelp, ripe apple
    Mouth: salt, peat, oak, strong, green salad, slightly bitter and fruity, slightly peppery
    Finish: balanced, long with smoke and some pepper
    • Nose
      88 88
    • Taste
      88 88
    • Finish
      88 88

  83. AH Whiskyvitrine scored this whisky 85 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      85 85
    • Taste
      86 86
    • Finish
      87 87

  84. Rogier Engel scored this whisky 86 points Expert Senior

    Not too dominating smoky, much more subtle than the 12 years but also a lot more expensive.
    • Nose
      84 84
    • Taste
      86 86
    • Finish
      88 88

  85. Kaltduscher scored this whisky 84 points Expert Senior

    Blindverkostung.
    • Nose
      Complex. Fruity and sour with limes and lemons. Apples. Pears. Add brown sugar and hints of mint. Salty sea air. Freshly mown grass. The smoke is well integrated.
    • Taste
      Creamy mouthfeel. Butter. Black pepper. Salt. The oak flavor is very present. The smoke is stronger than in the nose.
    • Finish
      Dry and spicy. Cereals. Pepper. Salt. Espresso. Dark chocolate. Cold smoke.

  86. Landryn scored this whisky 88 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      89 89
    • Taste
      87 87
    • Finish
      90 90

  87. sascuas scored this whisky 87 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      87 87
    • Taste
      85 85
    • Finish
      90 90

  88. tkoppelaar scored this whisky 87 points Expert Junior

    • Nose
      Peat but not exaggerated. Grapefruit, green apples. Touch of glue. Chocolate, malt, sea air a little bit of smoke.
    • Taste
      Very soft in taste, alcohol in the background. Light peat and smoke. Apples, citrus. Sea salt and a little caramel.
    • Finish
      Long, dry. Fruit mixed with peat and smoke. Zilt and sea air. Very little pepper

  89. thijs100 scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    It's balanced and fairly rich, but lacks something that gives it a little extra.
    • Nose
      Not too much peat, more farmy actually with some sweetcorn and toffee. Some citrus in the background, orange and tangerine. Very crisp and clean.
    • Taste
      Wood smoke and earthy peat with licorice and a pinch of both salt and pepper. Soft aromas of pink grapefruit and caramelized oranges. Pretty rich in flavour.
    • Finish
      Lengthy with plenty peat smoke and some oak as well.

  90. Blo scored this whisky 87 points Expert Senior

    It's very good, but not memorable either. The Caol Ila paw is pretty good.Very elegant, but I think he may be a little too much of his 43% to really make an impression.
    • Nose
      Caol Ila. The peat is there but more erased than in the 12 years. Nose rather oily (I understand), a little lemon. It is elegant and fine, more melted and balanced than the 12 years old. Some smoky and salty notes, then old wet clothes with aeration. Pretty complex and fresh.
    • Taste
      Lemon indeed, more greedy than the nose foreshadowed, some notes of toffee and fruity. More peaty than nose, it is still less aggressive than 12 years.
    • Finish
      Moderately long, a little bitter on the end (the influence of sherry can be?)

  91. MadScientist scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    blind tasting
    • Nose
      87 87
    • Taste
      88 88
    • Finish
      88 88

  92. Kaltduscher scored this whisky 84 points Expert Senior

    Blind tasting. A few more percent by volume would have stood well on the malt.
    • Nose
      Complex. Fruity and sour with limes and lemons. Apples. Pears. Add brown sugar and hints of mint. Salty sea air. Freshly mown grass. The smoke is well integrated.
    • Taste
      Creamy mouthfeel. Butter. Black pepper. Salt. The oak flavor is very present. The smoke is stronger than in the nose.
    • Finish
      Dry and spicy. Cereals. Pepper. Salt. Espresso. Dark chocolate. Cold smoke.

