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Caol Ila 12 Year Old

A new favorite!

0 997

@DavyReview by @Davy

2nd Jul 2013

0

Caol Ila 12 Year Old
  • Nose
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  • Taste
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  • Finish
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  • Balance
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  • Overall
    97

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

Caol Ila 12 was the first bottle of Islay whisky I purchased for my home cabinet. I was attracted by the rumors of exquisite "balance" between sweetness and smoke, and I was not at all disappointed.

I get an immediate sweetness in the nose of soft fruits, honeydew melons. Peat comes along with a minty edge

The palate follows along appropriately, with a rock-candy sweetness and a surprisingly creamy mouthfeel; the sweetness gives way to fresh-baked bread and toasted nuts.

Gentle smoke dominates the finish and is ultimately carried away by that wonderful Islay sea breeze.

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9 comments

@Davy
Davy commented

Also, I do not recommend adding water or ice to this whisky. The addition of water brought out disagreeable notes of wet dog and musk. One additional note: the light "chardonnay" color had a pear-green cast to it.

10 years ago 0

Rigmorole commented

Really? A "97" for this? It's not bad for the money, quite good in fact, but three points off from being perfect? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm

10 years ago 0

@ewhiskey
ewhiskey commented

I would also disagree with a 97 for Coal Ila as well, but each opinion is personal. When you consider food, some people love a certain dish, and some might hate the exact same. Like salmon for example. I once commented on a review for Talisker 10. I absolutely love Talisker 10, but 100/100 seemed a little generous. It would be amazing if perfection could be purchased for under $75 in a bottle. But to the reviewer, maybe it is perfection. Some people are also more generous with their scoring, even the big dogs. Michael Jackson's scoring in The Whisky Companion is relatively conservative, where Jim Murray seems not to think twice about praising a whisky to the top of the ladder. Lastly, I don't blame rigmorole for sharing his opinion. I have and will do the same. That's the beauty of this community. You can share your opinions and open yourself up to others' opinions and with a humble and open mind, learn.

Perhaps tonight is a good night for a dram of Ila!

Cheers!

10 years ago 1Who liked this?

@Nemesis101
Nemesis101 commented

Yeah I love Caol Ila 12 too but score it this highly. However, when considering price/value ratio this is one of the best without question and that can be very valid in pushing a score upwards. Whisky is all about personal opinion and tastes - I've seen some tasting notes of the same bottle where 2 or even 3 tasters all get completely different flavours - of course none of them are actually right or wrong.

10 years ago 0

@Nemesis101
Nemesis101 commented

*sorry - that should read 'would not score it this highly'

10 years ago 0

@Davy
Davy commented

My scores should all be understood within the context of my budget. It's extremely rare that I spend upwards of $75 for a single bottle, which means Caol Ila 12 is about the most expensive whisky I can afford on a semi-regular basis. Most 18 year-old whiskys are outside my reach, except for the occasional dram at a bar with a decent selection. And I tend not to review whiskys unless I've had the opportunity to spend some quality time with them (i.e. have a bottle in my cabinet).

This whisky receives a high score from me because I can't imagine a much better whisky for the money. And since that's all the money I have, well then, a very high score is certainly deserved.

I've got a long way to go before I've tried every single malt on the market, but I've sampled a lot of them thus far, and Caol Ila is probably at the top of my list. I could've justified giving it a solid 100, to be honest. I perceive whisky scores in much the same way I perceive scores for music albums or books. If Rolling Stone can give the new Bruce Springsteen album 5 stars, then surely I can give Caol Ila 12 it's numerical equivalent on connosr.

Relax, gentlemen. Life's too short to be stingy with our whisky ratings.

10 years ago 1Who liked this?

@tjb
tjb commented

@davy I know where you are coming from. Your scores are personal to you. I love Islay malts but some really cant stand them. An opinion is just that. Subjective.

10 years ago 0

@Erlend
Erlend commented

About score, I did open a Caol Ila 12 year 20cl today. I guess it is the same. For me this is an all time high too, ahead of Auchentoshan Three Wood and the Balvenie Doublewood and about 20 other that I have tasted. I think the softness/sweetness is absolutely perfect. It is so well balanced that perfect is my conclusion too. I an not sure if more aging can make it better. It may or may not. Later I hope to try the very high rated ones that can have something extra and degrade this from perfect to perfect, but there are better ones around. I agree yhat 97 is so high that it is difficult to find higher places on the scale for suoerextremely nice whisky.

10 years ago 0

@MadSingleMalt
MadSingleMalt commented

I dig all the opinions here, but I gotta say, this is a good example of why I think scores are better if they ignore price.

Caol Ila 12's price has really jumped up a lot since @Davy reviewed it 4+ years ago—at least by me—and it's no longer a good value relative to other standard Islays. Does that mean its score should go down? No, I don't think so. It's ostensibly the same whisky, after all.

6 years ago 0

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