Caol Ila 1983, 35 years old by Wilson & Morgan
Single Malt Scotch Whisky distilled in 1983 by the Caol Ila Distillery, Islay, then matured in ex-Bourbon casks and bottled in 2018 at 35 years old at 60.2% ABV.
Bottle 009 of 169 produced
Single cask No. 1547
Tasting Notes: waxy honey, propolis, balsamic herbs, white pepper, tar, smoke and moderately peated.
Wilson & Morgan was founded in Italy in 1992 by Fabio Rossi, the son of prolific importer Mario Rossi Jr, who began distributing Scotch whisky back in the 1960s. His son’s company was one of a new generation of Italian bottlers established in the 1990s, which aimed to replicate the successes of predecessors like Samaroli and Moon Import.
Caol Ila is the largest distillery in Islay, but one of the least known. It was foundedin 1846 by Hector Henderson who also owned the old Camlachie distillery in Glasgow.
As early as 1863 Bulloch Lade & Co take over the distillery and start selling malt for blended whisky.
By 1920 Bulloch Lade goes into liquidation and it’s sold to J.P. O’Brien who quickly sells it to a Consortium of Distillers Company & Co (later became part of Diageo). In 1934 the distillery is reopened and restart production only until it close down in 1941.
After the war Caol Ila reopens and in 1972 production increase to attent the global demand for Scotch Whisky.
In 1974 the old distillery was demolished and a new one was built, with the production almost doubled from 2010 from 3.5 million to 6.5 million liters a year.
One of the reasons for the lack of fame of Caol Ila is explained by the fact that 90% of its production goes into a variety blended whisky including Johnny Walker Black Label.
Single malts from Caol Ila were available via independent bottlers until 2002.
The distillery uses the same malted barley that goes into Lagavulin, although the rest of the production process is very different, resulting in a much less peated whisky.