Caol Ila was founded in 1846 by Hector Henderson on the east coast of Islay. It became a part of DCL (now Diageo) in 1927 and operated until 1972, after which the old distillery was demolished and replaced with much larger capacity, making it one of largest producers on Islay from thereon.
Until 2002, Caol Ila was mostly available through independent bottlings or in Johnnie Walker as one of the key malts. Since then, the distillery has launched official age statements and other bottlings. Mostly matured in refill casks, Caol Ila's distillery character tends to combine fresh green fruits, some grassiness and juniper along with distinct sea shore notes layered with gentle smoke.