Caol Ila 12 Year Old

70cl / 43%
  • Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky
  • Distillery Bottling
Caol Ila 12 Year Old
Special Offer
£5 Off!
(Was £41.85)
Web Exclusive Price £36.85 £30.71 ex VAT (£52.64 per litre)
  •  In Stock
  •  Next-day delivery available
Sizes Available
Customer Rating
Caol Ila 12 Year Old is of medium weight, but still packing plenty of potent phenols, this is a refined, powerful dram with a compensating oiliness. A balanced, peaty beauty..
Distillery Bottling
12 Year Old


  • Body
  • Richness
  • Smoke
  • Sweetness


  • Vanilla Vanilla
  • Pear Pear
  • Brine Brine
  • Tar Tar
  • Smoke Smoke
  • Toffee Toffee

Caol Ila 12 Year Old Reviews

Tasting Notes

  • Tasting Notes by Rocky

    Nose: An intensely rich nose of Shreddies and toffee with hints of violet. When left in the glass for a minute or two, smoky bacon notes were also apparent.

    Palate: Fairly light in texture with notes of toffee, vanilla and pear joined by a hint of ash on the very back palate.

    Finish: Light in intensity, but not in complexity. The sweeter notes from the palate end fairly quickly, leaving a delightful subtle finish of ash, tar and light peat.

    Comment: Another excellent whisky for those who don’t like their Islay too peat-heavy. I tried this with some Cashel Blue cheese and as has been proven many times before, peated whisky and blue cheese are a match made in heaven.

  • Tasting Notes by Dave Broom for Whisky Advocate

    Funny to think how recently Caol Ila was an Islay giant that was kept pretty much under wraps by its owner. These days it has cemented its reputation as the island's Mr. Consistent. This version shows its character the best, a nose that mixes seashore and grass with a distinct hint of smoked bacon. The peatiness isn't dominant, but flows through-out the palate, scenting, lifting and subtly changing the mix. A delicious oiliness makes it a great food whisky.

    89 Points

50 Customer Reviews

  • Add Your Review
  • 4
    9 days ago

    "Nose" (undiluted) Gentle peat. Still smoking, charred beach wood and a sweetness, grassy with a hint of seaweed. "Palate" (undiluted) Salty, cold orange pekoe tea, light peat notes, and smoke. Think branches piled for a small beach-side fire. Not overpowering. Salted cod too. "Finish" (undiluted) Tart apple, tangy green seaweed, and the final note is salt. Heavy salt.

  • 5
    4 May

    Is there such a thing as a bad Islay malt? People tend to dismiss them as either too smokey, too pungent or medicinal. If you love your single malt as I do, you will recognize the subtle differences between different whiskies. This goes for Islay as well as all other regions. Laphroaig typifies the style and can be brutal but oh so rewarding. Bowmore combines the same ppm level of peat with sherried fruitiness. Caol Ila is far more subtle with a lighter body than others. It's hard to imagine something so light in color can be so big in flavor. On the nose it combines wheat with peaty smokiness. On the palate you taste fruit, peat, malt and nice briny saltiness. There is a slight oily texture. The finish is medium to long with the fruit fading fast and the peat and salinity lingering. Great stuff especially if you like variety in your whisky like I do.

  • 5
    8 April

    Wonderful hit of smokey baconly seaweeds and sweetness that can be enjoyed by itself but for full heavenly experience conjoined with blue Stilton is just unbelievably delicious!

  • 4
    16 January

    This was a whisky that grew on me a lot. At first opening, not being used to a peaty whisky, I found it a bit full on. But after a few drams it settled down on the nose and palate and I was able to enjoy to its full genius.Let it sit in your glass for a good ten minutes to allow the complexities to develop and enjoy the smoky bacon, and dare I say it, sticking plaster aromas come gently towards your nostrils. The tasting was light and oily in texture, with a short finish and it is beautifully balanced between the bitterness of smoke with the sweetness of ripe pears. Vanilla, puff pastry, bramley apples, sultanas, brown sugar, sea salt, light as a feather... oh my word, the taste stayed with me for days afterwards, returning seductively, beckoning me back. I shall miss this one , until my next bottle of course...

