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Caol Ila 18yo Islay Scotch


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#1 AVB

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Posted 14 February 2005 - 08:06 AM

Caol Ila 18 yo Islay Single malt Scotch, standard bottle, cardboard box, 750 ml, 86 proof, about $70.00-$80.00. Also available in 12 and 15 year expressions.

Posted Image

Caol Ila is one of the lessor known Islay Scotches and while bottlings have been available it is mostly used in blends from Johnnie Walker, Bells and Black Bottle to name a few. The distillery was totally rebuilt in 1974 tripling it's output and serving as the example for the Clynelish distillery in Brora which is an exact replica of Caol Ila.

The nosing of this dram tells you that this is a great whisky. Peat, smoke, salt, and a bit of fruit rise up to great you tempting your taste buds with flavors to come. Tasting confirms that this is an Islay malt of the first order. Oily peat mixes with a subtle malt and even some chocolate as a base while spices float on the top. The finish is long peaty and spicy.

If you are a fan of Islay scotches and can't get enough peat in your scotch diet then there should be a bottle of Caol Ila on your shelf already, if not, get one!

While I don't own the following, I have had it and it is the top of the heap for Caol Ila as far as I'm concerned. If you can find the 25yo Cask Strength (118.8 proof) that is as far as you ever have to look for an Islay. About $190.

Edited by AVB, 04 May 2007 - 10:10 PM.


#2 AVB

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Posted 23 March 2005 - 08:10 AM

I picked this to try last night because I knew it would cut through the cold I'm trying to kick. While not being able to taste all the subtle flavors the peat and smoke came out with no problem. An Islay for the true fan.

#3 Ludwig

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 10:57 PM

I just bought a bottle as I have been meaning to. Enjoy this quite a bit!!!!

#4 rbbrock

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Posted 25 April 2007 - 10:23 AM

I have only had the 12 year Caol Ila, but it was definitely a very nice dram. It was much more nuanced than the age-equivalent (almost) Laphroaig. Though it retained the typical Islay peaty/smokiness, it was substantially more restrained, allowing the underlying flavors and aromas to come through more strongly. Don't get me wrong, I love Laphroaig for its power, and there are definitely undertones of flavor to that malt as well, I just found those undertones easier to discern in the Caol Ila.

P.S. Sorry I can't be more specific, but I'm going completely from memory here, as just now my cabinet contains neither of these whiskies. Those of you familiar with Islay malts will understand what I am trying to say here, I think.

#5 CalixEros

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Posted 25 April 2007 - 04:13 PM

This is one of my favorites. The 15 year is excellent also, and I'm not sure if the extra $$ for the 18 year is worth it. Between those two and Lagavulin 16 year, I don't know if I ever need another whisky. Although the Laphroaig 30 is on its way to me...

#6 Ludwig

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Posted 25 April 2007 - 06:14 PM

This is one of my favorites. The 15 year is excellent also, and I'm not sure if the extra $$ for the 18 year is worth it. Between those two and Lagavulin 16 year, I don't know if I ever need another whisky. Although the Laphroaig 30 is on its way to me...


Price difference where I got it was only roughly 12 dollars :)

#7 Mr Peat

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 07:46 PM

This is definitely a must bottle if you enjoy a nice peaty finish. I still have around 1/3 bottle that was gifted to me from a very generous botl, Smokyballs. :thumbs:

#8 rbbrock

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 10:01 PM

Review XVIX in a series


OK, maybe I have forgotten how Roman numerals work, but is XVIX not nonsense?

#9 AVB

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 10:07 PM

Yes it is. I probably fat fingered at the time but I'll fix it now.

#10 rbbrock

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 10:26 PM

I hate it when those durned fat fingers get clumsy. ;) I generally do OK, but it seems that the more important what I'm typing is, the more likely it is not only that I'll screw up my typing but also that I'll miss the mistake when I proof the document. I hate it when I go back to read something I've filed with a court and find typos. :angry:

#11 CoventryCat86

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Posted 11 August 2007 - 07:25 PM

I just added a bottle of this to my collection today. It was a toss up between this and the Laphroaig 15yo (I should have just bought both! :D ). I paid $69.95 for it at one of the big liquor retailers in Sturbridge, Massachusetts.

At this point, I've become a huge Islay fan and I've been slowly adding them to my small collection. I have a couple of fancy ones (Laphroaig 30yo and Bowmore 25yo), a medium priced one (Ardbeg Uigeadail), an inexpensive but VERY GOOD one for regular drinking (Lagavulin 16yo that I found for $45.95) and now the Caol Ila 18yo.

The Ardbeg is by far the "heavy duty" one :0 and I drink it with a couple of ice cubes as AVB suggested.

This Caol Ila is VERY NICE and to me, is very similar to the Lagavulin 16yo. I sense more of an Islay "nose" with this scotch than I do with the Lagavulin and has a slightly more peaty taste to it than the Lagavulin. I love them both and I'm glad I added the Caol Ila for some variety.

Here's a photo of my bottle and package. My box is black with orange lettering which looks like its changed since AVB posted the picture of his bottle.

Posted Image

Edited by coventrycat86, 11 August 2007 - 07:41 PM.


#12 AVB

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Posted 11 August 2007 - 09:38 PM

I don't think the packaging changed, I just have a crappy pic. I'll have to do something about that sometime.

#13 sigar_zealot

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Posted 12 August 2007 - 01:30 AM

I am constantly amazed at the low prices you guys near the other coast post. Lagavulin 16 retails for $92.99 most places in AZ. $74.99 is as low as I have seen it priced.

I'll look for this to try in a bar before popping for a bottle. Thanks for the information men.

Edited by sigar_zealot, 12 August 2007 - 01:30 AM.


#14 AVB

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Posted 12 August 2007 - 08:13 AM

The price Bill paid for the Lagavulin is the lowest in the US to my knowledge. Usually you don't see it under $65 anywhere else in the US.

#15 Apathy78

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Posted 13 August 2007 - 11:43 AM

Easily one of my favorites well worth the price tag :thumbs:

#16 half full monty

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 06:54 AM

I stumbled across a bottle of this and picked it up, mainly because it was a few bucks cheaper than Lagavulin.

What a wonderful drink. This is a complex scotch, aptly described above by AVB. A little saltier and a bit more complex with a smoother finish than the Lagavulin, but very similar.

They are not supposed to carry this in NC. I'm going to go clean them out tonite.




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