Single malt whisky - tasting notes

14 Dec 2008

Caol Ila 12y vs. Caol Ila 18y

Tasting notes by Ruben Luyten - Posted in Caol Ila

caolilaTwo classics. I bought them in a Classic Malts Islay Pack (5x 20cl) so I decided to try them head to head.


Caol Ila 12y (43%, OB)

Very clean nose, not very complex but nice anyway. Smoke, peat, motor oil and fresh hints of apple, lemon and grass. Overall rather salty (oysters), you can taste the sea. Very oily, grassy taste in which the slightly sweet smoke only breaks through towards the end. As if the compact taste cannot fully express itself. Powerful, long finish with notes of pepper, barbecue and peat.

Score: 83/100.

Caol Ila 18y (43%, OB)

Softer nose, less salty and less smoky. Instead sweeter notes of flowers, apricot and marzipan. More grass as well. Mouth: development of vanilla, peat, some smoke and a bit more salt than on the nose. Finish: coffee with liquorice and that salty touch again.

Score: ook 83/100.


I can’t really say I have a favourite. The 12y is cleaner, with a powerful (after)taste. The 18y is more balanced, has a broader range of flavours and has more body.

Caol Ila 12y vs. Caol Ila 18y 3 Ruben Luyten 2008-12-14



October 2015
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  • kallaskander: Hi there, I remember that Bacardi said all the Last Great Malts would carry an age statement. Which is true. I thought they promised they would all b
  • WhiskyNotes: It looks like this will not be part of the official selection this year. Maybe an upcoming standalone release.

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1894 notes by Ruben

WhiskyNotes - Ruben LuytenThis blog is my personal collection of impressions, written while searching for the ultimate single malt whisky.