  • 5
    4 January

    After treating myself to a bottle of this, it has become one of my new favourites. A good starting point for those looking to try something slightly peaty, but still very smooth and easily drinkable.

  • 5
    1 January

    A great tasting whisky for any special occasion

  • 5
    21 December 2015

    Only coming a close 3rd place next to Talisker and Lagavulin. Great wee dram!

  • 5
    14 December 2015

    Highly recommended Islay unpeated whisky. Personal taste note: This is better than most of the 15 yrs old scotch.

  • 5
    25 September 2015

    A very very good whiskey, lots of great notes. Rich in flavour and a tad rich on price. I would of liked to give 4 1/2 stars but can''t.

  • 5
    2 March 2015

    Exceptional. Right from the nose, it goads your chi to press on. I find the nose smokey, tinge of ham and sauerkraut. Certainly not sweet. Leave it alone for 3-4 minutes in the glass and the waft reaches you 15 feet away. Smoky peat. Taste is refreshingly light. Add 3 drops of water, wait a minute or so and here comes the sweetness. Ephemeral Jaggery, sugarcane juice. Trace of Vanilla. Stays light. Complex, light, not overpowering the nasal cavity. Peat lingers on as smokiness dissipates. Fabulous subtlety, suggestive yet not seductive. Finish is short, pity! Stilton and Baby cheese and this dram go well, since Adelost, a Swedish blue cheese and made for this whisky is not readily available.

  • 5
    2 March 2015

    Exceptional. I prefer it to Talisker 10.

  • 5
    19 February 2015

    An Utterly Superb Whisky. sweet toffee and yes, shreddies on the nose. i love the toffee taste on the pallate and with that subtle hint of smoke this is a real winner

  • 5
    12 September 2014

    The only dram, that answers all of a real whisky lovers questions, avoids any kind of extremes and shapes that genius composition priced at a level, which gives everybody the chance to have that wonderful experience.

  • 21 April 2014

    Very very nice indeed! I think I still prefer the Ardbeg for its extra peat kick, but this has a much smoother subtlety to it! Highly recommend!

  • 11 July 2013

    Fairly light. Smoky but not quite as overpowering as Laphroaig 10 which it resembles a bit. I'm not too fond of it because it seems to be a bit thin for my taste. Still, if you're into the style of light-bodied peaty whiskies, certainly worth a try.

  • 30 March 2013

    A great whisky, one of the best for this price. Plenty of peat but nothing like Laphroaig of Lagavulin. I had a fantastic cask strength 30ish year old single cask Caol Ila at a Whisky Lounge tasting and have loved it ever since.

  • 12 February 2013

    Very interesting dram indeed. Lovely sweet oily nature to it. Sophisticated for sure. Sweet and dry, some peat, somewhat intense (nothing like Laphroig or Talisker per se). No chill-filtering and no coloring also indicate that this single malt has a dram with solid character.

  • 4 December 2012

    Yup, like most people have said, a nice way to "ease in" to Islay's. A few more unusual flavours with Caol Ila which you dont get with Ardbeg or Lagavulin - salt, a nice oiliness (trust me) and believe it or not there's a pleasant hint of rubber when you're sniffing!! :) Overall a nice "left-field" dram. The cask strength stuff is wonderful too!!

  • 12 March 2012

    I find the nose has a very clean smokiness about it, not like the big dirty peaty whiffs you get from ardbeg. Palate quite medicinal but more on the gentle side, some citrus tangs and a good load of salt. Finish is a bit short which is disappointing, otherwise a nice dram. Perfect for introduction to those taking first baby steps into Islay malts.

  • 11 March 2012

    El mejor de Islay sin duda. Un gran compañero para pasar el invierno.

Show 40 more reviews