Caol Ila distillery was built in 1846, its name in Gaelic means: Sound of Islay. Eleven years after its construction the distillery was sold and the new owners built a pier. This made the distillery a lot more accessible by sea.
By the late 19th century the distillery was producing over half a million liters of alcohol a year. In 1927 the distillery was acquired by Distillers Company Limited (DCL and now called Diageo). It has remained under their ownership ever since.
In the early 1970's the distillery's production capacity was trebled. It has been Islay's largest whisky producer ever since. During the difficult decade of 1980, the distillery produced an unpeated spirit that proved to be very popular among blenders. This style of spirit is produced every year according to the requirements of the blended whisky market. In 2011 a slight expansion increased Caol Ila's production capacity to 6.5 million liters per annum.
The floral, grassy and maritime character of the spirit produced at Caol Ila is achieved through the use of a fermentation period lasting 55 hours. Tall stills reduce the amount of heavy phenols that make it to the final cut.
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