Single malt whisky - tasting notes

27 Sep 2013

Caol Ila 1982 (Coopers Choice)

Tasting notes by Ruben Luyten - Posted in Caol Ila

Coopers Choice is a Scottish independent bottler founded in 1992. I can’t say I’ve tried a lot of their whiskies but we’re familiar with the distillery of course, and the simple fact that The Whisky Fair selected this Caol Ila 1982 already means something.


Caol Ila 1982 - Coopers Choice - Whisky FairCaol Ila 30 yo 1982
(52%, The Coopers Choice for Limburg Whisky Fair 2013, bourbon hogshead #4721, 275 btl.)

Nose: hello there! Lovely nose, starts off in a fruity way (ripe bananas, tangerines). Very oily, greasy peat. Waxy crayons and plasticine. Leather. Almond oil. Not too sharp, nor too briney, very well balanced. Subtle hints of petrol and seaweed. Really elegant. It even becomes slightly farmy (stables, wet wool). Actually it comes quite close to the latest Brora 35yo’s. Enough said. Mouth: clean and well rounded. Again a sweet peaty layer but less prominently fruity now (maybe crystallized oranges). Gets slightly punchier and more coastal. Lots of medicinal notes: camphor, iodine. Wax again, garage aromas, wet gravel, aniseed and liquorice. Salted almonds. Finish: long, coastal and leathery.

Caol Ila can be boringly good, if you know what I mean. This one is special, it stands out with its waxy old-style profile and its Brora-esk farmy hints. Not the cheapest Caol Ila but not as insanely priced as Brora either. A wonderful dram, I love it. Around € 200.

Conservative score: 93/100

Caol Ila 1982 (Coopers Choice) 5 Ruben Luyten 2013-09-27
  • Alex

    En is deze nog ergens te verkrijgen?

  • Pieter

    Ff zoeken in bekende Belgische webshops en je vind em wel. Kwestie van geen reclame te maken…

  • pavv

    ik zat al een beetje op de wip voor deze botteling. Tóch maar gedaan. Ben benieuwd hoe ‘ie zich houdt naast de 1979 Caol Ila (een van mijn favoriete vintages van deze distillery).
    Idd nog vrij makkelijk te vinden in Vlaanderen

  • Frank

    Hi Alex,
    try this link:
    Kind regards,

  • Tony

    Got this – it’s truly excellent, and as an aged islay, reasonable value at this price. Aged Caol Ilas are really coming into their own – stock up now I say, the prices are already creeping up…

  • Tabrulavubeg

    Stock up? Do for yourself as you please.
    But no need to fire the whole thing up in a public forum…
    Enough people buy whisky already just to put it onto their shelves or as a bargain!

  • Tony

    And some buy to drink good whisky and would rather pay prices as they are now rather than prices as they will be in 2-3 years i.e. double for the same whisky. It is the reality whether you like it or not, and a comment on Ruben’s website is hardly going to make a difference to that.

  • Tabrulavubeg

    Afraid you got me wrong there. This is not about “drinking maltheads” like you or me. There is nothing wrong with building up “supply” for later on. Or collecting bottles to some extent. BUT: a lot of (new) people – some of them with different intentions – keep getting into the whisky business along with the recent hype. It’s no secret that quick money can be made with trading the right bottles. Which is contributing to the increasing price level that we all have to witness for quite some time now.
    Maybe you’d be surprised how big an influence the “leading” websites of Ruben (or Serge, for instance) can be with regards to that situation.

  • WhiskyNotes

    Are you saying we should shut up and keep quiet about good bottles? I hear what you’re saying but trying to keep everything within a certain circle of trusted maltheads seems impossible to me.

  • Tony

    OK yes – I take the point. I guess the other issue though is availability – as per Ruben’s thoughtful post a few months back: there just may not be many good old whiskies left and they may not be available at all in a few years. Caol Ila may be the exception though!

  • Tabrulavubeg

    Ruben, of course not. I would probably not have got to know this Caol Ila or other great stuff if not by the notes on your site. I just think there are much too many people already who are searching the relevant sites for 90+ points stuff in order just to trade it for bargain. I guess we all agree that’s not the purpose of brilliant whisky.
    But surely you are right, in this day and age there won’t be an adequate solution to stop this…

  • Raphael

    Ruben, why did you write ‘conservative’ score ?

  • WhiskyNotes

    Because depending on my mood, I would even give it a higher score.



November 2015
« Oct    

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)

1932 notes by Ruben

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