Caol Ila Distillery reawakens to the beautiful sound of Islay

caol ila

Mercury Prize shortlisted Scottish musician Fergus McCreadie performs specially created track to celebrate the opening of the new Caol Islay Distillery visitor experience

To celebrate the opening of the stunning new global visitor attraction at Caol Ila Distillery, Fergus McCreadie – 2022 Mercury Prize shortlisted jazz pianist, whose music is inspired by Scotland’s coast and islands – created a special piece of music and performed it in front of the distillery’s incredible panoramic views.

Photos by: Grant Anderson – / @grantandersondotme

Caol Ila means Sound of Islay in Gaelic, with the distillery taking its name from the stretch of water between Islay and the neighbouring Isle of Jura.

Click here to see the stream on Facebook and hear the music from Fergus.

The new visitor experience is the seventh of Diageo’s whisky brand homes to be re-imagined as part of the company’s ongoing multi-million-pound investment in whisky tourism.

It completes a journey around the Four Corners, distilleries which are recognised as key ingredients in the Johnnie Walker blend and also tells the wider story of Scotch whisky and its origin story, establishing Islay as the place where the story of the country’s national drink began.

Photos by: Grant Anderson – / @grantandersondotme

With a modern retail space and a bar featuring floor to ceiling windows, the visitor experience is a world removed from the traditional distillery tour offering.

Immersive storytelling rooms bring to life Caol Ila’s history and craft and tell the stories of the Four Corner malts (of which Caol Ila is one) that go into making the world’s best-selling Scotch whisky, Johnnie Walker. Caol Ila also tells a wider story, that of the origins of Scotch whisky and of Islay’s place as the island where ‘the water of life’ began to flow.

Photos by: Grant Anderson – / @grantandersondotme

To book your tour, please visit:




I am Emma and with my husband Mark write Foodie Explorers, which is a food and travel website.

I am a member of the Guild of Food Writers and British Guild of Travel Writers.

We have a wide range of judging experience covering products, hotels and have judged, for example, for Great Taste Awards and Scottish Baker of the Year.

Along the way Mark gained WSET Level 2 in Wine and I have WSET Level 2 in Spirits as well as picking up an award with The Scotsman Food and Drink Awards.    

Usually I can be found sleeping beside a cat.

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