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Caol Ila

Caol Ila was founded to the North of Islay in 1846 by the pleasingly-named Hector Henderson. It is located near Port Askaig and sits in lush, floral surroundings, overlooking the cove and the Paps of southern Jura. The distillery draws its water from Loch Nam Ban, whose waters travel through limestone and peat before reaching their beneficiary, Caol Ila.

The whisky distillery was sold to Norman Buchanan in 1852 and then, following monetary hardship, to the Glasgow-based blenders Bulloch, Lade and Co who renovated the buildings in 1879. Following liquidation, Distillers Company Ltd acquired Caol Ila and the distillery was subsequently transferred to Scottish Malt Distillers. The capacity is moderate at 3.65 million litres annually, the majority of which is used in Johnnie Walker blends. Just 5% is kept for maturation as single malt.

From 1999, unpeated single malts have been experimented with and in 2006 the first unpeated bottling was released in the form of an eight year-old. Caol Ila, whose name derives from the Gaelic for ‘Sound of Islay’, has been included in the Diageo Classic Malts range, exhibiting twelve and eighteen year-old expressions as well as a Moscatel-finished Distillers Edition. Independent bottlings can also be found.

Caol Ila Whisky Distillery

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About Caol Ila Whisky Distillery

Distillery Number

01496 302760

Distillery Founded

1846

Distillery Capacity

3 650 000 litres

Distillery Status

Active

Distillery Owner

Diageo

Distillery Address

Port Askaig, Islay, Argyll

Distillery Website

www.malts.com

1846

Hector Henderson founds Caol Ila.

1852

Henderson, Lamont & Co. is subjected to financial difficulties and Henderson is forced to sell Caol Ila to Norman Buchanan.

1863

Norman Buchanan encounters financial troubles and sells to the blending company Bulloch, Lade & Co. from Glasgow.

1879

The distillery is rebuilt and expanded.

1920

Bulloch, Lade & Co. is liquidated and the distillery is taken over by Caol Ila Distillery.

1927

DCL becomes sole owners.

1930

DCL transfers administration to Scottish Malt Distillers (SMD). The distillery closes.

1937

Operations recommence.

1972

All the buildings, except for the warehouses, are demolished and rebuilt.

1974

The renovation, which totals £1 million,

1999

Experiments with a completely unpeated malt are performed.

2002

The first official bottlings since Flora & Fauna/Rare Malt appear; 12 years, 18 years and Cask Strength (c. 10 years).

2003

A 25 year old cask strength is released.

2005

A 25 year old Special Release is launched.

2006

Unpeated 8 year old and 1993 Moscatel finish are released.

2007

The second edition of the unpeated 8 year old is released.

2008

The third edition of unpeated 8 year old is released.

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Mature Your Own Kit
A 2000 vintage Caol Ila, bottled by the renowned wine merchants, Berry Brothers and Rudd.  More info
The oldest official bottling from the Caol Ila distillery, this 25 year old Islay single malt was released as one of just 6,000 bottles, distilled in 1978 and bottled in 2003 at cask strength.  More info
An old, rich Caol Ila, distilled in September 1980 and aged for 30 years in a refill hogshead. This was bottled in May of 2011 for the Old Malt Cask range. Just 270 bottles.  More info
£148.49
An incredible high strength Caol Ila, especially when considering the age! This was distilled in 1975, and was bottled for Diageo's Rare Malts series. These old Rare Malts are well worth a try, as you...  More info
A fabulous cask strength release from Caol Ila, this was bottled for the 2011 Feis Ile (Islay Festival). We first tried this in the cold and rain at Caol Ila's blustery distillery day. It was just...  More info
A single cask from the Caol Ila distillery. This was distilled on the 13th November 1984 and aged for 25 years in hogshead number 5388 before bottling for the Bladnoch Forum on the 19th March 2010. A...  More info
This fifteen year old Caol Ila has been bottled by Signatory without chill filtration and is a deliciously peaty Islay single malt!  More info
£41.01
A sherry finished distillers edition from the Caol Ila distillery. Distilled in 1996, the Moscatel wine has coalesced beautifully with the smoked power of the Islay single malt, the feinty notes are...  More info
£43.83
A 28 year old Caol Ila bottled in 2012 by Adelphi, and one of 250 bottles matured in a refill bourbon hogshead.  More info
£144.60
Distilled at Caol Ila on the 15th September 1999 and aged in two hogsheads before bottling on the 8th April 2011. A release of 926 bottles.  More info
£35.82
Caol Ila Feis Ile 2012
(70cl, 60.40%)
Caol Ila's Feris Ile 2012 bottling, this is a big bruiser of a whisky, finished in second-fill sherry casks.  More info
£150.14
Just 12,990 bottles were released, this Caol Ila 8 year old proffers the chance to sample an unpeated malt from the distillery, matured in first fill bourbon casks. There is spice and fruit with a...  More info
A limited edition, cask strength single cask from Duncan Taylor. This was distilled at Caol Ila in December 1984, and aged for 25 years in cask 6270 before bottling in May 2010 as part of a release of...  More info
A 32 year old Caol Ila, bottled by Signatory. This well aged malt was distilled on the 27th December 1974 and matured in a single cask (hogshead number 12624) before bottling on the 28th June 2007...  More info
A 25 year old Caol Ila bottled for Berry's Own Selection. This was distilled in 1984 and bottled at cask strength.  More info
£91.27
A beautiful Caol Ila, filled into cask on the 18th December 1996, and aged for 12 years in European oak sherry cask 19313 before being hand selected by Billy Stitchell for the 2009 Feis Ile.  More info
£194.95
This is a Caol Ila distilled in 1990 and bottled by independent bottler Mackillops in 2012. The philosophy behind Mackillops is to take the appreciation of wine to whisky, so the whiskies selected...  More info
This is a 14 year old Caol Ila which has been made from un-peated malted barley - unusual for these Islay Distillers. The whisky has been matured in ex-Sherry casks for a fruity character which still...  More info
£64.84
Caol Ila Feis Ile 2010
(70cl, 61.90%)
The 2010 Feis Ile (Islay Festival) saw some exceptional special releases from some of Scotland's best-loved distilleries. Caol Ila offered this stunning natural cask strength bottling, filled into...  More info
£110.69
Single cask Caol Ila, bottled for the Bladnoch Forum. This release of just 170 bottles was matured in hogshead no. 8154 for 28 years!  More info
This is a 27 year old, cask-strength Caol Ila from Douglas Laing's Old and Rare Platinum Selection. It was distilled in March 1987 before a single cask maturation (in a sherry hogshead). It was...  More info
£256.47
Distilled at Caol Ila in May of 1983, this was aged for 28 years in a single cask (number 3618) before bottling in 2012. A release of 413 individually numbered bottles from Duncan Taylor's Dimensions...  More info
£118.49
1997 vintage Caol Ila, bottled as part of Diageo's superb Distillers Edition range. This was finished in Moscatel wine casks, and the result is a nuttier, fruitier whisky. Well worth a try.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
£46.95
An 18 year old red wine finished Caol Ila from superb bottler Gordon & MacPhail.  More info
£72.75
A single cask, cask strength Caol Ila aged for a whopping 30 years. Chosen by Bruichladdich's Jim McEwan and bottled as part of his Celtic Heartland's range.  More info
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