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Caol Ila 12 vs Talisker 10: Head to Head!

Discover the differences between Caol Ila 12 vs Talisker 10 in this in-depth comparison and decide which Single Malt is better for You!

Caol Ila 12

caol-ila
  • Nose: Smoked ham, apple, pear.
  • Palate: Red fruit, caramel, vanilla, lemon zest.
  • Finish: Long, smoke, oak spice.

The nose has a prominent meaty note that brings a smoked ham-like aroma, followed by hints of apple and pear.

On the palate, Caol Ila provides a thick creamy body. Flavor hits with red fruit and caramel, followed by vanilla sweetness and a touch of lemon zest.

The finish is long, with a bit of spice to it, with a pleasant hit of smoke and an earthy and mineral note making it quite pleasing.

Caol Ila 12 is a creamy and well balanced dram, incredibly smooth and subtle on the palate, with a wonderful and unique nose and a satisfying balance of smoke and spice.

This whisky is not as complex and hard to appreciate as other Islay releases, Caol Ila is lighter and more easy-going but still interesting enough.

Caol Ila 12 is less smoky as it distills in copper-pot stills that are less full maximizing copper contact.

But if you still find too peaty add a few drops of water and it will become more floral and sweeter.

Overall, Caol Ila is the best option for those who want to start drinking peaty whisky but are not ready to deal with the heavyweights such as Ardbeg, Lagavulin or Laphroaig.

Learn how it compares to the Laphroaig 10!

There are a few facts worth knowing about this single malt whisky:

  • Bottled at 86 proof (43% ABV).

  • Caol Ila is aged for a minimum of twelve years in traditional oak casks.

  • Earned Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition

  • Won Gold 2014 International Spirits Challenge.

  • Caol Ila Distillery was founded in 1846 by Hector Henderson near Port Askaig on the isle of Islay, Scotland.

Talisker 10

talisker-10
  • Nose: Smoke, pear and apple.
  • Palate: Smoke, dried fruit, mineral notes, cereal, pepper.
  • Finish: Long and pleasantly peppery

There is a fair amount of smoke on the nose at first, followed by hints of pear, apple and a bit of iodine.

On the palate, the Talisker 10 displays a creamy texture. Flavor offers a moderate hit of smoke at first, that quickly mellows out into rich dried fruit sweetness, with hints of cereal, black pepper and a mineral note.

The finish is long, with a satisfying warming peppery note and mineral finish with a bit of oak spice and caramel.

Adding a dash of water tunes-down the pepper, while releasing sweet notes, making it easier to sip.

Talisker 10 is a creamy and full flavored whisky. This is a peaty whisky but not as heavy as some of the Islay malts as it does not overpowers other flavors.

Talisker strikes a nice balance between smoke, salinity, peppery notes and honey-like sweetness.

Overall, Talisker 10 is not an entry-level single malt but it makes a solid option for true whisky aficionados that like peat in moderate amounts in their drinks.

Learn how it compares to the Laphroaig 10!

There are a few facts worth knowing about this whisky:

  • Bottled at 90 proof (45% ABV).

  • Aged in ex-bourbon barrels.

  • Was rated Best Buy by Wine Enthusiast.

  • Awarded with 94 points at the Ultimate Spirits Challenge in 2013.

  • Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2013.

  • Talisker is an Island Whisky crafted in the Isle of Skye since 1830; founded by Hugh and Kenneth MacAskill.

Caol Ila 12 vs Talisker 10: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskyPrice
Caol Ila 12$82
Talisker 10$75

Caol Ila 12 vs Talisker 10: Which is better?

Both rank high within their respective categories

WhiskeyCaol Ila 12Talisker 10
Nose
Body
Palate
Finish
Value

  • Caol Ila is lighter on the smoke than the Talisker making a good option for those want this note in moderation.

  • Talisker 10 is a more complex and interesting release, with a rich smoky flavor, along sweet and mineral notes making a very rewarding dram.

What do Caol Ila and Talisker have in common?

Both are owned by London-based Diageo

These brands are part of Diageo’s impressive portfolio that includes over 200 brands being Johhnie Walker the most renowned.

These whiskies are part 2 of the 40 whiskies that comprise the Black Label blend.

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