The Caol Ila Distillery was founded in 1846 by Hector Handerson on the Isle of Islay, in a location overlooking the strait between Islay and Jura, hence the name which derived from Gaeliec Caol Ìle, meaning Sound of Islay or literary, Islay Strait. Over the years Caol Ila has changed owners numerious times, eventually it became part of Diageo.
Caol Ila 12 Year Old is a malt that takes you back to the coastal shores it comes from. Hailing from Islay, this is a smoky and sweet expression, a classic combination that Caol Ila 12 nails perfectly. There is also the slightest hint of herbs and spices from nose to finish, adding a smooth complexity that piques the interest of the taste buds in just the right way. Don’t be fooled into thinking this is just like every other smoked Islay malt. The Caol Ila 12 Year Old has a lot more to offer than just peat.
Anything above 8 for me means pleating and smokey with a depth of flavour. This whisky needs a touch of water to bring out the flavours hidden in the peat. Also ignore the first taste which feels harsh and acidic.
But by the second sip you suddenly notice the sweet sugars of the boiled sweets and the cinnamon on the finish that suddenly appears.
A well round 12 year old that carries what can only de described as charactor... A definitive smokey charactor.
One of the best I’ve try the flavor the smoke to it I love it
Caol Ila is a very clean smokey Scotch. It is not as meaty as Laphroaig, which is also very good.
Amazing speechless I’ve never try nothing like it
Peaty scotch with a long finish.
Very warm and peaty! Drink it neat or maybe with a drop of water.
If you love your Lagavulin 16, you will love this too.
Loved this Scotch!! Finished half a bottle in no time.
I liked a lot this Cask strength. It needs a drop of water and the taste improves. I detected cinnamon, but it was not too strong. A good purchase indeed.
Nice scotch but much less body than a Lagavulin 16 or Laphroaig 10. Felt very thin and finish was a little too quickly gone for my taste.
One of my favorite scotchs of all time. Smokey and smooth.
Balanced peat and smake. I can see why it is used in a few on the Johnnie Walker blends.
Our least favorite of the 3 peaty scotches in the tasting box. Perhaps some seaweed smell and flavor. More of a love-it-or-hate-it type scotch.
Nose has the familiar Islay smoke with underlying vanilla and a bit of heather and salt tang. Flavours are very bright and sweet up front, giving a bit of a delay before smoke gradually eases onto the palate. A peppery spice joins the smoke into the finish, along with tobacco and mild herbal notes. This is possibly the most refined Islay I've tried to this point- with its welcoming sweetness and gentle smoke character this might be an ideal 'starter' Islay Scotch.
mellow and smokey
This is undoubtedly the marijuana of the Islay world. Its light peatiness acts as a seductress to its bolder, less well intentioned brothern. As an avid scotch drinker not big on peat, this delicios dram introduced me to a new world. Although I still lean on the Highlands and Speysides, I now proudly keep several Islays around. A must have for any scotch enthusiast!
Very nice, will go hunt some independent bottlings with higher abv
Peaty and salty. Smooth and long finish. Very nice
High amount of smoke with a little reflux. Very similar to Lagavulin but the warming sensation stays in your chest longer.
Delicious. Balanced smoke and peat with nice spice on the tongue
Balances smoke and peat without being one note. A pleasant finish on a lighter dram than others in the region.
Smoke & honey
My favorite scotch so far. Like a camp fire on an ocean cliff in your mouth. Smoky and salty nose and smooth smoooooth finish.
Great mix of smokiness and flavors
Nice bright gold color. At nose smoky notes are first perceived but under that you can find some pepper and herbs. In the mouth a bit warm with medium long aftertaste
Smoky, peaty aroma. Sweet and smoky with a touch of a bite. Pretty decent but whistlepig is still king. Mac $50/bottle.
Really pitted. Maybe too pitted.
It was good... I was a little worried... This is only my second peat I have tried... No pun intended... My first peat left a bad taste in my mouth... This one agrees with my tastes a whole lot better.
Its good - but the 12 year old expression is bested by other Caol Ila offerings.
A nice Smokey islay that has more herbal and peppery notes. It’s Nita lay less peaty than the islands other offerings.
too much peat for me
Smooth, nice aftertaste
Grassy, sweet notes in the aroma, alongside the smoke and peat. Not all that smooth - the bite of it is a little overwhelming and distracts from the flavor. If comparing to its Islay brethren, this reminds me more of an Ardbeg 10 than a Lagavulin 16. It's light and refreshing, but not very complex.
