Overall rating
86.64/100
votes
135
Whiskybase ID
WB88092
Category
Single Malt
Distillery
Bottler
Gordon & MacPhail (GM)
Bottling serie
Cask Strength
Vintage
21.02.2005
Bottled
20.07.2016
Calculated age
11 years old
Casktype
First Fill Sherry Butts
Casknumber
301521+23+24+27
Strength
57.3 % Vol.
Size
700 ml
Label
Casks 301521, 301523, 301524 + 301527
Bottle code
20/07/16 161054
Barcode
5020613059436
Added on
19 oct 2016 6:37 pm by Astrid
UncoloredNon-chillfilteredCask Strength

Average value

€ 149.50

26 × in wishlist

135 × member ratings

254 × in collection

Whisky reviews for Caol Ila 2005 GM

40 users have left 45 reviews for this whisky. Average rating is 86.64 points.

  1. grinface scored this whisky 85 points Expert Senior

    Okay-ish. You get something different than what you might expect from a 1st fill sherry whisky. All in all, it is relatively consistent in the aromas, which for me are more suitable for port maturation. Didn't totally convince me for today. Full review (german): https://keinehalbendrinks.de/2021/11/10/noch-ein-besuch-bei-caol-ila/
    • Nose
      86 86
      Some of the cold smoke and ash mixes with red and black berries. At first I am more into a port barrel than sherry. A little surprise. There is also a lemon that lies in a drunk cola glass. It was probably diluted. Vanilla Coke.
    • Taste
      85 85
      A relatively clear continuation of the nose. There are also a few bitter substances, as well as salt.
    • Finish
      85 85
      Blueberry peel drizzled with lemon. Salt is still dominant. There is less peat and smoke.

  2. KonstUA scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    Nose 22, taste 22, finish 21, balance 22
    • Nose
      87 87
    • Taste
      88 88
    • Finish
      86 86

  3. Killswitch scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

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

  4. Cubey666 scored this whisky 86 points Connoisseur

    ah yes... another early 2000s Caol Ila from GM on cask strength sherry casks... will it be another good whisky? in my opinion: yes, nothing new or mindblowing, but a solid tasty whisky once again
    • Nose
      87 87
      peat and sherry, earthy, PX influences perhaps due to the raisins?
    • Taste
      86 86
      quite clean with good peaty body.
    • Finish
      86 86
      finishes nice and warming with smoldering embers and coal left in your mouth

  5. Calmar scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    Dense, harsh, smoky peat whisky and a strong mineral and industrial influence, well-knit, solid, well-balanced, rich, a fairly wide range of derivatives, there is not much depth here, but this is compensated by density and pressure.
    • Nose
      Open, dry; a dense bouquet of smoky-peaty shades, mineral notes - stone chips, welding aerosol; some rubber, animal shades, carpentry, woody motives, dry herbs.
    • Taste
      Powerful, rich, oak, rubber, resin, juicy smoky-peaty notes, pepper wave, sweet creamy tones, salty caramel, mineral-industrial shades, welding spray, burnt sparklers, apple juice with mineral water.
    • Finish
      Spicy, warming, oak, smoke, burnt branches, smoked meats, sweet creamy shades, ash-mineral tones, leather goods.

  6. JacobaEd scored this whisky 84 points Connoisseur

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

  7. dhillworth scored this whisky 87 points Expert Junior

    • Nose
      86 86
    • Taste
      86 86
    • Finish
      89 89

  8. Danbog scored this whisky 85 points Expert Senior

    21 21 21 22

  9. pianoman scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      Fresh and clean. Smoke from the garden fire. Pickled lemons, lime juice. A little vanilla, a hint of coconut milk and wood glue. Rotten wood.
    • Taste
      Strong, sweetish, spicy. Honey, baked apples, chili. Fresh waffles. Leather, cigar smoke, wood ash.

  10. alex..w..fan scored this whisky 86 points Connoisseur

    22 22 21 21 86

  11. toklian scored this whisky 85 points Connoisseur

    N21 P21 F21 B22

  12. Dram Dracula scored this whisky 84 points Connoisseur

    I can tell it's high quality, but I'm generally not a big fan of heavily peated young whiskies like some Ardbegs, Caol Ilas, and Ledaigs. They taste pretty much the same to me, and it's difficult to discern the complexity in the face of overwhelming peat, and young peat at that. Let them mature in the barrel for a bit longer, will ya!?!

