Collection Caol Ila - Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Caol Ila Distillery ("Sound of Islay Distillery") is a Scottish whiskey distillery located near Port Askaig on the island of Islay, Scotland and is owned by Diageo.

The name Caol Ila derives from the Gaelic word Caol Ìle for "Sound of Islay" (literally "Strait of Islay") and refers to the distillery's location overlooking the strait between Islay and Jura. It was founded in 1846 by Hector Henderson. The distillery did not fare well and changed hands in 1854 when Norman Buchanan, owner of the Isle of Jura Distillery, took over. In 1863 the company was taken over by Bulloch Lade & Co. of Glasgow, a whiskey stock dealer. According to the 1871 census, Duncan Johnston was the manager of the distillery at the time. Duncan was the nephew of John Johnston of Lagavulin and a cousin of the Laphroaig Johnstons and so the family was involved in another distillery on the island. In the 1880s, over 147,000 imperial gallons (670,000 liters) of whiskey were being produced there annually.

In 1920 Bulloch Lade went into voluntary liquidation and a consortium of businessmen formed the Caol Ila Distillery Company Ltd. In 1927 the Distillers Company acquired a controlling interest in Caol Ila and in 1930 the Scottish Malt Distillers Ltd acquired all shares. The distillery was closed during World War II from 1942 to 1945 due to wartime supply of barley to the distilleries. From then on, production continued until 1972, when the entire structure of the distillery was demolished. A larger distillery was then built, designed by George Leslie Darge in the same architectural style as many of his other works, with his signature glazed curtain walls on the distillery buildings, and production resumed in 1974. The company eventually became part of Diageo.

Caol Ila is one of Islay's lighter whiskeys, paler in colour, with notes of peaty, floral and peppery notes. Not only is it sold as a single malt, it is also used extensively (about 95% of production) for blends such as Johnnie Walker's Black Label.