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The History Of Caol Ila

People and places don't just shape a Single Malt Scotch Whisky's flavour. They change the course of its future. Get a taste of how the whisky you love today came to be, with this brief Caol Ila timeline.

1846

1846

Glasgow distillery owner Hector Henderson builds his island distillery overlooking the Sound of Islay, known as Caol Ila in Gaelic.

1863

1863

Traders Bulloch Lade & Co take over. The market for blended whisky is booming and business is good.

1879

1879

Over two decades and three changes of hands sees the distillery rebuilt and expanded. By 1879 Caol Ila has its own pier where steam ships or puffers can unload supplies and load up on whisky for sale on the mainland.

1920

1920

Bulloch Lade goes into liquidation as a company and is sold to J.P O’Brien Ltd, who sells it to a consortium – Caol Ila Distillery Co. Ltd.

1927

1927

The Distillers Company Ltd. lands the controlling interest in Caol Ila.

1934

1934

The distillery is reopened and production begins again.

1941

1941

Restrictions on people power and barley mean the distillery has to close.

1972

1972

Production increases as the distillery expands from two to six stills.

1974

1974

A demand for blended whisky once again influences the fate of Caol Ila, which is completely rebuilt to meet increasing demand – making it the biggest on Islay.