Not a member? - Register and login now.
All registered users can read our entire magazine archive.

Issue 40 - TakingCaolcomfortatIslay'sbiggestdistillery(CaolIla)

Whisky Magazine Issue 40
June 2004

 

This article is 9 years old and some information provided may be time sensitive. Please check all details of events, tours, opening times and other information before travelling or making arrangements.

Copyright Whisky Magazine © 1999-2014. All rights reserved. To use or reproduce part or all of this article please contact us for details of how you can do so legally.

TakingCaolcomfortatIslay'sbiggestdistillery(CaolIla)

AhighproportionofCaolIlawhiskyisusedforblends.ButasIanBuxtondiscovered,DiageoismakingsomeexcellentsinglemaltsavailablefromtheenigmaticIslaydistillery.

Howpleasantistheprocessofexplorationwhenperformedinfineweatherandincompanywithgoodcompanions.”SoobservedAlfredBarnard,theoriginalColossusofwhiskywriters,ontheoccasionofhisvisittoCaolIla,Islayin1887.

Well,mycompanion(youreditor)hadabandonedmeearlieronexplorationsofhisown,butIenjoyedparticularlyfineweatherformyvisitandsoIreasonedthelossofcompanywasentirelyhis.Thesunbeatdown;thePapsofJuraseemedcloseenoughtotouchinthecrystalairandeventheturbulentwatersoftheSoundofIslayseemedcalmerthanusual.

ButIleftCaolIlafeelingmomentarilyshort-changed.Afterall,Ihadn'tseenanotterordolphin;thegoldeneagleshadtakenthedayoffandthekillerwhaleswereallatsea.AndthenIrealisedIwasbeingridiculous–afterall,whereelsecanyoustepfromoneoftheindustry'slargeststillroomsintoawildlifereserve?ManagerBillyStitchellinterspersedhisexplanationoftheproductionprocessatCaolIlawithanintroductiontothelocalfaunaanditwasaclosecallastowhichwasmorefascinating.Onlythepreviousweek,hetoldme,hefilmedanottereatinghissupperontherocksbythedistillerypier.Itbeatscommuting,Ireflected.

Inhis30yearsatthedistillery,Billyhasseenallthewildlifelistedabovefromhisofficewindowmakinghim,bymyreckoning,aprivilegedmanindeed.Barnardenviedthe‘healthylife'oftheworkforceatCaolIla–intheseenvironmentallyconsciousdayswecouldechothisjudgement.

TheDiageodistilleryatCaolIla,onthenorthernshoresofIslay,isneartoPortAskaigbutremainsverymuchinaworldofitsown,basedaroundthelittlecommunityestablishedherebytheoriginalproprietorsBullochLade&Coin1846.Then,asno...

To read all of this article...
Please register with whiskymag.com. Already registered? Login now.

 

Whisky gift and present finder