Caol Ila Distillery was founded in 1846 by Hector Henderson convinced of the fact that the natural ingredients present in that particular area allowed to create a high quality single malt. And he was right.
The distillery passed into the hands of multiple owners, Norman Buchanan before and after the Bulloch Lade & Co. blended company based in Glasgow.
In 1880 Caol Ila produced more than 600,000 liters of whisky each year. In 1920 the distillery was purchased but nevertheless it never stopped its production. The only periods of closure were from 1930 to 1937 (due to prohibition in the United States and the consequent world crisis) and for most of the Second World War (as for the vast majority of distilleries).
To satisfy the increase in demand, in 1972 the distillery was completely demolished and rebuilt (the works lasted about two years), the stills went from 2 to 6. Today the distillery has an annual production capacity of 3,500,000 liters and is the largest distillery in the Islay.