Caol Ila Distillery

Caol Ila Distillery

Located on the most famous island in the whisky world, Caol Ila Distillery, is hidden from view of both the winding narrow road leading to it and the nearby Port Askaig ferry. Rising from the rocky waters, one see’s the iconic black lettering of Caol Ila on the huge white washed warehouses. In sharp contract to the traditional warehouse buildings, is the huge glass front stillhouse, with its magnificent views across the sound to the Paps of Jura.

Although Caol Ila, is currently the largest of the Islay distilleries it sometimes feels forgotten. There’s not a ton of flashy advertising or promotion of the brand from Diageo, who still relies heavily on Caol Ila production for its Johnnie Walker blends.

Islay, in general is a majestic and heartwarming place, but to Caol Ila fanatics it feels like home.  And home it is indeed to the generations of Islay families who have been instrumental to all aspects of the whisky’s production, including the legandary Stitchell family whose contributions graced Caol Ila for four generations.

The distillery has a tremendous cult following and quite frankly it’s deserved. While there are some single malt Caol Ila releases from Diageo, the majority of single malts from Caol Ila are released by independent bottlers.

Caol Ila single malts are known for their light peat flavor, complemented by notes of flora and pepper. The distillate is not nearly as peat intense as its neighbors on the south end of Islay and that’s exactly what Caol Ila fanatics love.

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