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.
Member Reviews and Ratings of Caol Ila 12 Year Old
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.