Single malt whisky - tasting notes

05 Nov 2011

Caol Ila 1981 (Liquid Treasures)

Tasting notes by Ruben Luyten - Posted in Caol Ila

This old Caol Ila 1981 is part of the second Liquid Treasures series with “Seabirds” labels. I’m always happy to see Caol Ila is still relatively cheap at such an old age.


Caol Ila 1981 (Liquid Treasures)Caol Ila 30yo 1981 (50%, Liquid Treasures “Seabirds” 2011, ex-bourbon hogshead)

Nose: starts lemony, briny and slightly resinous but quickly there are sweeter notes (clementine, marzipan) and a hint of vanilla – just enough to balance it. Quite some medicinal elements, cold ashes and gentle smoke. Seems younger than it is. Mouth: powerful. More peat now, a dry kind of peat. Then it grows typically austere and coastal, with walnut skin, medicinal notes, all kinds of citrus zest, hints of salmiak and big salty notes. Big flavours. Finish: long, zesty, briny with quite some ashes.

Quite a powerful Caol Ila, which hasn’t lost any of its youthful nervosity. Around € 125. Available from eSpirits in Germany.

Score: 88/100


ps/ There’s a similar Caol Ila 1981/2011 in the Liquid Sun series. That one’s a tad less rounded on the nose and even more powerful (not to say brutal) in the mouth.

Caol Ila 1981 (Liquid Treasures) 4 Ruben Luyten 2011-11-05



November 2015
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Coming up

  • Lindores 2015 festival bottling
  • Amrut 2009 (cask #2701)
  • Glenlivet 1981 (#9468 for TWE)
  • Lagavulin Distillers Edition (2015)
  • Talisker Distillers Edition (2015)
  • Laphroaig 32 Year Old
  • Glen Grant 65yo 1950 cask #2747 for Wealth Solutions
  • Mortlach 1959/1960 (G&M Royal Wedding)

1931 notes by Ruben

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