We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Mcleod visit to Islay 2013”

Caol Ila Distillery
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Caol Ila distillery is one of Islay’s best kept secrets. Situated on the North West of the Island, your initial approach takes in amazing views over the Sound of Islay and over to the Paps of Jura. The distillery itself hugs the coastline, the old dunnage warehouse that dates back to 1900 guards the stunning glass fronted still house. This George Leslie Darges styled building houses the six impressive copper stills which stand guard over the Sound of Islay. Allow some time to take a tour and experience whisky production at its best. Embracing both old and new technologies while utilizing skills going back generations, the distillery produces a well balanced, lightly smoked whisky, punctuated with fruit, spice and a little salt. Complete your visit with a tasting in the atmospheric surroundings of the old cooperage where you can experience some of Caol Ila's world class single malts.
Inverness, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
163 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
“Mcleod visit to Islay 2013”
Reviewed September 16, 2013

What a fabulous location and with breathtaking views across to Jura.

The Girls in the shop were full of enthusiasm and assisted my Wife an I in choosing 2 bottles of very nice Whisky after tasting a few samples.

Great team lovely location and a credit to Caol Ila Distillery.

Visited September 2013
1 Thank Highlander17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

230 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
17 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Fabulous location”
Reviewed September 12, 2013

To start with I cannot understand the negative comments about the lady who does the tours. To my mind she was knowledgeable, and having learnt she had only been doing the job for a few weeks I am even more impressed.

Diageo have this strange rule of no photography which is the only negative point about their distilleries.

Caol Ila has the distinct advantage of being in THE BEST location of all the Islay distilleries, with stunning views over the Sound of Islay to Jura.

The tastings were adequate, and gave us enough of a taste so we could make a decision as to which of the whiskies we were going to purchase. Plus you got a free dram glass to take away with you. :)

All in all very much worth a visit.

Visited August 2013
Thank BessTamworth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
418 reviews
101 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 563 helpful votes
“A mini adventure getting there - disappointing reception”
Reviewed September 11, 2013

We opted not to hire a car on our week long stay in Islay, instead relying on local buses. For the "big three" distilleries this worked out perfectly. A bus to Port Ellen then a four mile walk to take in all three. We planned for a similar outing to Caol Isa distillery so took the bus from Bowmore to Port Askaig - we ad been advised by the locals to ask the bus driver to let us off at "road end" - from there it is just over a male to the distillery - mostly downhill. When we arrived we are our way to Visitors Reception where we were received rather coldly - unlike our experiences at all the other distilleries. We were somewhat reluctantly offered a "shared" glass of two of their whiskies between us.....not what you would say as Island hospitality! We did not stay long and headed back up the hill. We met a local half way up the hill and were told that the bus returning from Port Askaig stopped at this point - brilliant! Overall, this was a most disappointing visit except for the views seen from the bus on the journey there and ack to Bowmore.

Visited September 2013
Thank Cfab777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Loudoun County, Virginia
Level Contributor
162 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“On our whisky tour”
Reviewed September 8, 2013

Had a great tour. Learned much about making whisky. Sign up the "passport" where you are able to get free tastings at other Diageo distilleries. We were able to get many stamps on our passports. Fun. Beautiful location and great scotch.

Visited August 2013
Thank winelvr83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
41 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“A Jewel”
Reviewed September 3, 2013

Location is everything and despite what appeared as an endless (2Km) drive once you arrive its an exceptional view and well worth the tour. Friendly people who you can tell enjoy their jobs and pass it on to the visitors

Visited July 2013
Thank Ian R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Caol Ila Distillery also viewed


Been to Caol Ila Distillery? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing