Caol Ila

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Caol Ila
Caol ila whiskey distillery islay scotland 06/16/2007.JPG

Caol Ila distillery building

country Scotland
region Islay
Geographical location 55 ° 51 '13.8 "  N , 6 ° 6' 31.1"  W Coordinates: 55 ° 51 '13.8 "  N , 6 ° 6' 31.1"  W.
Type Paint
status active
owner Diageo
Founded 1846
founder Hector Henderson
Water source Hole nam Ban
Washstill (s) 3 × 35,345 l
Spiritstill (s) 3 × 29,549 l
Production volume 6,500,000 l

The Caol Ila distillery ([ kʌl iːlə ]; » Islay-Sund «) is a distillery for whiskey on the Scottish island of Islay . It produces various single malt whiskeys , including one of the 13 classic malts .



The distillery was founded in 1846 by Hector Henderson, who also built Littlemill , in a bay on the east coast of Islay, a little north of Port Askaig directly on Islay Sound. (Right at the northern end of today's A846 road ). Bunnahabhain can be found less than five kilometers north .

In 1854, Norman Buchanan, the operator of the Isle of Jura distillery at the time , took over the distillery. In 1863 Caol Ila fell to Bulloch, Lade & Co. , who expanded and renovated the distillery in 1879. In 1920 Caol Ila went to Robertson & Baxter . In 1927 the still ended up with the Distillers Company Limited (DCL). In 1930, DCL delegated operational management to its subsidiary Scotish Malt Distillers (SMD), which they shut down until 1937. After only four years of production, the next break followed in 1941, which lasted until 1945. The distillery was completely renovated from April 1972 to January 1974, during which time there was no production. The number of stills has now been increased from two to six. The owner DCL became United Distillers (UD) in 1987 and then Diageo in 1999 . The subsidiary SMD is now called United Malt and Grain Distillers (UMGD) and holds the license that was held by Bulloch, Lade & Co. until 1992 . The original bottlings of the single malt have been available again since 1988.


Caol Ila has a mash tun ( mash tun ) (11.5 tons) made of stainless steel , ten fermentation tanks ( wash backs ) (63,000 l each) made of larch wood , three wash stills (35,345 l each) and three spirit stills (29,549 l each) under steam firing. The malt used comes from the Port Ellen Maltings and has around 35  ppm phenol . The water for the production comes from Loch nam Ban (Torrabolls Loch).

In addition to its own warehouses, the Lochindaal distillery near Port Charlotte , which has been closed since 1929, is also used. The annual output is more than 6.0 million liters. Most of the production goes into blending. In addition to the blends from Bulloch Lade , a vatted malt called Glen Ila should also be mentioned here. Traditionally, the malts are rarely aged in sherry barrels, which makes the few sherry barrel bottlings (mostly from independent bottlers ) coveted rarities.

The 12-year-old Hidden Malt will be used as the second malt by Islay from 2006 to expand the Classic Malts series. There is also a bottling for the Distillers Edition of the same series with a Moscatel finish.


Caol Ila aged 12 years

Caol Ila 16 years old 57.9% (Cadenhead)

  • Color: white wine yellow
  • Scent: dark cocoa. Peppery. Slight traces of nuts and gasoline
  • Taste: The cocoa note is quickly destroyed by a sharp presence. More fullness with a drop of water
  • Finish: Very long and somewhat smoky. Dry and warm
  • Less noticeable than expected

Caol Ila 1982 43.0% (Scotch Single Malt Circle)

  • Production: September 1982, bottled October 1997
  • Scent: malty, with a light (typical) petrol note. A light overtone that cannot be identified as alcohol
  • Taste: Nice reproduction of the nose. The malt tones take a back seat
  • Finish: expected long. With a clearer presence of the petrol tones
  • Price: up to 150 euros for 0.7 liters

Caol Ila 1989 60.5% (The Scotch Malt Whiskey Society)

  • Production: November 1989, bottled September 1998
  • Scent: malty, with a light (typical) petrol note. Earthy. Some wet foliage
  • Taste: Nice reproduction of the nose. The malt tones also retain a clear presence
  • Finish: Long and tasty
  • Price: up to 150 euros for 0.7 liters

Caol Ila 12 Year Old Hidden Malt

  • Aroma: light peat and iodine
  • Taste: peat smoke, oily, seaweed
  • Finish: long, traces of sea and smoke

Caol Ila 18 Years Hidden Malt 43%

  • Aroma: oak, peat, seaweed
  • Taste: Deep and round, strong peat with oak notes and a hint of seaweed
  • Finish: Round with strong notes of wood and peat



Caol Ila has a visitor center and can be visited.

See also


  • Charles MacLean (Ed.): Whiskey. World Guide, Regions, Distillers, Malts, Blends, Tasting Notes. Dorling Kindersley, London et al. 2008, ISBN 978-0-7566-3349-3 .
  • Walter Schobert: The whiskey dictionary. Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, Frankfurt / M. 2003, ISBN 978-3-596-15868-3
  • Ingvar Ronde (Ed.): Malt Whiskey Yearbook 2017 MagDig Media Limited, Shrewsbury. 2016, ISBN 978-0-9576553-3-1

Web links

Commons : Caol Ila  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Andrew Jefford: Peat Smoke and Spirit . headline, London 2004, ISBN 978-0-7472-4578-0 , pp. 243 .