Caol Ila 1997

Overall rating
Whiskybase ID
Single Malt
Distillery Bottling
Bottling serie
Unpeated Style - Diageo Special Releases
Stated Age
17 years old
Ex-Bourbon Casks
55.9 % Vol.
700 ml
Diageo Special Releases 2015
Bottle code
Added on
20 Feb 2021 8:20 pm
ColoredNon-chillfilteredCask Strength

Average value

€ 118.91

43 × in wishlist

223 × member ratings

476 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Caol Ila 1997

47 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 85.92 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. TsiAI scored this whisky 88 points Expert Senior

    Room temperature when drinking: 15 ℃

    Viewing Eyes: golden yellow

    Smell Nose: mint, condensed milk toast, milk ice cream, locust nectar, fresh but not thin floral fragrance, Xu is chrysanthemum, grass, small white flower, February orchid, pear flower. Winter jujube, mate tea, green mango, kumquat, cucumber, a little wheat aroma, fresh wood. It's really refreshing, but it's not oily enough, it's not a Bourbon bucket that als likes, deduct points!

    Taste Palate: medium sour, medium sweet, probably the sweetness of bananas, slightly smoked, all kinds of green oranges, green mango peels, apple peels, citrus peels, melon peels. Qingti, honeydew and other blue fruits are sweet, frankincense of figs, coconut milk, fresh oak.

    Finish: Finish, long, slightly tingling, vanilla milk, celery, horse milk, honeydew melon, floral

    Body of the wine: the fat feeling of woc, the smooth feeling bursting, the fat feeling bursting, solid and strong, no bitter bottom, with tannin

    Nose: 86/100

    Palate: 88/100

    Finish: 88/100

    Body: 88/100

    Overall: 88/100

    Overall: Facts have proved that the expressiveness of the Kalilila in height is not inferior.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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!

  8. Jean_Dubois scored this whisky 88 points Expert Junior

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

  9. Nagai5000 scored this whisky 84 points Member Senior

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

  10. ffmdino did not rate this whisky Expert Senior

    solid, easy-drinking-dram
    the malt is OK, but not a candidate for me to buy
    • Nose
      Lemon, slightly moldy wood, earth (slightly damp), maritime (salt?), Young unripe apple, a strange note, becomes sweet and vanilla comes easily
      with water: sweeter, vanilla, sweet candy, slightly flowery becomes more, slightly liquorice

      made of 1920 glass:
      Vanilla, lots of earth, bitter honey
      with water: Edding, solvent, raffia / rattan
    • Taste
      creamy, full and strong on the palate
      very earthy, minimal smoke, peanuts, chocolate so 60%, spicy, maritime
      with water: sparkling, light milk chocolate
    • Finish
      medium to long
      slightly salty, oak, spicy
      with water: sparkling, very earthy, tart, a strange note


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