Scotch - Single Malt

Caol Ila 12yr Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Rating Information

  • Proof66 Rating
    536 / 798
    Rabble Rating
    4.5 / 5.0
    Price (USD)
    $60
    Proof
    86.0

Rating Description

Tier 1
This is a Tier 1 score in the Whiskey category. It means the spirit has won the highest recommendation at least once and probably many times.
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Proof66 Notes

The Caol Ila 12yr is heavily peated in much the same manner of Laphroaig and Ardbeg.

Caol Ila Distiller was founded in 1846 by Hector Henderson on the northeastern shore of the Sound of Islay. It changed hands a few times until demolished in 1972 to make way for a larger edifice and production resumed in 1974 with a modern and updated distillery. It is named for the Sound of Islay by which shipments of barley and scotch whisky make their way... Caol Ila is the Gaelic name fo rthe Sound. The correct pronunciation of this is "kuh-LEE-luh" roughly translated as "sound of islay." Caol Ila is operated by United Distillers & Vintners, itself a subsidiary of Diageo.

San Francisco World Spirits Competition

  • 2005
  • 2006
  • 2007
  • 2008
  • 2009
  • 2010
  • 2015

Beverage Testing Institute

  • This bottle has not been rated by this competition.

Wine Enthusiast

  • 2005
This bottle has 11 ratings and 10 reviews.
Slàinte Mhath Slàinte Mhath (8) (2016-04-28)
What a characterful dram this is! Caol Ila 12 is a hidden, peaty Islay jewel, that is underrated by many. On the nose, you get a well-integrated bonfire smoke. Unlike with some other Islay Single Malts, the peat is well-balanced and doesn't mask the complexity of the spirit. It tastes sweet in the arrival, develops full-bodied and oily, with hints of spice and oak. A fire-infused warming glow turns into a long and peaty finish, leaving behind some salty sea notes. A consistently good whisky, that is one of the foundation stones of Johnnie Walker Black Label. RATING: 4.3/5.0
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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Shmotch Shmotch (21) (2016-02-27)
An extremely drinkable peat monster. No flavor too over pronounced, very accommodating and the level of peatiness is at a perfect level to achieve balance. Price range of $60 very reasonable for this single malt. Closer to five stars than four
0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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PhatCat PhatCat (10) (2015-03-18)
This 12YR from Caol Ila delivers a relatively delicate experience compared to other heavily peated Islay single malts. Peat & smoke are still the dominating notes here, but there's a natural sweetness that lightens everything up. It's well-integrated and resembles something like a honey-glazed ham, sweet and savory. This would pair well with food, and overall, it just comes off as extremely balanced. The bottling I have is lacking some "oomph" in terms of concentration of flavor, but what's there is amazing stuff (particularly that ham note). One of my favorites.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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Muncher Muncher (263) (2014-03-30)
This one is like taking a wild beast like Ardbeg or Laphroaig and teaching them to sit and roll over. Definitely peated and smoky, but more tame with a bit of sweetness in the profile. Really similar to the Lagavulin 16 but the Caol Ila doesn't have the blended scotch flavor that the Lag has.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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joelbarrett joelbarrett (58) (2013-03-22)
Very strong peaty scotch. Love it!
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Machismo Machismo (2) (2012-11-14)
One of my favorites if Im in a peaty mood
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magezi magezi (55) (2012-03-08)
I don't know why people like this so much. It's strange, like peaty sweat with some fruity notes. Sweaty, don't like it...
0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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Review Comments
Slàinte Mhath (2016-04-28):
Isn't this the case with most peaty whiskies? You either love them or hate them. There is no middle ground.

danurdan danurdan (18) (2012-02-18)
Drinking this was a religious experience . Full rich flavor and superbly smooth. Buy this and bring it out only to share with worthy companions
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HardyTaylor HardyTaylor (7) (2011-12-14)
Hidden jewel Islay malt! Top tier Islay.
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Alchemist Alchemist (50) (2011-09-27)
The nose gives gives light peaty smoke with hints of wood and light bitter spices. The body arrives nice and spicy developing medium pepper, peatiness and some salt. The long finish comes in with another blast of peat smoke and lots of spicy notes. There is a slightly oily bitter edge to the aftertaste - almost sulphur like - which lets this down just a little. This edge is much more evident if this whisky is not left to open up for 5-10 minutes.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • 000281016320
  • 088076163461
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