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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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Caol Ila 25 Year Old
(70cl, 59.40%)
A cask strength expression from the Caol Ila distillery, this 25 year old bottling was matured in refill American and European oak casks and it exudes oily, peaty notes with balancing sweetness.  More info
$222.28
This Natural Cask Strength single malt bottling from the Caol Ila distillery is a surprisingly smooth dram. Oily with pungent smoke and malt.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
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
This is a smoky, rich 21 year old Caol Ila from the Vintage Malt Whisky Company's Coopers Choice range. It was aged in a single cask (number 9056) before bottling in 2012.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$92.38
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
$410.12
Punchy Islay smoke from Caol Ila distillery. Bottled from two sherry hogsheads after 16 years, with an outturn of 778 bottles.  More info
$89.05
A young and punchy 11 year old single cask peated offering from Caol Ila distillery, bottled by Adelphi in early 2013.  More info
$95.77
This was distilled at Caol Ila on the 14th December 1982 before a 29 year maturation in a single cask (hogshead 6485). It was bottled at natural cask strength in December 2012, and it comes from...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$246.42
A 16 year old Caol Ila distilled in September 1996 and matured in cask 9512. This Islay whisky was bottled in February 2013 by Douglas Laing as part of their Old Malt Cask Range.  More info
$108.44
Distilled at Coal Ila distillery in 1995 and finished in Madeira casks, this Islay single malt was bottled by Gordon & MacPhail for their Private Collection range.  More info
$111.99
An 18 year old red wine finished Caol Ila from superb bottler Gordon & MacPhail.  More info
$116.34
Caol Ila is Islay's biggest producer in terms of volume. By jingo it's good though. Oh yes.  More info
$63.98
A 24 year old single malt from the Caol Ila distillery on Islay and bottled in 2008 by the Vintage Whisky Co. as part of The Coopers Choice range.  More info
$385.85
A 23 year old Caol Ila distilled on 8th February 1990 and matured in a single cask before bottling by Montgomerie's in March 2013.  More info
$236.03
This 1996 vintage bottling from Gordon and MacPhail's Connoisseur's Choice is a veritable exhibition of Caol Ila's character, there is a fruity freshness underpinning phenols and a strong coastal...  More info
An 11 year old Caol Ila expression from Gordon and MacPhail's Private Collection, this bottling was matured in Marsala casks and is part of an limited release of just 1,200 bottles.  More info
A limited edition sherry finished single malt from Caol Ila, just 280 bottles were released, distilled in 1984 and bottled in October of 2008 by Gordon and MacPhail, a beautifully balanced whisky from...  More info
Distilled at the Caol Ila distillery in 1996, Gordon and MacPhail matured this in their Elgin-based warehouses in refill sherry casks. The result is a rich, coastal dram, with fruity freshness and...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$96.06
A smoky single malt from Douglas Laing produced at the Caol Ila distillery. Matured in a single cask and selected as part of the Directors' Cut range, 173 bottles were produced.  More info
$187.34
A 30 year old Caol Ila distilled in December 1982 and bottled in April 2013 by Signatory as part of their Cask Strength Collection. Matured in cask 6483, there was an outturn of 270 bottles.  More info
$246.42
STRICTLY ONE PER CUSTOMER

Caol Ila’s limited edition Fèis Ìle festival bottling is a triple matured release of 3,000 bottles. But pray tell, what does ‘Triple Matured’ mean in this case? Well...  More info
$319.74
A 30 year old single cask Caol Ila from Signatory's excellent Cask Strength Collection. Just 253 bottles of this Islay whisky were produced, distilled in December 1982 and bottled in May 2013.  More info
$246.42
Hunter Laing, the company that Stewart Laing created when the assets of Douglas Laing were split between himself and his brother, retained the excellent Old Malt Cask label. This Caol Ila, is 18 years...  More info
$136.21
Very rare bottle of Caol Ila, bottled at the Bladnoch distillery after sixteen years of maturation.  More info
A rare half bottle of Caol Ila from Signatory, these are rather hard to come by.  More info
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