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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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One of the best Unpeated Caol Ila's so far (as of 2011), this is a stunning whisky, distilled in 1999 and aged in first fill ex bourbon American oak casks. Really very good indeed! A release of 6,000...  More info
$87.23
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
$68.19
A young and punchy 11 year old single cask peated offering from Caol Ila distillery, bottled by Adelphi in early 2013.  More info
$100.57
Caol Ila is Islay's biggest producer in terms of volume. By jingo it's good though. Oh yes.  More info
$67.18
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)
$258.76
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
$97.01
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
$405.17
An 18 year old red wine finished Caol Ila from superb bottler Gordon & MacPhail.  More info
$122.16
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
$258.76
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
$113.87
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
$117.59
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
$196.72
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
$143.03
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
When Stewart Laing started Hunter Laing after splitting the assets of Douglas Laing with his brother, he continued to produce independent bottlings of fantastic whisky for the Old Malt Cask selection...  More info
$133.97
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
$252.11
No whisky was chillfiltered in the making of this 17 year old Caol Ila single malt. After being distilled in 1996 and maturing in casks 12559 and 12570, it was bottled by Signatory in 2013 with an...  More info
$99.91
Do you have problems with chill filtration? Well you're in luck, as Signatory's Un-Chillfiltered Collection doesn't allow it! The range now includes a 16 year old Caol Ila from casks 5572 & 5573.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (3.5/5)
$93.51
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
$247.85
Punchy Islay smoke from Caol Ila distillery. Bottled from two sherry hogsheads after 16 years, with an outturn of 778 bottles.  More info
$93.51
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
$430.66
A Douglas Laing bottling of 17 year old single malt from the particularly talented Islay distillery, Caol Ila. Oh, what a coincidence! I used the word "particularly" and this is an Old Particular...  More info
$129.21
A 30 year old Caol Ila from Signatory? How delicious! Thank you. What do you mean I only get to write the bottling note, and that I don't get to take all of these home with me? Hmph. Well, I guess I...  More info
$258.76
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
$108.88
This is a youthful, small-batch bottling of Caol Ila from the Provenance range, bottled in Winter 2012 without an age statement. It was described by the bottlers as "Young and Feisty".  More info
$101.07
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