Caol Ila 2003

Overall rating
Whiskybase ID
Single Malt
Distillery Bottling
Bottling serie
The Distillers Edition
Double Matured in Moscatel Cask Wood
43.0 % Vol.
700 ml 1000 ml
C-si; 2-475
Bottle code
Added on
02 Nov 2015 9:39 pm by Archer

Average value

€ 73.67

23 × in wishlist

218 × member ratings

598 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Caol Ila 2003

41 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 85.66 points

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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
    • 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

  5. robse211 scored this whisky 84 points Expert Senior

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

  6. rolabob scored this whisky 86 points Connoisseur

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

  7. 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)

  8. 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.

  9. spagr scored this whisky 78 points Expert Senior

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

  10. 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.


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