Caol Ila Head to Head

Its always interesting to compare original and private bottlings and also to directly compare ages and maturity.  Here we are comparing all at once.

Scottish Malt Whisky Society 52.213 ‘Dram at night, fishwives delight’ 56% ABV

Nose is briney and smokey, seaside tang with slight banana notes. The palate is old smoke, lingering brine and mildly astringent (not in a bad way) This has a big mouthfeel which fades to a delicious sweetness but not before the brine goes TURBO.  The finish leaves lingering smoke and slight ash. The higher ABV leaves a mild burn. 

Tried this at a friends house and it was definately dram of the night, magnificent.

Avaliable only to members of the SMWS but info can be found here.

Caol Ila 12 Year Old


Nose is brine and ash with a herbal undertone buried in there somewhere. The palate is tangy and oily with refined smoke that lingers but doesnt take over.  This is a good dram but lacks a little of the punch of the 18 tasted earlier. Definately one to try.

Avaliable (bottle or sample) here.


  1. We did one recently with the Scapa and the Highland Park – they were so contrasting it was hard to believe they were produced only a few hundred metres apart!
    Keep on waffling,

  2. Head to heads are always a really interesting activities – sometimes it gives you a whole new appreciation for a dram. Or, you know, the opposite…
    Keep on waffling,

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