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The Caol Ila distillery dates from 1846, at least the warehouse of this Islay distillery, because the distillery itself was completely rebuilt and enlarged in the early 1970s. Where Caol Ila was 'self-malting' until the renovation, the distillery then used malt from Port Ellen Maltings, also located on Islay. Some connoisseurs see a separation here between the heavier 'old' and the 'lighter' new Caol Ila.
Although the distillery produces quite a few single malt whisky bottlings, most of the malt goes to the Johnnie Walker blends. Remarkably, the single malt for the blends is not peated, while Caol Ila is known as the maker of smoky Islay whisky. By the way, there are a few bottlings of that unpeated version.
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