Scotland and Scotch whisky: Islay  whisky through the producing distilleries: history, making, maps and tasting notes


Caol Ila

Caol Ila

Caol Ila Distillery
Port Askaig
Islay - Argyll PA46 7RL
+44 1496 840 207

Owner: Diageo

Creation year: 1846

The Caol Ila distillery was build by Hector Henderson in 1846. At this time, Henderson was also the owner of the Littlemill Lowland distillery.
Before the construction of a distillery, the place was used for washing lead ore.
In 1863, Hector Henderson sold his distillery to Bulloch Lade, owner of the Loch Catrine distillery in Glasgow.
The pier was built in those times, in order to facilitate ship transport of coal and barley to the distillery, and whisky casks from the distillery.
In 1927, the distillery was bought by D.C.L. (Distillers Company Ltd.) who rebuilt it in 1974. The new very functional distillery produces three times more whisky since their reconstruction; 
Like most of the distilleries, it was closed during the war years.
The Clynelish distillery in Brora is an exact replica of Caol Ila.
Most of the production is used in blends (90%) like Bell's, White Horse, Scottish Leader, Johnnie Walker and Black Bottle.
The distillery is the greatest of Islay, and produces about 3.000.000 litres a year. The capacity of the wash stills is 20.000 litres , and 14.000 litres for the spirit stills.



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