Caol Ila 2003

Overall rating
85.71/100
votes
226
Whiskybase ID
WB73914
Category
Single Malt
Distillery
Bottler
Distillery Bottling
Bottling serie
The Distillers Edition
Vintage
2003
Bottled
09.09.2015
Casktype
Double Matured in Moscatel Cask Wood
Strength
43.0 % Vol.
Size
700 ml 1000 ml
Label
C-si; 2-475
Bottle code
L5252CM000
Barcode
5000281021676
Added on
02 nov 2015 9:39 pm by Archer
ColoredChillfiltered

Average value

€ 117.84

22 × in wishlist

226 × member ratings

637 × in collection

Whisky reviews for Caol Ila 2003

40 users have left 44 reviews for this whisky. Average rating is 85.71 points.

  1. aboutWhisky scored this whisky 87 points Expert Junior

    In addition to the typical phenolic smoke of Caol Ila, it offers a whole lot more, not least thanks to the finish in ex-Moscatel casks. With this bottling, Diageo has once again proven that the Distiller's Editions of the Classic Malts of Scotland are a real asset to the whisky world.

    https://www.aboutwhisky.de/tastingnotes/caol-ila-distillers-edition-2003-2015/
    • Nose
      You don't really have to put your nose in the glass to detect the strong Caol Ila smoke. I find this slightly cooling on the nose and very medicinal with the typical hospital notes of plasters and gauze bandages. Over time, the smoke lets fresh citrus fruits through, then you can feel the sherry more clearly with a pleasant sweetness. After a while, the smoke goes even further and an interplay of citrus fruits and dark, berry fruits of the sherry pushes into the foreground.
    • Taste
      Very oily on the tongue. The mouthfeel is very pleasant. The strong smoke is complemented relatively quickly by a distinct sweetness. Then ripe fruits come through, which at this point remind me more of apples and pears than citrus fruits. The barrels bring a slightly spicy influence. This one reminds me of pepper and nutmeg.
    • Finish
      The impression remains intense, the sweet ripe fruit clearly noticeable. The pepper and nutmeg get stronger over time, overcoming the sweet fruit towards the end. The smoke stays noticeable until the end.

  2. zzqfyl scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      88 88
    • Taste
      87 87
    • Finish
      87 87

  3. Albaron scored this whisky 85 points Specialist

    The nose is fantastic. Unfortunately, the taste can't keep up by far, but it's still delicious
    • Nose
      Oily, vinous, grapes, raisins, a little malty, menthol freshness, a few citrus notes, mineral and very subliminally some phenolic smoke
    • Taste
      Raisins, malt, caramel, toffee, a bit bitter, light phenolic smoke runs through everything, which also leads into the finish
    • Finish
      the malt, the bitterness and the smoke remain, the raisins also appear from time to time and at the very end there are also a few tannins.

  4. hs305 scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    [October, 2021] This is just a little experiment to investigate how much the style (recipe) of a standard bottling like this Caol Ila Distillers Edition changed within a few years due to the inherit quality problems of whisky boom times...

    ...so I compare this 2015 bottling in a head-to-head with the 20158 bottling of the same edition (WB id 119144). And the result is astonishing: From 2015 to 2018 this standard edition (which I really like) degraded substantially from a fine harmonious dram with a score of 87 points to a rather sub-standard unbalanced and virgin oak-driven dram of merely 84 points. Where are going to, Diageo?
    • Nose
      88 88
      The colour of both releases is identical at old gold, no wonder as Diageo uses caramel to adjust it if necessary (they have to state this on the label in Germany). But the noses are significantly different with the 2015 being much more balanced (malt, peat, wine and wood) while the 2018 owns lesser winey and malty aromas but more bitter wooden and peaty impressions. Obviously they use a higher share of virgin oak casks in the more recent batches which turns them much less attractive, this a a three points lower score according to my olfactory cells.
    • Taste
      87 87
      The taste of the 2015 is balanced with the holy whisky trinity of malt, wine and wood in a harmonious setting. Contrary to that the wood is truly aggressive in the 2018 taste and dominates together with the bitter peaty notes. That is what I call unbalanced and again my score is three points lower for the 2018 bottling.
    • Finish
      86 86
      The 2015 arrives warming and coating on the palate without distracting moments. The 2018 is warming and coating too but there are some bitter moments of heavy tannins (virgin oak?). The finish of the 2018 is shorter than that of the 2015 bottling and again releases a lot of bitter tannic moments. While the 2015 edition owns a pretty nice finish the 2018's end is unpleasant with an drying-astringent mouthfeel I do not like at all. Guess what? My score is about four points lower.

  5. Malthead19 scored this whisky 81 points Connoisseur

    - a CAOL ILA which clearly shows the fruit component
    predominates over the smoke component
    - Much less smoke than the normal 12 year old or the
    18 y.
    - a compelling, well-coordinated complex
    whisky
    • Nose
      Relatively little smoke at first, sweetish, creamy, toffee, dark fruits, dark lacquered wood (no typical oak smell), quite mild overall impression
    • Taste
      mild start, then a strong fruit development in the mouth, plum, grapes, fruit cake, astringent, becoming dry
    • Finish
      medium-long fruity finish;
      long dry fruity aftertaste

  6. robse211 scored this whisky 84 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      84 84
    • Taste
      84 84
    • Finish
      83 83

  7. rolabob scored this whisky 86 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      86 86
    • Taste
      86 86
    • Finish
      85 85

  8. The_Osprey scored this whisky 87 points Expert Senior

    Caol Ila Distillers Edition Moscatel Cask Finish 2003 (bottled 2015) 43%.

    Golden yellow.

    Aroma is spiritous, oaky, soft smoke with subtle dried tropical fruits. Touches of mango. Spiritous and a bit harsh on the nostrils.

    Taste is biscuity, oaky, salty oily peat with soft smoke. Faint tropical fruits. Light biscuity notes and soft smoke but certainly warming on the way down. Good balanced whisky. (3.65/87)

  9. LDB scored this whisky 86 points Connoisseur

    This is exactly the smoker who always leaves. Not too complex or snappy, but with enough balance between sweetness and ash. Delicious part and a more than significant upgrade of the rather rough 12-year standard.

  10. spagr scored this whisky 78 points Expert Senior

    Good value, lighty smoky, but still little bit weak flavor

  11. Von Barton scored this whisky 86 points Expert Junior

    A good daily dram, with a little less peat than on the Caol Ila 12yo.

    A fruity note, with a little pear, slightly sweet, and the usual mineral side of Caol Ila.

  12. HammerHead scored this whisky 83 points Connoisseur

    Peaty and sweet, but I've had better drams with this combination. It's quaffable but I like the regular Caol Ila 12 a little more.
    • Nose
      84 84
      Peatsmoke and loads of sweetness like honey, sweet apple and pear. Pleasing but the sweetness could be better integrated. It smells a bit artificial, like fruit syrup has been added to the spirit. Also a bit grainy and a sourish moldy note of wet hay and sawdust.
    • Taste
      82 82
      Peaty smoke, bitter wood and sourness. Peppery with more of the moldy notes from the nose. Some generic sweetness (honey), but I'm having difficulty recognizing specific fruit notes.
    • Finish
      82 82
      Medium length: peaty smokiness, some honied liquorice, generic wood bitterness and again that 'wet' moldy note.

  13. mer1973 scored this whisky 86 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      87 87
    • Taste
      86 86
    • Finish
      85 85

  14. Steven79 scored this whisky 86 points Expert Senior

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

  15. Archer scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    In contrast to the standard 12yo DE delivers a few more flavors that justify the extra charge.
    • Nose
      87 87
    • Taste
      88 88
    • Finish
      88 88

  16. schengel10 scored this whisky 81 points Connoisseur

    A logical extension of the 12-year-old - with maturation in Moscatel Sherry Casks - annual new edition - a good malt!
    • Nose
      woody, peaty smoke, sweet, fresh, malty, herbs, oak, slightly acidic;
    • Taste
      mild sweet, very soft appearance, fine smoke, pepper, salt, cold ash, oily, sour, winey, fruity, multi-layered;
    • Finish
      medium length, smoke, oak, slightly bitter; ashy, spicy aftertaste;

