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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
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
A punchy cask strength release, it's at 65.8%! This is an unpeated expression from the Caol Ila distillery. They make this stuff but once a year, and is matured in first fill bourbon barrels.  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 Signatory bottling from Caol Ila. This was distilled on the 22nd November 1999 and matured in two hogsheads (umbers 3/1063 and 1064) for 10 years before bottling on the 26th November 2009. A release...  More info
Distilled at Caol Ila - an Islay distillery known for its oily, smoky character - on the 22nd November 1999, matured in two casks (hogsheads numbers 3/11067 11068) and bottled by Signatory on the 17th...  More info
This Caol Ila was aged in two refill hogsheads (casks 5720 and 5721) for 12 years. Distilled in Autumn 1997 and bottled by Douglas Laing in Winter 2009.  More info
Single cask Islay malt, this was distilled at Caol Ila in November 1979 and matured for 30 years in a refill butt before bottling in January 2010. Part of a release of 266 bottles, bottled by Douglas...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
A 12 year old Caol Ila single cask, with a peaty, spicy flavour. This is part of an outturn of 743 bottles from a refill butt, distilled in September 1995 and bottled in January 2008 by Douglas Laing.  More info
A Tokaji finished Caol Ila, this was distilled on the 30th September 1994 and matured in three casks before bottling by Gordon and MacPhail in July of 2009. Part of a release of just 492 bottles.  More info
A single cask from Caol Ila, bottled by Speciality Drinks. This was distilled on the 11th January 1991 and aged for 18 years in a hogshead (cask 194/200) before bottling on the 20th April 2009 at Cask...  More info
$96.79
Stunning presentation, this is a 27 year old Caol Ila, bottled by Adelphi in 2009. This is a cask strength release of 227 bottles.  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
Distilled at Caol Ila on the 13th November and matured in cask number 5387 for 25 years before bottling by Bladnoch on the 23rd March 2010. A release of 263 numbered bottles at cask strength.  More info
From the Murray McDavid Mission series of casks selected by Jim McEwan and bottled at the Bruichladdich distillery. This was distilled at Caol Ila in 1990, matured in bourbon barrels for 17 years and...  More info
A wonderfully unique Caol Ila, this was distilled in 1991 and initially aged in bourbon barrels. Jim McEwan, Bruichladdich Master Distiller, selected the cask and then transferred the whisky into...  More info
A 12 year old Islay malt from the Caol Ila distillery. This was bottled for the exceptional new Alchemist range.  More info
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
$183.51
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 single cask from Signatory. This is the next cask after the excellent previous edition (cask 3636). This was distilled on the 16th May 1984 and aged for 25 years in cask 3637 (a hogshead) before...  More info
Distilled at Caol Ila in 1984 and aged for 23 years in cask number 6262 before bottling by Adelphi in 2008 as part of a release of 232 cask strength bottles.  More info
This was distilled at the Caol Ila distillery in Askaig in the Spring of 1998. It was aged for a decade in a single refill barrel (number 4297) before bottling in the Spring of 2008 by Douglas Laing.  More info
17 year old Caol Ila distilled in March 1990 and aged in claret wine barrel number 4055 before bottling December 2007 for the Old Malt Cask range.  More info
A 9 year old Caol Ila, bottled for the Douglas Laing Provenance range. This was distilled in the Winter of 2000 and bottled in the Summer of 2010.  More info
Distilled in September 1996 and aged for 14 years in a refill hogshead before bottling for the Old Malt Cask range in September 2010 as part of a release of 329 bottles.  More info
Distilled on the 13th November 1984 and aged for 25 years in hogshead number 5391 before bottling on the 11th July 2010 for the Bladnoch forum. A release of 212 bottles.  More info
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