Caol Ila

Location and contact details

Location" Location: Caol Ila Distillery, Port Askaig, Isle of Islay, PA46 7RL
Visitor Visit Type: Vistor Centre
Telephone" Telephone: +44 (0) 1496 302 769
Email" Email: caolila.distillery[at]
Web" Web:
Twitter" Twitter: DiscoverDistilleries (@12distilleries)

Facts and figures

LocationCaol Ila Distillery, Port Askaig, Isle of Islay, PA46 7RL
Stills3 wash stills (19,000 litres)
3 spirit stills (12,000 litres
Capacity3,500,000 litres

Opening Hours

Opening hours vary through the year; check for details of opening hours. Tours typically run on the hour, every hour.


Caol Ila Distillery Tour £6

1 tour which includes a guided tour of the whisky making process where you will enjoy panoramic views of the magnificent Paps of Jura from the stillhouse. After your distillery tour you will be taken to the old cooperage where you will get the chance to sample a couple of expressions of our fine malt.

Optional addition to the standard distillery tour. Upgrade your visit to include a core range tutored tasting at the end of the distillery tour for a further £9 (total price £15). Please note this will add an additional 30 minutes to the finishing time of your distillery tour and is not available on the 15.30 distillery tour.

Premium Tasting £23

1.5 hour experience includes an express tour of the distillery followed by a tutored nosing and tasting of the more limited expressions, including distillery only releases. The tasting is hosted in the old cooperage which is full of character – the perfect place to enjoy your favourite Caol Ila.

** A complimentary glass and a voucher for £5.00 off the purchase of selected 70cl single malt whisky is included with all tours.


Caol Ila is one of Diageo's Classic Malts.

Caol Ila is derived from Gaelic Caol Ìle for "Sound of Islay" (lit. "Islay Strait") in reference 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 business was acquired by Bulloch Lade & Co, of Glasgow, traders in whisky stocks. By the 1880s over 147,000 gallons of whisky were produced there each year.

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 Scottish Malt Distillers Ltd obtained ownership of all the shares. The distillery closed during World War II, from 1942 to 1945, because of wartime restrictions on the supply of barley to distillers. From then, 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 others with his trademark glazed curtain walls to the still houses, and production resumed in 1974. The company eventually became part of Diageo.

Information correct as of 22/05/2016
This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Caol Ila Distillery, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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