  17. HW74 scored this whisky 87 points Expert Senior

    Typical Caol Ila smoke, plus the sweetness of nutmeg. Fits very well, whereby I like the standard 12er better.
    • Nose
      87 87
    • Taste
      87 87
    • Finish
      88 88

  18. Danbog scored this whisky 82 points Expert Senior

  19. JNuyts scored this whisky 84 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      85 85
      very sweet à la cotton candy, vanilla, grassy, medicinal, iodine, honey, smoke, unripe banana, peat
    • Taste
      85 85
      little pepper, lots of herbs, smoke, peat, less sweets, more ashy, cinnamon, bacon
    • Finish
      82 82
      reasonably short, not complex

  20. J.K.Ch scored this whisky 84 points Expert Senior

    Excellent, but a little sweet smoke on me.
    • Nose
      A honey sweet smell, with decent smoke a bit like smoked cheese, a little pepper, and a hint of banana.
    • Taste
      Sweet, iodine smoke, with fine tones of grapes and bananas.
    • Finish
      Much medical. Really specific honey smoke with over-ripe banana, cloves and anise.

  21. maltandgrains scored this whisky 83 points Expert Senior

    Mostly experienced with Lagavulin, when it comes to peated whiskies. The smoke on this Caol Ila is more fatty if so to say, but still very pleasant. The taste is woody, smokey and salty. The finish is somewhat short.
    • Nose
      86 86
    • Taste
      82 82
    • Finish
      80 80

  22. Deloti scored this whisky 82 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      82 82
      very sweet, light pepper, peat, apple, honey
    • Taste
      83 83
      typical peat wins over. less sweet than on the nose. white pepper, cinnamon, salt. body a bit light
    • Finish
      82 82
      medium. nice moscatel finish add to the peaty aftertaste, quite oaky

  23. ctu scored this whisky 86 points Connoisseur

    Not too complex, but good value for money and easy to drink CI. The peat and the moscatel together is nice.
    • Nose
      86 86
      Sweet peat. Moscatel. Honey, caramel and grape. Camphor.
    • Taste
      86 86
      Sweet, acidic start. Unripe banana and grape. Then peat, oak and big dose of spices, especially pepper and a touch of chili.
    • Finish
      85 85
      Medium length, peaty, fruity.

  24. wisekyofcourse scored this whisky 82 points Connoisseur

    good nose, but the association moscatel gives a rear taste tarnished rather singular, and harms the peat!
    • Nose
      85 85
    • Taste
      85 85
    • Finish
      79 79

  25. MadScientist scored this whisky 86 points Connoisseur

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

  26. wisekyofcourse scored this whisky 82 points Connoisseur

    On the nose, the characteristic sweet peat and a fruity sweetness of grapes, with spices!
    In the mouth, we smell the cooked wine, the lemon and the intense smoke, the grapes and some exotic fruits!
    In the finish, the sweet peat is intertwined with lemony aromas and macerated fruits

    An innovative dram, where peat is not so present!

  27. KayMeertens scored this whisky 86 points Connoisseur

    Compared to the 2001 edition, this one is sweeter.
    • Nose
      Really sweet, and peaty of course. The moscatel adds honey, grape, apple and ginger. Also a peppery note and a little dough. Later slightly farmy.
    • Taste
      Peat. Less sweetness, but still plenty of it. 
    • Finish
      Peat, honey and a little peach.

  28. Portlover did not rate this whisky Member Senior

    • Nose
      85 85
    • Taste
      85 85
    • Finish
      87 87

  29. dRambo scored this whisky 84 points Connoisseur

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

  30. Noface83 scored this whisky 85 points Specialist

    Nose: gentle but medicinal smoke, light pepper, spicy honey, a slightly sour wine note
    Taste: strong peppery onion, smoked bacon, cinnamon, grape sweetness, more ashy towards the back and now with a noticeable oak barrique, intense but short finish with warm ash and sweetness of the wine.
    Really delicious and definitely an alternative to the Talisker.
    • Nose
      84 84
    • Taste
      88 88
    • Finish
      84 84

  31. wbarchive_104650 did not rate this whisky Expert Senior

    • Nose
      slightly phenolic smoke with sweet, light honey.
    • Taste
      The taste of the smoke is a bit more discreet than in the nose. A beautiful sweetness with a slightly bitter spiciness is there.Light dry.
    • Finish
      The finish is rather short. But the smoke is now stronger again. In addition a bit of oak comes and again a fruity sweetness flashes up.

  32. Marko_I did not rate this whisky Connoisseur

    Tasty, my favorite DE (I like Caol Ila and the Moscatel finish makes it special and interesting), for 55 € OK, quite stable over the vintages.
    • Nose
      Direct comparison 2002 vs. 2003: typical, strong Caol-Ila-smoke, slightly fleshy and medicinal, 2002 slightly fresher, 2003 a little bitter, with honey, banana, sweet white wine, some pepper
    • Taste
      after 5 min in the glass: 2002 slightly sharper, 2003 slightly milder, softer, otherwise no differences: strong smoke, bacon, grilled ash, malty sweetness, cinnamon, grape nut chocolate, white pepper
    • Finish
      both: long, smoke, pepper, dark chocolate, red grape skins

  33. mullos scored this whisky 86 points Expert Senior

    Very sweet on the nose, very pleasant smoke, real moscatel influence.
    medium body and too bitter short finish.
    • Nose
      90 90
    • Taste
      85 85
    • Finish
      82 82

  34. Archer scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      87 87
    • Taste
      89 89
    • Finish
      88 88

  35. Archer scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    An unassuming classic, I like it very much. Nice balance between smoke / peat / salt on the one hand and fruit on the other.
    • Nose
      Fresh smoke is blowing around the nose. The smoke is flavored with light fruits, making it light and airy rather than heavy and medicated. Peat is included, as well as a fine honey note. The nose quickly gets used to smoke and peat, so that after a while the bright fruits dominate.
    • Taste
      In the beginning with strong peat and a lot of smoke, but still very soft mouthfeel. Nothing bites or scratch here. A malt candy in the mouth. The malt is "sensually restrained". If it was not for smoke and peat, you could almost call it lovely. Red apples and grapes provide balanced sweetness; Cinnamon, anise, sea salt and white pepper give it a pleasant spiciness.
    • Finish
      In the medium long finish it remains smoky for a long time, with traces of cinnamon and coriander.

  36. JacobaEd scored this whisky 86 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      87 87
    • Taste
      86 86
    • Finish
      85 85

  37. Achany scored this whisky 89 points Connoisseur

    fine combination of the Caol Ila character with a nice sweetnes from the moscatel casks. maybe not everyones style but I really liked that one. smoke, peat, sea, salt together with a well balanced sweet note!  
    • Nose
      88 88
    • Taste
      91 91
    • Finish
      89 89

  38. Laugenbretzel scored this whisky 84 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      87 87
    • Taste
      84 84
    • Finish
      86 86

  39. Wolv scored this whisky 85 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      84 84
    • Taste
      86 86
    • Finish
      85 85

  40. pelle86 scored this whisky 87 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      85 85
    • Taste
      87 87
    • Finish
      88 88

  41. tkoppelaar scored this whisky 83 points Expert Junior

    I miss the punch of the 12yo a bit here. But the balance between fruit and peat is very good. The moscatel barrels do not have the upper hand.
    • Nose
      Fruit, grapes, banana, citrus, in the distance a little peat. Glue
    • Taste
      Tropical fruit, peach, banana and wood. Little peat a slightly medicinal. Taste is somewhat watery but in balance.
    • Finish
      Fruity aftertaste, peat and wood take over a bit.

  42. FernetBranco scored this whisky 83 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      79 79
    • Taste
      81 81
    • Finish
      85 85

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