Caol Ila - The Sound of Islay

Caol Ila
Caol Ila
In 1846, Glasgow distillery owner Hector Henderson picked a little bay on the Sound of Islay for his distillery site. He named it for the sound itself, using the Gaelic Caol Ila, and it was across this sound the little puffer ships made their round trips to the mainland – slowly helping to establish the distillery as the biggest on Islay.
1846 - Glasgow distillery owner Hector Henderson builds his island distillery overlooking the Sound of Islay, known as Caol Ila in Gaelic.

1863 - Traders Bulloch Lade & Co take over. The market for blended whisky is booming and business is good.

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

1934 - The distillery is reopened and production begins again.

1941 - Restrictions on people power and barley mean the distillery has to close.

1972 - Production increases as the distillery expands from two to six stills.

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.
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