Whiskybase uses tracking cookies in order to improve the website. Do you allow Whiskybase to place these cookies?

You can always change your decision under the privacy settings of your account.

Regardless of your choice Whiskybase places functional cookies to store settings and account information.


Caol Ila 1983

Overall rating
Single Malt
Distillery Bottling
Bottling serie
Special Release
Stated Age
30 years old
Refill American & European Oak
Number of bottles
55.1 % Vol.
700 ml 750 ml
Bottle code
L4259DQ0000 50078995
Added on
21 Sep 2014 11:07 am by GLEN MAUR
Cask Strength

Average value

€ 635,12

Whisky Reviews for Caol Ila 1983

34 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 91.72 points

  1. hs305 scored this whisky 91 points Connoisseur

    [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 25 year old https://www.whiskybase.com/whiskies/whisky/16393/caol-ila-25-year-old.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!
    • Nose
      93 93
    • Taste
      91 91
    • Finish
      93 93

  2. Slàinte Mhath scored this whisky 95 points Administrator

    Oh. My. God. On our whisky journey, there eventually comes a moment where we instantly realize: this is it. The one Single Malt we have always been looking for. Caol Ila 30 is the crown of the distillery's OB (bottle no. 0181, 55.1% ABV). Smoldering bonfire smoke, distant citrus fruits and notes of an old, earthy salt cellar enchant the nose. On the palate, the sweet and sour arrival migrates towards vegetal peatiness with well-balanced, mildly bitter wood spices. And the finish? Excellent. Intense, aromatic and slowly fading. Dare I say perfect? Slàinte!

    RATING: 5.0/5.0 stars ≙ 95 pts → PERFECT
    • Nose
      95 95
    • Taste
      94 94
    • Finish
      95 95

  3. peatbogger scored this whisky 94 points Specialist

    A wonderful sample from Slàinte Mhath.
    Spent almost 30 minutes just nosing.
    The finish is exceptionally lipsmacking.
    • Nose
      92 92
      First off after pouring there is light smoke with a twist of peat to it.
      Not young agressive peat, but rather dignified in it's presence. Not sure if this diminish over time, or if it just was the plethora of other aromas that made me push it to the back of my mind.
      You can tell there is some age to it.
      Every time I put my nose in it I seemed to pick up something new. Just to have a hard time picking it up again.
      There's apples, there's lemon. There's salt, there's pure soil. There's leather and there's wood.
      One note I managed to find the sweet spot to detect was that of "Romeo y Julieta" cigar wrapper.
      One of my favourit cigar brands, mild but full of flavour.
      Sofisticated complex is what it is.
    • Taste
      94 94
      Arrives in a cloud of smoke.
      A blast of salty liqorice and asphalt.
      Going into a citric fruityness.
      Build up of peppery spice with a dry ash note.
      Neat it has just the right punch for its richness.
    • Finish
      97 97
      Definetely long. Spicy warmth clinging for some time.
      Most prominent to me is salty hickory smoked bacon with a sweet dark berry jam.

  4. Horror_Vacui scored this whisky 92 points Member Senior

    For me, the spearhead on Caol Ila bottlings. As much as Diageo is suspended from the UBs in the Core Range, so much do they show that they are capable of satisfying the Malthead. And how! The malt is complex and versatile, but not too restless in the mouth and nose. The nose is absolutely great and invites you to spend hours smelling. For me, Caol Ila in the age group often build in the mouth - but this bottling holds the level. For me this best bottling after the renovation I was allowed to taste so far. I would like it more often if there was no price tag with "500" on it.
    • Nose
      Dozens of flavors pour out of the glass immediately after pouring in. The charcoal grill on which a few coals smolder from noon, Pu-erh tea almost only in China (the extremely strong-earthy), the smell from the oven after you Made apple chips. The smell of freshly cut and rolled tobacco leaves (as in the cigar stand on the Aquavitae and Whisky Fair Rhine-Ruhr). Add to that the scent of a berry smoothie made from fresh fruit (bramble, raspberry and blueberry). After some time and rest in the glass, there is a touch of maritime notes - damp dew that someone left lying on the pier in front of the distillery. Even more time in the glass still brings the smells of a cold-pressed olive oil from green olives, mixed with a little walnut oil and a splash of citrus (lime). A my / mü leather and blackberry flavors float in the background.
    • Taste
      without water he is a little too peppery-spicy. But you can already guess where the journey goes. A sourish (citrus, red currant, Granny Smith!) And slightly dry feeling immediately occupy the whole mouth. A few drops of water ... Holla, the nose is smokier immediately, and the apple chips come through full broadside. Even with a little water, it remains peppery when it starts, like red Kampot pepper. Immediately he never full-bodied and slightly oily the mouth completely. Many fruits, especially red and green apples, a piece of mango, half a fresh Pithaya, a spoon of berry smoothie from the nose. But also spicy oak flashes, framed by bright meadow honey and a splash of citrus fruit, here rather pink grapefruit. Chewing tobacco and leather also here, but very discreet, even walnut oil is there. And all the time everything is framed by a nice, not too dense smoke flavor.
    • Finish
      Long, very very long. In the beginning, it is fruity and bitter over time. The mouth becomes dry.

  5. markjedi1 scored this whisky 96 points Connoisseur

    I get a bit homesick, tasting this. I wanna go bck to Islay. Wouldn’t you? This Caol Ila is simply perfect. Thanks for the huge sample, Jan!
    • Nose
      Thanks to the nose I am immediately thrown back to Port Askaig, where I was looking for the ideal spot to take a nice picture of this distillery. The scent of the bay with its salty breeze, the threat of rain in the air, soft peat, creamy vanilla and some mildly burnt sugars. All of this upholstered with dark fruit and a rich, sweet smokiness. Leave it to breathe for a few moments and it becomes nicely waxy. A bonfire on the beach, aromatic oils, some lemon juice in the background, as well as some apricots and pineapple. But also rusted saws and wood shavings. The shed of a furniture maker. Ginger and liquorice. Delicate and enchanting!
    • Taste
      As delicate as the nose is, so sturdy is the taste. Powerful, smoky, sweet and very spicy on citrus fruit (both lemon, lime and oranges), honey and marzipan, followed by sea weeds, sweet butter, dried garden herbs, crème brûlée with a salty edge that leaves no doubt about the fact that we are indeed on Islay. Midpalate the fruit turns somewhat tropical (banana, mango, pineapple), while creamy oak gives it a lovely bitterness. The complexity of this malt knows no boundaries. 
    • Finish
      The finish is wonderfully long, maritime and offers a new surge of lime juice and salt smoke, but the peat has the final say.

  6. rottendon scored this whisky 91 points Connoisseur

    This is a very good example of a successful Bourbon Maturation, although I honestly have to admit that I've just used the rest in my glass as a supporter of a 1988 Sherry Butt in the warehouse. He was just two classes better and would have made with this release the optimal Nosing Kit.
    • Nose
      The Dram fluctuates between incredibly intense fruity notes, when it is cold and above all moved, and it is warmed up, come on extremely strong leather notes and floor wax, something old style disinfectant. This fruity nose will last long, provided it stays chilled and in motion.
    • Taste
      In the mouth again the fruits together with honey and supple smokiness. The alcohol is expected to be perfectly integrated the mouthfeel oily and to the rear it dries off significantly.
    • Finish
      The finish is long, warm and still fruity, dries noticeably and brings in the end tart oak with a touch of salt.

  7. Horror_Vacui scored this whisky 92 points Member Senior

    • Nose
      94 94
    • Taste
      90 90
    • Finish
      92 92

  8. Kantenmechaniker scored this whisky 92 points Connoisseur

    The nose is great! Mouth and resonance not exceptional but very good. All in all, a great malt, if the Caol Ila would not have been so sparing when pouring ;-)
    • Nose
      Wow, a nose to sink in, I can not sneak in deep enough, light smoke blowing from a decaying campfire, plus a slightly sweetish fruit with a harsh counterpart, creamy, vanilla, nuts, some oak, but quite restrained, something Bacon with salt, with time, the oak spice is stronger and the light fruity notes are more in the background and finally some milk chocolate, more and more clear
    • Taste
      full-bodied, thick, smoke, slightly spicy, with cinnamon, fruit, sweet, as I said with a tart impact, grapefruit or orange peel with peel, oak beats through, alcohol perfectly integrated, beautiful intensity, the cinnamon is above all, slightly chocolaty,
    • Finish
      Nuts, still the tart citrus note with simultaneous sweetness, dry smoke on the palate, the taste in the mouth persists for a very long time, the mouth stays full and it does not become too monotonous

  9. Jackson05 scored this whisky 89 points Member Senior

    Nose: lemon, lime and a good dose of honey. Oysters, brine. Of the three this has the softest nose. Could be the abv for sure. Smoked honey. Hickory, bacon, vanilla, 

    Palate: ashy honey leading the way, creamy, vanilla ice cream

    Finish: ash, vanilla, smoke, brine, green olives, spice, creamy

    Thoughts: this is a sample from a bottle that has been open for a while...oxygen could have affected it, but I can’t say for sure of course 

    • Nose
      1 1
    • Taste
      1 1
    • Finish
      1 1

  10. DenisL scored this whisky 92 points Expert Senior

    Balance (23) Madly delicious Kuila ... tender and affectionate ... I'm in love (92)
    • Nose
      The fragrance is delicate ... I have not tried such Kuil yet ... herbaceous and fruity ... ... ashes and smoke ... lemon (lemon candy) ... paper ... (23)
    • Taste
      The taste is salty, smoky ... even smoked ... spices and fruits in creamy glaze ... wax (23)
    • Finish
      Finish gentle ... fruit ... pepper ... cream and ashes ... wax and lemon peel ... salted caramel ... oak ... freshness (23)


Add tasting tags by clicking the flavours you recognized in this whisky.


Whiskybase is founded in 2007 with the goal to create the biggest resource of whisky information in the world. A community driven website built by and for whisky enthusiasts.  

Whiskybase B.V. 
Zwaanshals 530 
3035 KS Rotterdam 
The Netherlands 

KVK: 60207205
VAT: NL853809112B01

Copyright © 2018

Forgot your password?