  13. Thermidor scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    A good value bottle, much better than travel retail-ish 1st fill bourbons in the same series. Usually Caol Ila is at its best in a refill cask, but if it's gotta be 1st fill, make it a sherry one. You shouldn't judge this one by the first dram from a fresh bottle, though. It seems to get better after a few days.
    Compared to peated sherry refills, this is not quite as good as Bowmore SMWS 3.206 (88 pts.) or 3.248 (89), or Laphroaig TWA 2000 12yo (90). but still a lovely whisky.
    • Nose
      Tar schnapps, some quite salty sea air, a bit of some herbal liqueur, and putty. Water brings up blood oranges, grapefruit, and some dry oak. There's some grilled pork somewhere there as well.
    • Taste
      Strong in soot, tar, and saltiness. It's got a heavy body but it's no sherry bomb - you can find it easily, but with this pale color for a 1st fill, and this fruity saltiness without any chocolate, resin or tannins, what kind of sherry is this exactly? It has some faint rubber and gasoline notes as well. Water makes it punchy and powerful. It's simple but bold, and just plain works.
    • Finish
      Sooty tar and ammonium chloride. Full and long, and the saltiness sticks to the tongue for a while. Not that complex, though. Water makes it a bit hollow.

  14. Arquebus scored this whisky 90 points Expert Senior

    Nose: lovely subtle complex nose of soft peat smoke, delicate phenols, vitamin B tablets, digestive biscuits, vanilla, hints of banana, trace of fruitiness, damp hessian, almost burnt cake, hint of mud with linseed oil. Lovely balance of subtle sherry and smoke. A Christmas cake baking, the smell filtered through a damp forest floor? Very Caol Ila!Taste; big, generous, sweet, peaty, briny, rounded, hides its strength well. Just the right amount of acidity and a lick of walnut dryness in the finish.

  15. gerrit de guru scored this whisky 89 points Expert Senior

    Does not need water, I think.
    • Nose
      Citrus, pineapple and maybe some pear. Rather soft, no immediate islay peat attack. Of course it's there, also the brine, but in moderation. The sherry is also not dominant. Exceptionally sweet for such a young Caol Ila.
    • Taste
      Bittersweet, resinous (pine) and ripe mandarins. After some time it becomes more of a classic Caol Ila.
    • Finish
      More of the same with not much smoke.

  16. ctu scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    Dynamic whisky, 1st fill sherry well harmonizes with the dry smoky character.
    • Nose
      Peat, salted minerals, forest fruits, kerosene, camphor and earl gray tea.
    • Taste
      Powerful and creamy. Salted caramel, dry oak, mixed fruit palinka, honey, lemon peel and pepper.
    • Finish
      Long, bittersweet, dry, smoky.

  17. wisekyofcourse scored this whisky 86 points Connoisseur

    On the nose, a fairly frank peat associated with intense fruit scents on lemon and mandarin.Return a woody side, grassy (dry hay), cold ash and cooked fruit.
    • Nose
      peat and wet herbs, then lemon and vanilla.
      malt present and light woody.
      a little too much raw glue.
    • Taste
      creamy, spicy, strong, youth unveiled, a raw that allows the fruits (always lemon and a little exotic!) To reveal a sweet scent, soft, cottony, despite the title of age.a little meat ... forgotten.

  18. Bram84 scored this whisky 88 points Expert Senior

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

  19. thatfamousgrouse scored this whisky 91 points Expert Junior

    A- (91 if you must); I fucking love fino-matured whisky (or whatever light and salty sherry this likely is). Caol Ila seems like a good partner for it.
    • Nose
      Seriously oceanic, like standing beachside next to an oyster processing factory in high winds. Sweet vanilla and wet dog peat, with lemon, crushed stone, and white chocolate deep down. Somehow light yet rich.
    • Taste
      Delicate but full. Sweet lemon citrus, mineral peat, peach, apricot, and raspberry. Fruity yet still salty.
    • Finish
      Sweet, sour, slightly bitter. Salty as the fruit fades. A lasting dry peat lingers, but the sherry does not leave me with cotton mouth.