Good price performance! But overall the taste is not ballanced.
Way to smoky for me. If you like a smoky drink though this one is for you.
Excellent. Smoky, yet refreshing. A new favorite.
Love the superficial notes of peat and smoke. Was surprised I picked up on the cinnamon. Delicious.
Strong peat taste
I found it a bit too harsh & extremely peaty. I had to add a drop of water to make it palatable. (I do not like mixing malt) I compareed it with an Arran peated, Machrie Moor. This I found was perfect.
Light, bit peaty but not too bad
At first whif, floral notes but they discipate quick, releasing the smoke and peat. The same for the palate; first hits the floral with a medium strength, about 10 seconds later (rough guestimate) the smokey peat rolls in. I sense some caramel at the end which is a great combination to add with the smokey peat. At second thought, the reason why i gave this Caol such a high rating is because it is actually and nice change of combination to have the floral mixed with smokey peaty caramel. It helps you appreciate the peaty type scotch so much more.
Pale gold. Fruity nose with delicate smoke notes and a touch of petrol. The notes on the palate (smoke, wood, herbs, and spice) are soft and not really accentuated. I feel it does better with a couple drops of water or on ice. Not as great as I was hoping it to be, but still enjoyable.
What a lovely whiskey with plenty of character.
Very smoothy. Probably much more than any other I've tasted so far. Liked a lot though, perhaps it's spirits are absolutely complex.
Did not enjoy at all. Not much else to say.
Good, just not a favourite. Bit bitey.
A good dram sweetly smoked and peaty.
Heavy smoke, peated, Peppery
This is a more softer whisky untill the smokey touch comes. Then it changes to a more strong and smokey whisky. The aftertaste is quite short but slightly bitter. Nice whisky, very accessable.
Really oily (too oily for my taste) and very smokey. It's probably the Sledgehammer of the #peaty Whiskys.
Gentle straight peat - fresh hay, citrus and sweet. Slightly medicinal until well aired.
Balanced and quite complex with long, nice aftertaste
Just the right amount of smoke.
Very peaty. Fairly sour with some spice. A lot of brine.
One of my favourites...
Definite notes of sweet and peaty. I prefer more cinnamon but I am enjoying it.
Manque un peu de relief
It has a smoky, spicy taste. Not too peaty. Almost like a Glen Livet
The peat flavor is extremely strong, basically overwhelming the other flavors, ruining the experience.
Caol Ila 12 Year Old is now one of my favorite Islays. Very smooth, great peat, and an amazing smokiness. To me, this is very subtle, yet complex enough to be interesting. Wonderful. I immediately purchased a bottle.
An excellent smokey and peaty Islay. Definitely will buy again.
Nose of vanilla and delicious peat. Light mouthfeel with medium finish. Very drinkable for beginners to Islay Scotch.
I wasn't impressed. There wasn't anything that really stood out. The oiliness was there, as well as the peat, but nothing to really stand out from the other scotches.
Caol Ila 12 Year Old is one of my favorite single malts. I prefer smoky/peaty/spicy whiskys and this one has an added bonus of being a little stronger than usual.
Wonderful salty smell with a peat rush. One of my favourite Islay malts
If you want smokey and peaty- this is top shelf!
Spicy, and nice amount of smoke
Delicious, so much value for money. I love all of Islay and the first glass of CI 12 isn't different. Not as smoky and peaty as I remembering Ardbeg 10 and Laphroaig 10, it's in the middle of those and Lagavulin 16 and Bunna 12. I must say that Caol has more to it and to me it's a 'younger Lagavulin'. The balance makes this whisky superb and therefore for the relative cheap price a 9!
Not quite as smoky as Laphroaig, but similar in flavor without being quite as harsh on the front end.
Mm mm, so good!
I thought the oil, peat and phenols were a bit overpowering in this whiskey.
Was my birthday present...love it!!
Smoky, peaty and smooth one of my favorites.
Отлично. Немного грубоват, но я прощаю. За дым, торф и остальные прелести....
Character. Best enjoyed on a cold winter evening.
Love this scotch. Nice middle of the road Islay. Great flavor and not overly peated.
I'm a huge fan of all things Caol Ila. The softest smoke on Islay. Beautiful whisky.
Smoky Peaty light
What a great dram! Very balanced and smooth.
Соленая сладость, обжигает. Сухой вкус, дубовый, достаточно грубый
My favorite standard. End of story. :)
Smoke sea brine peat and fruit. Pair with a lobster.