With its limited availability and its difficult name (pronounced "cull-eela")
it has been almost a secret Islay malt. The gaelic word Caol is in English
"kyle" meaning "sound" as in a narrow strip of water. Caol Ila means "Sound of
Islay". The distillery, appropriately hidden is in a cove near Port Askaig
overlooking the Sound of Islay, across which the ferry chugs to the nearby
island of Jura. The water source for Caol Ila is the peaty Loch Nam Ban
about a mile away from which the water flows through fields, arriving at a
waterfall near the distillery. The six stills are large and
lentern shaped. Caol Ila was built in 1846, reconstructed in 1879 and rather
brusquely modernised in the 1970s.
© Michael Jackson 1994, o.m.
Caol Ila, by Port Askaig, Isle of Islay, Argyll, PA46 7RL
Tel: 01496-84207 and 01496-84227
Hear "Caol Ila" pronounced in AU or WAV format
Search Dr. Do'g's index for the history of Caol Ila
There just might be some news about Caol Ila in The "Scotsman" newspaper