  20. malthead-sven scored this whisky 87 points Expert Senior

    From 1st fill sherry butt is not much to feel, but a great Caol Ila, but you have to stop with a few drops (8-12). A true swimmer.
    • Nose
      foul-sweet, juicy smoke, apple rings, chalk, ytong, olive oil in the pan, in between vanilla, apricots, with water a bit spicy, then mineral, there are still sweet potatoes, woodruff, sawn wood, burnt flavors and smoke come back
    • Taste
      dry and very smoky, extinguished campfire, woody as if biting apple kernels, wet gravel
    • Finish
      spreading sweetness, the smoke is above everything, medium on the palate, then again warming, diluted mint

  21. Oldpultnie scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      88 88
    • Taste
      86 86
    • Finish
      86 86

  22. Oldpultnie scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    A drop of water reduced the oily taste and there was a bit more Iodine up the nose.
    • Nose
      A very nice amount peat and smoke. Soft and sweet sherry aromas. There's also a medicinal touch in it. Slow and oily looking tears coming down.
    • Taste
      A little bit thick and filling start, pepper and fruit, peat and lemon. Hint of wood.
    • Finish
      Long finish drying out in ashes and a little nutty bitterness.

  23. Marko_I did not rate this whisky Connoisseur

    No idea. I do not understand that. Not really bad, but I do not know what he wants. Does not fit. Quite edgy, thinning brings nothing, Sherry keg I do not really notice, is it interesting or not ...? Shrug.
    In no case "Oh, yummy strong-sherry Islay cracker, I want it again!"
    65 € are certainly appropriate from the basic data ago, but I know well for 30 ¬ little to start with. We just do not fit together.
    • Nose
      Pure: biting, mineral, iodine, bitter vegetable, tomato herb, cold ashtray, after a while a touch of caramel, a drop of water tickles a little more sweetness out, about the aroma dies almost completely.
    • Taste
      strong, sweet, caramel, candy, first creamy, then a lot of sharpness, but not particularly unpleasant, but rather warming, the smoke goes back into the bitter-bitter direction, Tomato herb, ashtray (here, water does not really bring anything)
    • Finish
      long, hot, peppery, licorice, herbal bitters, coffee

  24. Rom scored this whisky 87 points Expert Junior

    The nose is moderately expressive on a vegetable peat with a hint of cold ash. Very nice mouth on the other hand, the texture is creamy, with peat, gentian and a lot of smoke. The long finish brings pepper and a very liquorice freshness. The nose is below but very good mouth complex and fine despite the power of peat smoke.

  25. tomy63 scored this whisky 89 points Expert Senior

    pale gold, very peaty nose, no sherry, a few plants, menthol, ctron, very fresh. Better on the palate, very oily, thick, maritime, almost sweet on the attack and then live with pepper, salt and a very nice length.

  26. Ivynor scored this whisky 88 points Expert Senior

    A caol was both fine and powerful. Rather convincing.
    87+ / 88-
    • Nose
      Well iodized, quite dry, peat, lemon juice, with a mineral rendering and medicinal notes
    • Taste
      Gourmand, oily, on fatty fish, iodine and peat, trace of tar and dried fruits, and especially a well peppery finish
    • Finish
      Long, peaty and iodine, with a good freshness, reminiscent of peppermint and eucalyptus

  27. jankes scored this whisky 86 points Expert Senior

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

  28. gq10555 scored this whisky 86 points Member Senior

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

  29. gq10555 scored this whisky 86 points Member Senior

    Spicy, nutty whisky, very reasonable price.
    • Nose
      Light peat and slightly fruity, caramel
    • Taste
      First sip: first spicy, peppery, then some smoke and peat on side tongue. Second sip: again peppery, sherry and oak, then nutty with almost ammaretto-like aftertaste.
    • Finish
      Almond nuts and pepper, little dry fruit. Remains on the tongue for a relatively long time.

  30. Dre73 scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

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

  31. Dre73 scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    Beautiful tasteful whisky. The fresh and fruity from the smell does not really come back in the taste, it becomes more sweet.
    • Nose
      Light peat, citrus, vanilla, honey, pineapple. Occasionally a hint of overripe citrus fruit. Alcohol reasonably prominent.
    • Taste
      Smoke and peat, cinnamon, peppery. After the spicy also some sweeter, caramel, chocolate.
    • Finish
      Peppery, medium. Citrus, peach, honey .. Dryer.

  32. peatbogger scored this whisky 89 points Specialist

    • Nose
      90 90
    • Taste
      90 90
    • Finish
      88 88

  33. peatbogger scored this whisky 89 points Specialist

    For an 11 year old I don't think you can ask for more, and favourably priced too.
    • Nose
      A solid dose of Islay peat, salty and medicinal, dark berries, noticable but not overdone on sherry, some cask/wood and a drop of engine oil. Small hint of citrus.

      Can't find any "off notes" and I think it's very close to the basic Caol Ila peat profile.
    • Taste
      Coastal salty peat, but not as "big" as the nose implies. Not exactly iodine, but medicinal/anticeptic.

      Again rather muted on the sherry to be first fill casks.

      A little bit of fresh apple juice noticable as the peat recides.
    • Finish
      Long bonfire finish.

  34. SchottenDicht scored this whisky 80 points Expert Senior

    Nose: At first restrained phenolic notes, citrus fruits, fermented tangerines, New Year's Eve pangs. Everything seems pressed and held back. With water, the smoke goes back and the fruit notes are more apparent.

    Taste: The citrus notes soften and fermented citrus fruits, tangerines come to light again. Bitter note, above all floats a rather non-round smoke. The sherry keg did not do any good in this case.

    Finish: Medium long with smoke and again bitterness, which I find not very pleasant.

    Conclusion: a pity, that was unfortunately nothing for me. Positive is the price to note. If you like Mandarin Limo, you might be able to access it here. I feel this Caol Ila, and I like quite a lot of young people much of this distillery, as out of round, which is also on the barrel.
    • Nose
      85 85
    • Taste
      75 75
    • Finish
      79 79

  35. Jonathan Kleß scored this whisky 84 points Expert Junior

    I don't think thekind of subtle sherry influence works very well with that young peater. I can second the aroma of rotten citrus, not entirely unpleasant though.

    It's still decent whisky for a good value.

  36. Caoldronach scored this whisky 83 points Expert Senior

    After each nosing and also tasting I had the impression "I know this smell/taste", but was not able to realize it. Now I got it! It is the smell (unfortunately also to be found in the taste) of slightly rotten and molded tangerine, i.e. these small mandarine oranges. If you let them lie around for too long time they will partly get a green (green+white) molded skin. The smell really reminds me one major flavour of smell and taste of this whisky. OK, doesn't sound very pleasant. Indeed for me it is not. But maybe it's only me to have this association. However, all in all still not a bad whisky for a good price (about 60€, only, for an independent 11 y.o. single-cask Islay bottling which is not expensive in today's whisky market).

  37. KayMeertens scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    87/88.
    • Nose
      Peat, pineapple, caramel and apricot.
    • Taste
      Peat, caramel, pineapple and peach.
    • Finish
      Peat, gingerbread and peach.

  38. Hvdree scored this whisky 89 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      89 89
    • Taste
      90 90
    • Finish
      88 88

  39. squaadgras scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

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

  40. Bishlouk scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    Overall, it is (again) a beautiful Caol Ila, but not perfect: the nose takes time to set up, and the final is a little messy. But very pleasant in its entirety.
    • Nose
      Powerful, alcoholic, and obviously peaty. Oyster shell, cold ashes, chalk. Very soon, the harmony arrives by the fruity layer which advantageously complements the peat: lemon syrup and applesauce.
    • Taste
      Not too alcoholic here, the harmony is directly there. The fizzy fruit syrup (Fanta Lemon ??), the marine peat and mineral becomes spicy. Oily texture.
    • Finish
      Long. Wood tips the tip of the nose, bringing in its wake a slight bitterness of apple peel. Tangy spices persist and alcohol is more present too.

  41. GlenPiWi scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    Reviewed by Ruben on whiskynotes.be (28/12/2016):(57,3%, Gordon & MacPhail ‘Cask Strength’ 2016, first-fill sherry butts #301521, 301523, 301524 & 301527)
    Nose: again very different – even though the first-fill sherry influence is not what you’d imagine. It’s rather buttery and porridgy, with hints of vanilla as well as some saffron rice pudding. The sweetest of the trio. Ripe banana this time. Some charred toast underneath. Hints of smoked bacon, as well as a bit of mint and iodine, like in the Sansibar bottling. Mouth: a creamy side again, with vanilla and roasted fruits. Melons and grilled pineapple. Candied fruits. Thick smoke, evolving towards pepper, liquorice and some mentholated / medicinal notes. A slight herbal bitterness towards the end. Finish: medium long, with citrus, cold ashes and herbal notes.
    Interesting differences, with some nice touches, but I’m not sure the medicinal side is entirely in sync with the creamy vanilla and sherry sweetness here. It seems to clash a little. Around € 65, that’s quite a bargain indeed, compared to the others!
    Score: 87/100

  42. mr.dave scored this whisky 89 points Expert Junior

    I don't have any problem, either with Serge in general, or with this rating in particular.

