Pronounced 'cull-eela', (Gaelic for Sound of Jura) Caol Ila is the largest distillery on Islay and the fifth largest in Scotland. Built in a disused lead-ore quarry by Hector Henderson in 1846, the seaside location was purposely chosen for its abundance of water. Hidden away in a cove just north of Port Askaig, overlooking the water from which it takes its name, the distillery produces the main component of the Johnnie Walker blend. Highly regarded, this wonderfully smoky malt has a phenol content of 35-38 ppm (roughly equating to 20 hours under a peat fire). Its tall copper pot stills produce a light spirit that not only matures well in both Sherry and bourbon casks, but also finishes nicely in wine casks.
Finely balanced, a Caol Ila whiskies have an almost coal-dust like peat smoke without the medicinal harshness found in other Islay drams. A staple of our ‘Connoisseurs Choice’ and ‘Cask Strength’ ranges, Caol Ila has also been released in a number of wood finishes under the ‘Private Collection’ label.