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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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Tasting Sets
A beautiful single cask, 30 year old Caol Ila from Douglas Laing's wonderful Old and Rare Platinum Selection. This was distilled in November 1980, and it was matured in a refill hogshead before...  More info
$350.42
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
$238.90
A fifteen year old Caol Ila from Douglas Laing's Old Malt Cask Series. Smoky, sooty, medicinal, everything we want from a Caol Ila.

The Old Malt Cask range began as a release of fifty bottlings in...  More info
$97.48
This was distilled at Caol Ila on the 9th November 2000 and aged for 11 years in two bourbon barrels before bottling for Signatory's Un-Chillfiltered Collection on the 27th April 2912. Each bottle is...  More info
$58.85
From Berry's whisky selection comes this single cask Caol Ila distilled in 1983 and aged for 28 years in cask 4825 before bottling in 2011.  More info
$195.19
A single cask Caol Ila, bottled by the world-famous London wine merchants, Berry Brothers and Rudd. This was distilled in 1982 and aged in cask 6510 for 29 years before bottling in 2011...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$195.19
A single cask Whisky from Caol Ila Distillery, bottled by Signatory as part of their Cask Strength Collection. A 1982 vintage, this has been aged for 29 years.  More info
$193.98
This 12 year old Caol Ila was distilled on the 12th November 1999 and it was aged in two hogsheads before bottling by Signatory on the 12th December 2011.  More info
A Mackillop's Choice Caol Ila 17 Year Old, distilled on 8 February 1990 and bottled in May 2007 at cask strength. It is, of course, non-chill filtered.  More info
A Mackillop's Choice bottling of 30 year old single cask Caol Ila. This was distilled in 1981 and bottled in early 2012. It's cask strength and non-chill filtered.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
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
$190.64
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
$241.56
This Caol Ila boasts an incredible twenty-nine years of cask ageing and is a stupendous Islay whisky being both smoky and graceful in equal quantities.

This whisky was bottled by Duncan Taylor for...  More info
$303.61
This is a fourteen year old Caol Ila bottled without chill-filtration by Signatory to maintain flavour and texture.  More info
$65.98
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
$104.32
Matured in two first fill Sherry butts, this 2000 vintage Caol Ila was bottled by Gordon & MacPhail in June 2012 as part of their Cask Strength range.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$92.78
This is a sherry-matured Caol Ila from Gordon and MacPhail's Connoisseurs Choice range. It was distilled in 1998 and bottled in 2010.  More info
$65.34
This is a 20 year old Caol Ila bottled for the Cooper's Choice series of Scotch whisky.  More info
$92.95
This fifteen year old Caol Ila has been bottled by Signatory without chill filtration and is a deliciously peaty Islay single malt!  More info
$65.98
Caol Ila is near Port Askaig in Islay and this sixteen year old whisky has been bottled by Douglas Laing for their Old Malt Cask range. All the whiskies in the Old Malt Cask range are bottled without...  More info
$111.01
A delicious 16 year old, 1996 vintage from Wemyss Malts' range of superbly appropriately named whiskies - this is Lemon Smoke... It comes from a secret distillery on Islay - let's just say it's C Ila...  More info
This is a nineteen year old Caol Ila from The Cooper's Choice range bottled at 46% abv. Caol Ila is a peated malt whisky with a coastal character.  More info
$92.95
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
$70.52
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
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