Overall rating
Whiskybase ID
Single Malt
Ian Macleod (IM)
Bottling serie
Dun Bheagan
Stated Age
25 years old
Number of bottles
46.0 % Vol.
700 ml
Added on
03 aug 2015 12:01 pm by Connaisseur
UncoloredNon-chillfilteredSingle Cask Whisky
Overall rating

Average value

€ 170.66

Whisky reviews for Caol Ila 1989 IM

One user has left a review for this whisky. Average rating is 87.76 points.

Read the reviews
  1. hs305 scored this whisky 86 points Connoisseur

    [April, 2017]  As all the recent 30+ years Caol Ila bottlings (e.g.,
    by Cadenhead) from the first half of the eighties are all excellent (I
    scored them 90 points and above) I wonder if it is the vintage as such
    or rather the long maturation time that makes them so extraordinary
    good.  That is why I check a slightly younger Caol Ila from the same
    period (1984) https://www.whiskybase.com/whisky/23103/caol-ila-1984-sv.  The make it more interesting I do this in a head-to-head
    to this Caol Ila of the same age (1989).Colour:  The 1984 is around two shades darker (old gold) than the 1989 (pale gold).

    Texture:  The 1984 has a few late, slow and tiny legs and tears.  Same with the 1989 so both show about the same oiliness.

    Nose:  The 1989 offers a medium peaty profile with sweet (vanilla)
    and autumn floral aromas (haystacks on a dried meadow).  Some citrus too
    (lime, orange).  The 1984's nose is more rich and balanced than the
    1989 despite the higher abv and with less peaty/smoky notes.  It reminds
    a little of the 30+ years bottlings mentioned above but compared to
    these it shows much less comlexity (yes, maturation time is
    important!).  Nevertheless it offers more aromas and flavours than the
    1989 (obviously the vintage years make a difference too, probably Diageo
    changed the Caol Ila distillation regime during the whisky crisis of
    the eighties...).  I like the 1984 better...

    Arrival:  The 1984 arrives bold on the palate and instantly coats the
    mouth with some peppery/hot moments due to the high abv.  Again it
    reminds a little of the 30+ years bottlings.  The 1989 comes smooth and a
    little adstringent (cold ashes).  It is by far not as coating as the
    1984.  This round wins the 1984 again.

    Body:  The 1989 shows a rather light body mainly on bourbon-sweet
    (demara sugar, vanilla) and peaty flavours that is comparable to the
    nose.  Some additional spices pop up after a while.  The profile of the
    1984 is again much more complex and rounded with significant more peaty
    flavours than in the nose.  The barley sweetness emerges over time and
    is complemented by nice wooden notes.  Some maritime aromas too (salt,
    seaweed).  Again it shows a comparable profile to the 30+ years
    bottlings that are, of course, even richer and more complex than this
    one.  But the 1984 is significantly more delicious than the rather just
    two-dimensional 1989.

    Finish:  Long finish with the 1989 that comes in different waves and
    still sticks to your throat even after minutes, I like that.   But still
    it is somehow simple and not very complex - an easy to drink but easy
    to forget dram too.  The 1984's finish is of medium length and adds even
    more sugars to the profile.  I vote for a draw in this round.

    Water:  With some water the 1984's opens up more and the mouthfeel
    gets smoother (no hotness anymore).  But the palate and the finish
    flattens a little bit, so I like the 1984 best when neat.  No water is
    needed on the 1989 (it gets even more sweeter: this drives it out of any

    Both are nice and easy drams to sip but the 1984 is a clear winner
    due to a much more complex, rich and balanced profile.  This reminds of
    the great 30+ years bottlings from the same period (vintage counts
    here!) that are nevertheless at least one class better (extra maturation
    time counts too!).  It seems that Caol Ila from the early eighties
    matures in dignity...
    • Nose
      86 86
    • Taste
      85 85
    • Finish
      87 87


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