Caol Ila 2004

Overall rating
Whiskybase ID
Single Malt
Distillery Bottling
Bottling serie
The Distillers Edition
Calculated age
12 years old
Ex-Bourbon Casks + Ex-Moscatel Cask Finish
43.0 % Vol.
700 ml 1000 ml 1000 ml
C-si; 2-476
Bottle code
L6220CM000 06262465
Added on
27 Sep 2016 11:44 am by Archer

Average value

€ 72.97

14 × in wishlist

136 × member ratings

392 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Caol Ila 2004

22 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 85.31 points

  1. Riedel23 scored this whisky 90 points Member Senior

    A smoky dram that is sleek and in harmony with a sweetness of grapes.
    • Nose
      89 89
      Peat of maritim origin is the first impression, but not stinging. After that, I sensed grapes with sweetness together with some lemon.
    • Taste
      90 90
      First, the peat is prominent. It takes time, to get around that and get to white wine and oak with dark forest honey. The mouthfeel is always pleasant and oily. Adding water will facilitate uncovering some green fruit, dark chocolate and spices.
    • Finish
      91 91
      Medium long lingering taste that develops from cold ash to stout beer, oak and sweet espresso

  2. Likudi scored this whisky 84 points Moderator

    • Nose
      85 85
    • Taste
      84 84
    • Finish
      83 83

  3. hs305 scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

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

    I always loved this great combo of wine-driven sweetness and "punchy" peaty whisky flavours.  It is an easy dram of course but I simply love it.  Check it out if you do the same either by buying a bottle (one of the best you can get for small bucks at the moment) or try a dram at a bar first.  So far most of my friends liked it (esp. rookies)...
    • Nose
      88 88
    • Taste
      87 87
    • Finish
      88 88

  4. The_Osprey scored this whisky 90 points Expert Senior

    Caol Ila Distiller's Ed. 2016 (2004 Moscatel Finish 43%). Consumed Feb 2019. Aroma is light dessert wine, apple, plasticky, faint banana split and toffee notes, and of course some light smoke. Taste creamy and rounded up front, not that peated, certainly not harsh. Lovely rounded breathy notes. Super smooth and easy yet flavoursome. The rubbery-smokey finish is something a bit special. Very nice indeed. You'd think it was too easy until that lovely finish kicks in. Doesn't have that salty aggressive punch I associate with Caol Ila, which is a good thing! Still the best Caol Ila I've had to date. 3.8/90

  5. riegerjonas scored this whisky 80 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      Seaweed, salty, smoky, vanilla, banana?
    • Taste
      fresh smoky, slightly spicy, somewhat flat and one-dimensional, soft
    • Finish

  6. MOE1905 scored this whisky 88 points Member Senior

    This colleague has rough edges that suit him perfectly!
    The typical Caol Ila Islay character, topped by sweetly flattering Moscatel influences.
    What more do you want? An all around successful malt, takes place in my personal Top10.
    • Nose
      86 86
    • Taste
      88 88
    • Finish
      89 89

  7. WhiskyLovingPianist scored this whisky 86 points Connoisseur


    N: Besides the general coastal salty barley sweet~sourness, we’ve rugby balls, violin bows, sheepskin handbags,… What more could you want for? Fabulous! We all seem to love this.

    T: That’s Caol Ila for certain, arriving perfectly on a savoury sour barley salty oily bed. There’s discussion over how this struggles at 43% abv, but I disagree. It’s more in context of what’s gone before – four SMWS drams for starters – but here, we’ve beautifully subtle effortless movement and with nothing lacking.

    F: The refined gentleness/softness is most welcomed/desirable, particularly now we are eight drams in. Despite the abv assault which has preceded this one, the complexity/layers of this Caol ila are not lost – salty dry oily apple-y layers. Even at 43%, there’s a gentle freshness,… apple flesh-fresh, and plenty more besides.

    C: Yet another reminder of how consistent fabulous Caol Ila is. Is this Distillery Edition worth nearly twice as much as the standard 12yo? Both are excellent in their own right though I’ve found the standard 12yo has slipped in the last few years [WLP81]. Oh, I see I’ve tried this distillery-only bottling before, at Feis Ile 2018 [WLP84]. It’s easily a mark or two higher today, likely because this bottle has had time to open up.

  8. tw_xbein scored this whisky 80 points Expert Junior

    nice whisky (May 20, 2017)
    • Nose
      lovely tender, notes of heather, seaweed, salt
    • Taste
      medium body,
      sweet, very balanced, fruity notes with sea salt
    • Finish
      persistently tender and lovely

  9. Monte Gehro scored this whisky 86 points Expert Senior

    Pleasant and positive surprise.
    Smoke, combined with the finish of the sweet wine barrels, goes well together here. The depth that long-term maturation could still contribute is missing.
    • Nose
      86 86
    • Taste
      86 86
    • Finish
      85 85

  10. Captain.Islay scored this whisky 86 points Expert Senior

    Fine-tuned, elegant and creamy. Slightly sweet and earthy. Some light fruit paired with
    maritime notes. Not overly complex but very harmonious, therefore ideally suited for first experiences with more smoky whiskys or for a cozy evening.
    • Nose
      87 87
      Very elegant, sea air, slightly earthy, damp sand, candied lemon, some grapefruit peel
    • Taste
      86 86
      Oily, gentle onset, sweet herbal candy, some ashes
    • Finish
      86 86
      Medium length, creamy, meadow herbs, some ash, candied lemon


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