Caol Ila opens multi-million-pound visitor centreBy Melita Kiely
Islay-based Caol Ila Distillery has opened its new visitor centre following a multi-million-pound renovation.
The revamped facility offers panoramic views of Jura across the water, a bar with floor-to-ceiling windows, and an immersive storytelling room.
The visitor experience took four years to complete and is the seventh of Diageo’s distillery’s to be transformed as part of the firm’s £185 million (US$218.7m) investment in whisky tourism.
Caol Ila’s visitor centre opening also marks the completion of Diageo’s Glenkinchie, Cardhu, Caol Ila and Clynelish distilleries, ‘key ingredients’ in the Johnnie Walker blend.
Barbara Smith, managing director of Diageo’s Scotland brand homes, said: “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.”
Diageo reported a 28% year-on-year increase in global Scotch organic net sales in its recent full-year financial results.
Scotch whisky grew by double digits across all regions, and blended whisky brand Johnnie Walker rose by 34%.