In 1846, Hector Henderson built his own distillery on the island of Islay, on the west coast of Scotland. The small distillery was built on the peaceful and tranquil Port Askaig on Islay’s east coast. However in 1857, Caol Ila was bought over by blenders Bulloch Lade and later Diageo in 1927.
In 1974 the original distillery was demolished and completely rebuild on the same plot. The new distillery was remarkably larger than the original building. With four new stills, Caol lIla was transformed into Islay’s largest distillery.
Another major refurbishment took place in 2011, with a new mash turn and more washbacks. These upgrades allowed Caol Ila to increase its capacity to 6.5 million litres per year and making it the
The name Caol Ila comes from the Gaelic meaning of ‘Sound of Islay’ after the distillery was born on the east cost of the Scottish island. The Caol Ila Whisky distillery is one of eight highly popular Scottish whisky distilleries and is a massively attractive tourist destination with Islay being named one of the most beautiful Scottish islands.
Coal Ila whisky is the perfect balance between maturity and distillery character, with gentle tastes of fresh pear and juniper is combined with the distinctive notes of the surrounding smoky, grassy seaside environment of the island.
Caol Ila’s unique distillation includes a longer fermentation, higher cut point and taller stills which helps to reduce the heavy phenols. Maturation for the single malt is in refill casks. The unpeated variant is equally delicate with a fresh estery and almost floral lift.
At the Rare Malt Whisky Company, we stock a variety of Caol Ila whisky with one, very rare a 20 year old that was bottled in the distillery in 1996 to celebrate its 150th Anniversary. As well as this we stock the 2017 Distillery Exclusive – where there are only a limited number of bottles left.
Do you enjoy Isle of Islay whiskys? Check out others that we stock here: