Caol Ila Islay Whisky Distillery
Another beautifully located distillery on the ‘Sound of Islay’ which is the English translation of Caol Ila. Overlooking the seals going about their daily business, the spot was chosen by Hector Henderson in 1846 who founded the distillery after moving from the Littlemill distillery in Glasgow. Money problems ensued and Norman Buchanan of the Jura Distillery bought him out. The money ran out for Buchanan as well and Caol Ila was taken over by a deeply religious Bulloch, Lade and Company. After increasing production, building a chapel and inflicting the workers with religious doctrine they also ran out of money and went bankrupt in 1920. A consortium including Distillers Company Ltd (latterly Diageo) took it over but closed the distillery in 1930 largely due to Prohibition in the US. Caol Ila did re-open in 1937 and ceased whisky production again in the 1970’s. Caol Ila is the backbone of Diageo owned Johnnie Walker whisky the world’s best known and bestselling whisky. As a result Caol Ila is the largest distillery on Islay producing 3.7 million litres annually.
In 1974 a huge investment was made in Caol Ila and this has paid off with Caol Ila and all Islay single malt whisky becoming very popular in more recent years. Whisky making traditions continue at the distillery with 4 generations of the Stichell family having worked at the distillery, Billy Stichell is currently (at the time of writing) the manager. The wonderfully named Loch Nam Ban provides the water supply for Caol Ila whisky and in drinking it is instantly recognisable as one of the Islay greats.
Taste: A smoky aperitif with hints of sea salt and wet grass, also very smooth for a smoky Islay.
[product_category category=”caol-ila” per_page=”24″ columns=”4″ orderby=”date” order=”desc”]