Caol Ila

Caol Ila 7 Years Old 2012 The Single Cask

Caol Ila 7 Years Old 2012 Claxton’s (60%, Claxton’s, refill HH #1959-300381, 285 bottles, 2019)

  • ABV: 60%
  • Age: 7 Years Old
  • Bottling: Claxton’s, The Single Cask
  • Category: Islay single malt scotch whisky
  • Cost: £86.95
  • Origin: Caol Ila distillery
  • Vintage: 2012


What they say

Distilled in 2012 at Caol Ila, this single malt was kept in a single refill hogshead for seven years it was cracked open and independently bottled by Claxton’s for The Single Cask series. Only 285 bottles were released at a punchy 60% ABV.

Official tasting notes:

  • Nose Clean, intense smoke; Sea spray, industrial oil, and fishing nets followed by toasted bread with lemon curd.
  • Palate Sweet and oily mouthfeel with custard over smoked pineapple and lemon pie; Agave syrup on toast and liquorice.
  • Finish Long with notes of sweet roast root vegetables, scallops baked with honey, lavender and fennel over coal smoke.

What I say

Starting a trio of Caol Ila expressions and relatively young also. That is not such a bad thing here as peated whisky such as Caol Ila is often at its best with a little vigour of youth from the spirit. With time the impact of distilling peated barley fades as the phenolic compounds transform over the maturation period in the cask. So for peak peat, capturing the whisky at a young maturation age such as this keeps thing interesting, I hope…

My tasting notes:

  • Appearance: Barely gold (1/20), oily, large tears with relatively thin legs.
  • Nose: Smoky and lactic, citric, drying cigarette smoke, very sweet and milky, dry burnt grass, smoked barley or hay
  • Taste: Initially vanilla and honey, sweet and dry with malty barley, bacon sandwich wrapped in an ashtray, spiced, honey, white pepper, smoky and slightly ashen, bbq beef and a little apple and lemon zest fruit.
  • Finish: Long, drying, woody green oak, dry smoke and still some light honey sweetness.


Very drinkable, quite simple and clean on the palate but all the better for it. Sweet vanilla with a hint of citrus meets peat smoke and wood.

Score 83/100

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