  93. Patrick93 scored this whisky 87 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      90 90
    • Taste
      88 88
    • Finish
      86 86

  94. MadScientist scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      90 90
    • Taste
      90 90
    • Finish
      93 93

  95. squaadgras scored this whisky 85 points Connoisseur

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

  96. steinrich scored this whisky 88 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      89 89
    • Taste
      88 88
    • Finish
      85 85

  97. Fight65 scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

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

  98. Gilles_V scored this whisky 86 points Expert Junior

    • Nose
      88 88
    • Taste
      85 85
    • Finish
      88 88

  99. MrRancho scored this whisky 83 points Expert Senior

    Beautifully balanced interplay of tastes, no dominant note, very good Caol Ila!
    unfortunately only 43%
    • Nose
      Peat, pear, seaweed
    • Taste
      Peat, pear, seaweed, salt, creamy
    • Finish
      medium

  100. MrRancho scored this whisky 83 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      83 83
    • Taste
      83 83
    • Finish
      83 83

  101. FernetBranco scored this whisky 79 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      80 80
    • Taste
      79 79
    • Finish
      79 79

  102. Dionysus scored this whisky 88 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      84 84
    • Taste
      90 90
    • Finish
      86 86

  103. Shane_IL scored this whisky 88 points Expert Senior

    Real pity about the finish, otherwise this is an amazing whisky with a really subtle yet complex nose and palate.
    • Nose
      Ash. Old Campfire. A very nice herbal note. Lemon zest. Wet previously charred wood. Some mineral salty notes. Metallic medicinal notes, like hospital equipment. Juicy citrus. A bit of toffee or vanilla or something lurking in the back, hard to pin down. 
    • Taste
      Incredibly sublime. A burst of rich creamy toffee and juicy lemons before smokey wood and earthy peat gently roll over the tongue. Pure bliss.
    • Finish
      It's Diageo, so chill filtered and disappointingly short. A mild lemony note and some smoke and lapsang soochong, really faint and fades all too soon. 

  104. JurgenRubens scored this whisky 88 points Member Senior

    A very well balanced whisky and an easy drinking one. With an higher abv it would only get better.
    • Nose
      Aromatic, fresh and green, sea air, a hint of smoke.
    • Taste
      Medium body, peat, salt, grass, oak, malt.
    • Finish
      Quite long with more smoke and oak coming out.

  105. Astrid scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      90 90
    • Taste
      86 86
    • Finish
      89 89

  106. Astrid scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    Much milder and more reserved on the nose than the 12-year-old, but he appears a bit more complex. In terms of taste and finish, however, I find no arguments that justify a price difference of € 50. Still a welcome dram that should be given time.
    • Nose
      90 90
      fine wood smoke minimally medical
      beats with hints of campfire ash, with a full fruity sweetness and maritime elements, vanilla and caramel are also present in combination with butter, raisins and citrus in the background,
      later jelly bananas, a hint of sandalwood and fine nougat
    • Taste
      86 86
      light aromatic smoke, soft caramel moves into the foreground flanked by striking
      Oak spice and subtle vanilla, develops a tingling effect on the tongue, the caramel acquires a chocolate component over time and looks a bit playful in the throat
    • Finish
      89 89
      excellent, getting dry with a little milk chocolate, cold
      Smoke combined with smoked ham, marginally bitter oak, sugar syrup, overall medium in length, the greatest perseverance is shown by the smoke and a buttery, heavy sweetness

  107. Alex scored this whisky 86 points Expert Senior

    very good balance between the coal ashes, brine, honey sweetness and coastal notes. Surprisingly good body at only 43%

  108. cezark scored this whisky 88 points Expert Senior

    raitng for 2006 edition 

  109. WhiskyLovingPianist scored this whisky 86 points Connoisseur

    'Lacklustre'

    N: Peaty, yeasty, meaty and sweet, smelling more potent than its 43%. Limey and sticky pollen note accompanying the light sweet smoky peat oil. Some [orange] fruits coming through and pancakes. Very Bladnoch like to me.

    T: Flat delivery - oily, vanilla sweet and peaty, tasting over vatted.
    F: Aniseed and mint notes infused with sweet oily peat, floury buttered malt and charred wood.
    C: Gentle, inoffensive, enjoyable easy drinker which also comes across as homogenised and lacklustre. I'll offer the idea that the large scales of production and mechanization needed to produce the 18yo in quantities large enough to meet demand have drawn the vigour out of individual bottlings. Compare this to Ardbeg 10 [let alone single cask bottlings], and you'll see this 18yo offers no competition whatsoever.

    Scores a B-

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