Caol Ila Distillery Visitor Centre

Situated at the Caol Ila Distillery near the Port of Askaig, Islay, the Visitor Centre was the last of the Four Corner’s, Diageo’s £185 million investment in Scotch Whisky Tourism.

Location: Islay
Client: Diageo
Cost: £4.9m
Completion: 2022
Services: Civil & Structural and Building Services

The project stands as the Islay Home of Johnnie Walker alongside the Four Corners, Glenkinchie, Clynelish and Cardhu.
Blyth & Blyth provided Civil, Structural and Building services as well as carrying out the roles of Project Lead and Principal Designer.
The project consisted of the conversion of the existing bonded warehouse, key alterations included:

  • Major slapping’s to provide the views across the Sound of Islay to Jura.
  • Construction of a new car park and access bridge
  • Renovations and alterations to the internal fabric to provide two new stair cores and lift core.

Key challenges:

  • Planning and logistics associated with Island Working. This required careful consideration of details to allow material procurement and transport to be rationalized to limit project costs.
  • Temporary works associated with the major openings. The method of works was designed and executed in order to ensure that the main access route, running directly seaward of the warehouse, could be maintained with minimal impact to process deliveries and collections.


The alterations and additions achieve a visitor centre that displays the original warehouse roof trusses and structures while enabling Diageo to provide the high class fit-out for their retail and experiential tour.

“Edrington have worked with Blyth and Blyth for the past 15 years on various projects throughout the group and during this time we have developed a close and trusting partnership. B&B offer the full range of engineering services, allowing us to have a one stop shop on engineering consultancy requirements, with the obvious benefits this brings. B&B experience in the whisky industry is second to none which has the double benefit of not wasting time and money having to explain the process each time. As said previously, Edrington have been working with B&B for more than15 years and with a fair wind this relationship will continue for a further 15 years and beyond.”

George McKenzie Engineering Director, The Edrington Group