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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.

Origin Gin
Spirit of Hven Distillery
Maple Whiskey Liqueur
Batshit Mental Ideas
Monkey Shoulder Whisky
Kentucky Oak Barrels
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
2010's Special Release from the Caol Ila distillery. This unpeated version was bottled at cask strength, and it was aged for 12 years in first fill ex-bourbon casks.  More info
An unbelievably good single cask Caol Ila that was so good we put our name on it! This was distilled in 1980 and aged in a single refill hogshead before bottling in 2010. A release of just 154 bottles...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
A 25 year old Caol Ila bottled for Berry's Own Selection. This was distilled in 1984 and bottled at cask strength.  More info
$145.95
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
Aged in bourbon and finished in first growth Sauternes casks from Chateau Climens. This was bottled as a release of 1,189 bottles at the Bruichladdich distillery. At natural cask strength.  More info
$137.78
An oily, smoky caol ils distilled in December 1984 and aged in hogshead 6256 for 25 years before bottling in September 2010. A release of 194 bottles at natural cask strength.  More info
Distilled at Caol Ila in 1983 and bottled in 2011 at cask strength by Berry Brothers and Rudd.  More info
$127.85
An unpeated variant of Caol Ila, this is aged for 8 years, and bottled at a staggering 64.9% abv!  More info
Distilled in 2001, this is a 9 year old Caol Ila, bottled at natural cask strength by Adelphi.  More info
Smoky and rich, this is a full-bodied, powerful Caol Ila with notes of Latakia. Distilled in 1980 and bottled in 2011 by Berry Brothers and Rudd. Cask 4938.  More info
$183.82
Distilled at Caol Ila on the 13th November 1984, this was aged for 25 years in hogshead 5390 before bottling on the 8th July 2010 for the Bladnoch distillery forum. Natural cask strength and no added...  More info
$135.84
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)
$75.08
This was distilled at the Caol Ila distilled in 1990, and originally matured in bourbon casks. Then Murray McDavid took it to the Bruichladdich distillery, and reracked it into Chateau Haut Brion...  More info
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
This Caol Ila was distilled on the 18th November 1999, and was aged in hogsheads before bottling on the 2nd June 2011. A release of 936 bottles from Signatory.  More info
$55.89
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
$57.28
This was distilled at the Caol Ila distillery on the 8th November 2011 and aged for 27 years in hogshead 5283 before bottling on the 2nd February 2011. A release of 243 bottles.  More info
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