Caol Ila 1997 - Unpeated Style

Overall rating
Single Malt
Distillery Bottling
Bottling serie
Diageo Special Releases 2015
Stated Age
17 years old
Ex-Bourbon Casks
55.9 % Vol.
700 ml 750 ml
Bottle code
Added on
19 Oct 2015 9:10 am by mds51
ColoredNon-chillfilteredCask Strength

Average value

€ 111,99

27 × in wishlist

187 × member ratings

410 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Caol Ila 1997 - Unpeated Style

29 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 86.31 points

  1. mothers_finest scored this whisky 89 points Expert Senior

    Great whisky and an absolute surprise! Sweet, maritime, oaky, cereals, syrupy, caramel, smoky (yes, smoky, because no one need tell me something unpeated) and again sticky powdered sugar sweet. The alcohol is super involved. The whisky is somehow strong, appears ripe and is round in the taste. Finish impeccably, medium long, pleasantly sweet (again). I would not have thought for a standard Caol Ila .... great!

    I just hope the sample is real - because I order now a buddy ....

  2. Archer scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    A little less wood, a little less dry, that's it. The nose is already very appetizing for an unpeated Caol Ila. Unfortunately, palate and finish can not quite keep up with the promising nose.
    • Nose
      OK, unpeated style. If that's not smoke, which tickles my nose, then it's at least tasty maritime notes. Sea salt, sun-dried seaweed, rusty anchor chain. Something tart spicy behind, thyme maybe or bay leaves, anise, ginger. Acts very fresh overall, the focus is the maritime, plus a splash of lemon juice for the fruit.
    • Taste
      He has a lot of power and shows that too. The spices from the nose - minus ginger, plus pepper - romp with a fruit pulp of apples and pears for the bet - and win. The spice leads, soon has wood next to it, now fine herbs, makes the mouth dry. Even later daszustoßendem honey and some toffee and bread dough succeed in no repression.
    • Finish
      Medium long to long, dry, peppery, (spicy), woody, slightly citric sweet.

  3. markjedi1 scored this whisky 86 points Connoisseur

    A grand Caol Ila that warms up your insides. Winter dram!
    • Nose
      The nose offers loads of sweet barley sugars, caramel, vanilla, speculoos and some crème brûlée. Maritime hints? Sure, but in the background. Some citrus peel with a salty lining. Some wet earth. Fresh young apples with a drop of honey start to dominate after a few minutes. It becomes sweeter all the time and even flirts with tropical fruit.
    • Taste
      On the palate, salt and citrus dominate unmistakably. Bittersweet on grapefruit and lime, loads of salty elements, upholstered with a green spiciness which gives it some punch. Think mint, pepper and some woodspice. The ABV makes it powerful, but not scorching. This is perfectly drinkable without water. And very tasty indeed!
    • Finish
      The finish is wonderfully long, warm, a touch smoky (must be from the wood) and bittersweet at the death.

  4. Marko_I did not rate this whisky Connoisseur

    Good, crisp, halfway interesting, but nothing more. The earlier bottlings with 8 and 12 years I found very delicious and with the 50 € pleasant prizes. The unpeated CI does not seem to get better with age and is priced at ~ 100 € anyway off the window.
    • Nose
      strong, crisp, not unpleasant sharpness (so between cloves, cinnamon and ginger), but can also be well wegverdünnen, candy, orange peel, malt, shortbread, lightly burnt sugar cookies
    • Taste
      immediately spicy (again cinnamon and ginger, also pepper), short orange peel, but then more bitter than sweet or biscuit, dark chocolate, spicy-hot (also diluted), strong woody, quite dry ... and there is also a good, bitter But herbal infusion, not as sweet as Ricola, not as bitter as herbal bitters, somewhere in between with a helping of hay
    • Finish
      long, hot, dry, dark chocolate, pepper, a rest dry herbs

  5. rottendon scored this whisky 85 points Connoisseur

    Nice, but nothing that stays in your memory. Especially with a little heat, the nose is a bit too sour, Babybäuerchen. The mouth is flawless but unspectacular, the finish too. It works better too!

  6. hs305 scored this whisky 86 points Connoisseur

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

    This is a sublime dram compared to the standard (peated) Caol Ila style but it shows very nicely the fine profile of this malt.  It is barley sweet and quite spicy imbedded in a heavy wooden structure (that in fact is a little too oaky for me).  But the complexity of this whisky is astonishing as is its smooth and mellow mouthfeel and finish.  A must try for every Caol Ila lover simply to experience the "naked" (unmasked) distillery character of this (still) underrated hidden gem.  And use some water on this as it will release a lot more aromas and flavours - it is an excellent swimmer!

    Nevertheless I like the more powerful peated (and sherried) versions a lot better...

    PS:  Whoever clicked on the "smokey" tasting tag must have mistook the release - there is no smoke nor peat in this edition at all hence they named it "unpeated"...
    • Nose
      88 88
    • Taste
      86 86
    • Finish
      87 87

  7. pianoman scored this whisky 84 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      Mild, slightly fruity. Apple Cake. Some marzipan and vanilla. Cornflakes, white bread. A touch of lemon peel.
    • Taste
      Sweetish, grassy, spicy. Physalis, lemon cookies. Chilli. Fresh hay. Green tea. White chocolate.

  8. St. Pauli scored this whisky 83 points Connoisseur

    The nose was great, but unfortunately the rest couldn't quite catch up. I found this one way too dry and think that a shorter maturation would have been much more favourable.
    • Nose
      88 88
      Colour: yellow gold
      The nose is certainly maritime. It's not smokey, but some elements from the coastal heritage of the distillery are there: brine, kelp, even some fish. Next, there is some almond, vanilla, barley sugar, ginger bread, and cooling mint. It's a style that is rarely present in the whisky landscape, and it fills this gap with dignity as far as the nose is concerned.
    • Taste
      83 83
      Now it's fresher and fruitier, having lost most (if not all of) the coastal element. There is yellow fruit (peach) and white fruit (apple), plus some citrus (lemon). Further, the wood has delivered vanilla, but also dry nutmeg and ginger. At the end, there may be a pinch of salt.
    • Finish
      79 79
      Rather dry and woody, with a salty tang. There is plain wood, a lot of ginger and nutmeg, a hint of tinned peach, and brine and kelp.

  9. hillgod scored this whisky 86 points Member Senior

    • Nose
      83 83
    • Taste
      85 85
    • Finish
      88 88

  10. MadScientist scored this whisky 86 points Connoisseur

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


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