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Caol Ila

No: 53
Producer: United
Region: Islay
District: North Shore  -   Multimap view
OS Sheet 60 ; Map reference NR 429 699 ; Latitude 55 51° N, Longitude 6 6.9° W
Founded 1846 ; Operating Status (1999): operating

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.

Distillery rating: 4*

Caol Ila, by Port Askaig, Isle of Islay, Argyll, PA46 7RL
Tel: 01496-84207 and 01496-84227


14 yr old, 80 proof
A bit lighter than its competitors, with less smoke and peat. A good introduction to the taste of Islay. [lh]

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