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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.

Maple Whiskey Liqueur
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That Boutique-y Whisky Company
Compass Box Distillery
Blend Your Own Whisky
Vintage Cocktails
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
$234.99
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
$185.46
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)
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
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 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
$188.71
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)
$189.89
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
$189.89
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
$57.25
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
$94.83
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
$232.41
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
$340.89
A small batch bottling from the Caol Ila distillery, aged for just a few years in a pair of refill hogsheads. This was bottled in Winter 2012 by Douglas Laing, who declare it to be "young and feisty"!  More info
$77.19
A very peaty Caol Ila from Wemyss Malts, who favour evocative names for their releases, this being no exception. Smokiness abounds and this is a great dram for those in search of phenolic excellence...  More info
$85.15
A teenaged Caol Ila bottled by Gordon and MacPhail as part of their renowned Connoisseurs Choice range.  More info
$289.48
A special Caol Ila and the latest in a line of fantastic whiskies in the Distillers Edition range. The whisky has been double matured, first in American oak casks then a second maturation in casks...  More info
$86.76
A 28 year old Caol Ila bottled in 2012 by Adelphi, and one of 250 bottles matured in a refill bourbon hogshead.  More info
$226.32
This 12 year old Caol Ila was distilled on the 18th November 1999 and it was aged in two hogsheads (casks 310804 and 310806) before bottling by Signatory on the 12th December 2011. A release of 887...  More info
A 31 year old Caol Ila distilled on the 2nd May 1979 and aged in cask 5305 before bottling in June of 2010 for the Mackillop's Choice range.  More info
Caol Ila Distillery Only
(70cl, 58.40%)
The very rare and very special distillery only bottling from Caol Ila. To get this stuff usually, you have to go all the way to Islay! This was launched at the 2007 Feis Ile, and it has a lovely...  More info
$156.44
A beautiful Caol Ila, filled into cask on the 18th December 1996, and aged for 12 years in European oak sherry cask 19313 before being hand selected by Billy Stitchell for the 2009 Feis Ile.  More info
$305.13
A beautiful Caol Ila from Gordon and MacPhail. This was distilled in 1997 and it was aged for a decade in bourbon casks before a 30 month finish in Hermitage wine casks (a classic French red made...  More info
$73.48
This was distilled at Caol Ila on the 8th November 1983 and it was aged in hogshead number 5284 before it was bottled by Signatory on the 12th July 2011. This is a cask strength release of 254...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (2.5/5)
$172.09
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
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$81.31
A 13 year old Caol Ila, distilled in October 1996 and aged in casks 91971 and 91974, this was given a finish in Sauternes dessert wine casks before bottling in March 2010. One of just a handful of...  More info
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