    I don't care for points, but as this site is based on, I`ll give it gladly 90.

    I just like the profile of modest sherry influence (without any faulty notes) combined with the massive CI characteristics. Overall with a decent - not distinctive - complexity.  It reminds me of one of these bottle (can't remember which one I have had):

    https://www.whiskybase.com/whisky/10220/caol-ila-1989-svhttps://www.whiskybase.com/whisky/17616/caol-ila-1989-svSo, nothing wrong with this, in my opinion. This bottling delivers what you can expect (maybe a little more). I am totally satisfied and that has nothing to do with a well known bloggers opinion ;-)

    EDIT: 

    "Just buy it and drink it! If you are somewhat experienced and honest, you'll find it hard to follow good old Serge on his 89 this time. :-)"Hm, I find that statement a bit irritating. Regarding this, I am either not experienced, or - worse - not honest? Or even worse: maybe I just follow one leaders opinion? 

    I'm am neither the first, nor the second (and definitely not the third). This is the best "underaged" CI I came across in recent years and like I wrote, considering the details it's just great. 

    This is great stuff for what it is and for a good price. And I prefer it to the official range incl. the 25y. So it is maybe more a matter of taste (and maybe it is sad - me included - referring to Serge in 4 of 5 postings here - one being just a quotation, which I find .....unnecessary, btw). 

  43. Caoldronach scored this whisky 83 points Expert Senior

    I can only agree with Whisky Hamster. I respect Serge’s whisky reviews very much, so this was also the reason why I bought one test bottle for my own tasting, especially as in today’s whisky market the price of 60€ is quite attractive and exceptional for a very good independent bottling (as unfortunately the prices have dramtically risen especially during the last two years).

    At first glance I was excited about the good and delicate taste of this Caol Ila. But then I compared it head-to-head with the Caol Ila Natural Cask Strength Original Bottling. It became clear that the OB was much better than this G&M bottling as the OB is more fresh, more clean, more precise and complex, it offers the typical Caol Ila spirit profile. 

    The taste of the G&M is, of course, “darker” due to the first fill Sherry casks (for first fill still relatively moderate). This is quite good, I like this kind of Sherry profile which does not overlock the basic Caol Ila character. However, also it became evident that this G&M is much less complex than the mentioned OB CS and it tastes very young (yes, I did see it, 11 long senior years are written on the label ;-)). 

    Yes, but not only young, it resembles some of the about 5 year old Islay bottlings that you can find very often today as undisclosed sherried single cask bottlings. These are very well made (or shall I say “engineered”?), no doubt, and they are very quaffable and delicate, however it is a very modern style of making whisky which - IMHO - lacks refinement and “precise” complexity.

    So to summarize, I am not thrilled about this whisky and cannot follow Serge's rating of 89. Decent and quaffable, absolutely! But not excellent (my 2 cents, only, of course).

  44. Whisky Hamster scored this whisky 85 points Expert Senior

    Incidentally had this one at a get-together one evening (19.12.) before the Serge review. And while the nose was really beautiful indeed, the taste could not keep the promise. Pretty intense, but young spirit, fairly well executed - hence my 85p. - but nothing to write home about. Definitely no "miracle-youngster"!

    My guess is most bottles will be kept closed and resold for a higher price now or the score will go up notably (now, 20.12. @86.33p).

    Just buy it and drink it! If you are somewhat experienced and honest, you'll find it hard to follow good old Serge on his 89 this time. :-)

  45. breste scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    Salt and seaweed in the nose - incredibly hearty! Significantly softer in taste than expected. Pleasantly spicy, herbs, salt, vanilla. The significantly more than 50% you do not notice! The diverse aromas remain pleasant on the tongue. A great Caol Ila for a good price!

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