Whisky Review – Caol Ila 12 Year Old

Caol Ila 12 Year Old
43% ABV
£35.09 from MasterOfMalt


Dry pungent peat stack fires. Ashy, smoky, intense bonfires. Light lemon citrus. Near ripe banana. Some buttery honey notes. Road tar. Wet ropes. Liquorice. Pepper. Chilli. Intensive spicy character. Despite all this Islay peat and spice profile, there is a light side to this nose. The lemon buttery citrus cream is always present and gives a nice balance to the peat monster.


Initially sweet. Then dry honey malt. Along with a fire of peat. The lemon juice is coming through, along with a touch of lime. And an overall citrus. Some earthy wet grass. An oily, thick mouthfeel. Whilst the arrival is initially sweet the development through to finish is distinctively dry. The more I’m sipping at this the more levels of intensity and variation I’m finding. It’s a very moreish dram, mainly due to this variation and wondering what the next sip will bring.


Crisp, medium to long finish. The earthy peat, dirt and wet grass with some hay goes through to the finish. Some dryness comes at the very end. There’s a mineral chalky note at the finish also.

Adding water.

Few drops. The nose is more intense with bonfire smoke. The palate slightly lighter, with prolonged sweetness, more sugars and honey. Very crisp still and very enjoyable. The finish remains dry and spicy. A spot of water does this dram some justice.


Can’t believe I haven’t tried this one until now. A nice malt this. Quite a dry malt, so doesn’t suite my palate all the time being the sweet tooth I am, but as a change in pace, and definitely as a last dram of the night or a refresher for more sweetness, this works a treat.