Diageo opens Caol Ila Distillery marking completion of Four Corners of Scotland investment

25 Aug 2022 | Press release

Diageo has today unveiled the new visitor experience at its Caol Ila Distillery on the Isle of Islay, the world’s most famous whisky island, following a multi-million pound transformation.

Boasting panoramic vistas of the neighbouring island of Jura, a modern retail space, a bar with floor to ceiling windows, and immersive storytelling rooms bringing to life Caol Ila’s history and craft, the visitor experience is a world removed from the traditional distillery tour offering.

Caol Ila Distillery

Four years in the making, the new visitor experience is the seventh of Diageo’s whisky brand homes to be reimagined as part of the company’s £185 million investment in whisky tourism. It also completes the transformation of the four distilleries, Glenkinchie, Cardhu, Caol Ila and Clynelish, which are recognised as key ingredients in the Johnnie Walker blend.

In July, Diageo reported that global Scotch organic net sales grew 29% year-on-year with double digit growth across all regions and Johnnie Walker was up 34%.

Caol Ila means Sound of Islay in Gaelic and to celebrate the reawakening of the distillery’s visitor experience , Mercury Prize shortlisted Scottish musician Fergus McCreadie performed a specially created piece of music in front of the distillery’s incredible panoramic views.

“Caol Ila is the last of our reimagined brand homes to be unveiled and it’s truly something special. Islay is known around the world for its whisky and we’ve ensured that our visitor experience not only tells the story of the Caol Ila brand but also the major role whisky plays in the island’s history. The new building will offer something new and unique to visitors and also to locals who will be able to come for social occasions or just to simply enjoy the stunning views. We look forward to welcoming people from near and far now that our doors are officially open.”

Barbara Smith, Managing Director of Diageo’s Scotland Brand Homes

Along with Diageo’s other 13 visitor experiences in Scotland, Caol Ila holds a Green Tourism Gold Award – the highest sustainability accolated for a visitor attraction.

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