Caol Ila 1996 HL

Overall rating
Whiskybase ID
Single Malt
Hunter Laing (HL)
Bottling serie
The Old Malt Cask
Stated Age
18 years old
Refill Hogshead
HL 11407
Number of bottles
50.0 % Vol.
200 ml 700 ml
Added on
20 may 2015 8:01 pm by Black Widow
UncoloredNon-chillfilteredSingle Cask Whisky

Average value

€ 155.11

one in wishlist

34 × member ratings

17 × in collection

Whisky reviews for Caol Ila 1996 HL

10 users have left 10 reviews for this whisky. Average rating is 84.73 points.

  1. recursiewhisky scored this whisky 79 points Expert Senior

    This is quite a sweet Caol Ila where the smoke is more subtle and integrated in the whole mix of aromas. I did not recognize this as an Caol Ila due to the sweet earthy aromas and the lack of the creamy freshly cut grass tones. For me it’s a bit to much on the sweet side and the initial taste has some musty dirty tones to it that are not that pleasant.
    All in all a nice Caol Ila that will please the sweet-tooth.

    Tasted blind during PO2016
    • Nose
      A rich, full and sweet whisky with aromas of Earthy smoke, railway sleepers, ash, tar, charcoal, honey, aniseeds, citrus (mostly lemon/lime), hint of dried fruits, grass, vanilla, hint of grapefruit peel, hint of sea breeze and oak.
    • Taste
      A rich, powerful and sweet whisky with aromas of smoke, aniseeds, tar, musty, pepper, brine, honey, icing sugar, fennel, maple syrup, thick fatty vanilla, earthy tones, lemon zest, orange, floral tones, custard, maple syrup and dry oak.
    • Finish
      A medium long and slightly drying finish with aromas of smoke, peat, earthy tones, honey, vanilla, pepper, citrus, subtle oak and icing sugar.

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  3. Slàinte Mhath scored this whisky 85 points Super Administrator

    At most parties, there is at least one character behaving a bit peculiar, as if not belonging to the group. That's the one. In a blind tasting, I would have taken this 1996 Caol Ila from Hunter Laing for a Laphroaig. The nose features musty, earthy peat smoke, briny seaweed, pears and loads of white pepper. At first sip, your palate is hit by a pyroclastic flow of dusty peatiness followed by coal ash, subtle vanilla and lemon zest. Over-brewed tea and wood spices dominate the medium finish. With that being said, I'm somewhat disgusted but weirdly fascinated.

    RATING: 3.7/5.0 stars ≙ 85 pts → ABOVE AVERAGE [+]
    • Nose
      87 87
    • Taste
      83 83
    • Finish
      84 84

  4. Norbs scored this whisky 87 points Specialist

    Give this one time, lots of time. Really, it will add at least 2 more points.

  5. Cubey666 scored this whisky 86 points Connoisseur

    Tasted during a blind tasting competition in May/June 2016. (PO16)

    my guess for this sample was correct :-).
    • Nose
      87 87
    • Taste
      86 86
    • Finish
      86 86

  6. Sandman scored this whisky 75 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      Turfrook, limoen, vanille, meloen, peer, druiven, peper, appel en gras / hooi.
    • Taste
      Turfrook, limoen, sinaasappel, vanille, druiven, meloen, toffee, appel en gras
    • Finish
      Lang, droog, limoen, tintelend, peper en turf

  7. squaadgras scored this whisky 86 points Connoisseur

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

  8. Hvdree scored this whisky 85 points Connoisseur

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

  9. KayMeertens scored this whisky 85 points Connoisseur

    Didn't like it very much initially, but it improved later on.
    • Nose
      Apple, peat, orange and a whiff cucumber. Rather clean despite a short whiff of salami and slightly metallic. Later a light pastry-like maltiness. With water a little plum and pear. 
    • Taste
      Peat, salt, apple, pepper. Slightly nutty when adding water. Then also some white chocolate and grape.
    • Finish
      Peat, green apple, salty popcorn and a little cactus.

  10. DrinkingWhisky scored this whisky 87 points Expert Senior

    It smells a bit musty at the beginning, which reduces the score with 1 or 2 points. It clearly grows when you give it time in the glass, and adding a drop of water does wonders to this whisky! Tasted during a blind tasting competition in May/June 2016.
    • Nose
      At first very peaty with a musty undertone (wet paper), some wood, cereal, floral, grassy, with honied vanilla on the background. Over time the mustiness disappears and makes room for lovely citrusy tones (lemon notably). Adding a drop of water makes a world of difference! Much more citrus, and also grassy tones for some reason. 
    • Taste
      Comes in fiercely with dry peatiness, lots of citrus (lemon and oranges), heather (however that may taste, but I imagine it tastes like this), some buttery vanilla lingering on the background too. Adding a drop of water makes it even more balanced. 
    • Finish
      Warm and relatively long whereby the peatiness slowly gives room to sweetness. 

  11. markjedi1 scored this whisky 86 points Connoisseur

    Vanilla Custard
    Since the brothers Fred and Stuart Laing each went their own way – in which Fred kept the company Douglas Laing and brought his daughter Cara and son-in-low Chris Leggat on board and Stuart Laing started a new company Hunter Laing with his two sons – the Old Malst Cask belongs to the latter. The whisky under this banner is traditionally bottled at 50% ABV, so the same is true for this Caol Ila 18 Year Old from 1996.

    Oh, yes! This nose is great. Typical top notch Coal Ila. Think lemon, seaweeds, wet rocks, grapefruit, stockfish, plasticine, lime, cow stable, goat cheese and vanilla. In any random order, for no two whiffs of this stuff are the same. The only thing lacking is smoke. This one is sweet and salty, but there is absolutely no smoke on the nose.

    It is surprisingly gentle on the palate. More of the same with a grainy dirtiness on the tongue, if you get my meaning. Now the smoke does develop, but it also turns very, very sweet. A big dollop of honey and quite some vanilla custard. Really. But also really good!

    The finish is medium long on nothing more (nor less) than sweet smoke.

    Boy, this was good. A great battle between sweet and salt on the nose and palate, but in the end (get it?) the salt had to yield.


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