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Islay Whisky

Islay (pronounced ‘eye-luh’) whiskies are among Scotland’s most powerful, thunderous drams. Often with plenty of peat and smoke, brine and medicinal flavours, of all the whisky regions of Scotland Islay has attained a truly iconic status. When compared to the various drink producing regions of the world, be it the Grande Champagne designation of Cognac or the first growths of Bordeaux, or that distant island, Madeira, there is something magical about the illustrious Scottish Isle, some 35 miles from the coast of Northern Island.

There are some nine distilleries on the Isle. To the North there lies Bunnahabhain and Caol Ila, to the west of Loch Indaal sits Bruichladdich and further west, the newly founded Kilchoman - Scotland’s most westerly distillery. To the centre of the isle sits the mighty Bowmore, but it is from the southern coast, not far from Port Ellen and the closed distillery of the same name, that the most pungent whisky emanates, produced by the trio of leviathan Ileach distilleries; Ardbeg, Lagavulin and of course Laphroaig. There is a defined power to the whisky, peat being the obvious attribute, certainly the best associated. Smoke is both a flavour of its own, but is intrinsically linked with peat. The peat flavour is imparted during the barley malted process, the smoke used to dry out the barley is produced by burning peat.

There is a marked reduction in peaty power to the far north; the malts of Bruichladdich and Bunnahabhain are comparatively soft. In Bruichladdich’s case it is due to the relative shelter from the elements that the Rhinns proffers. For Bunnahabhain it is the unpeated malt and the water source, the Margadale springs, cutting their course in stoic avoidance of the peat beds of Islay. Islay single malts also have a refined salinity; there is a profusion of seaweedy, kelp-rich whiskies.

This is often attributed to the terroir. The Islay distilleries possess a relative close proximity with the sea, all of which save for Kilchoman, the only inlander. The sea spray is said to whip across the warehouses, the salty air penetrates the barrels and flavours the maturing whisky. Of late, whiskies from Islay have become increasingly sought after.

Islay Whiskey

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This was distilled at Bunnahabhain in October 1989 and aged for 22 years in a single cask (number 5663) before bottling in June 2012. A release of 252 individually numbered bottles from Duncan...  More info
$225.32
Distilled on 28th March 1980 at Bunnahabhain on Islay, this single cask whisky from Signatory spent over 32 years in an ex-sherry cask before bottling on 5th December 2012 at natural cask strength.  More info
A single cask bottling of Port Charlotte whisky from the Bruichladdich distillery, bottled for the Basildon Malt Whisky Circle. This peated expression from Islay was distilled in June 2002 and bottled...  More info
$232.88
A 12 year old single cask from popular Islay distillery of Laphroaig, bottled by Douglas Laing as part of the Provenance range. It is an autumn distillation and was aged in a refill hogshead.  More info
$116.19
Distilled at Port Ellen distillery on Islay in 1982, this Old Bothwell single cask release comes from one of the most sought after distilleries of all time.

When Diageo sought to shut down one of...  More info
$700.06
Made with heavily peated malt, this Bunnahabhain was aged for 15 years before being bottled by Signatory as part of their Un-Chillfiltered range.  More info
Independently bottled Islay whisky from the legendary Laphroaig distillery. It was distilled in May 1998 and matured in two casks for 14 years until January 2013, when it was bottled by Signatory...  More info
$101.57
This is the second batch of Duncan Taylor's 32 year old Bunnahabhain, distilled in September 1979, this Islay malt was bottled in July 2012 as part of their Dimensions range. The dark hue is natural...  More info
$340.20
A cask strength 34 year old single malt from Bowmore. This was distilled in 1971 and matured in ex-sherry casks before bottling as part of an outturn of just 960 bottles. The colour is rich and dark...  More info
This is a wonderfully rich, sherry-matured Bruichladdich from Douglas Laing's Old Malt Cask range. It was distilled in February 1992 before a 20 year maturation in a single refill sherry butt. Bottled...  More info
$150.76
This was distilled at the Bruichladdich distillery in October 1990 before a 21 year maturation in a single cask (refill sherry butt number 8837). It was bottled for the Directors Cut range in 2012...  More info
$207.07
This is a stunning twenty year old Bunnahabhain from London-based retailers Berry Brothers and Rudd.  More info
$128.17
A beautiful cask-strength single malt from the Laphroaig distillery. This was distilled in October 1996 and aged for 15 years in a refill hogshead before bottling for the Director's Cut range in March...  More info
A rare, peated Bunnahabhain from Signatory - made up of two casks, 5566 and 5567. Bottled at 46%.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$76.83
This was distilled at the Bunnahabhain distillery in November of 1991. It was then aged for 20 years in cask 5365 before bottling in April of 2012 at natural cask strength. A release of 253 numbered...  More info
$196.22
A single cask Port Ellen from the Port Ellen distillery in the town of Port Ellen. This 30 year old single cask release was matured in a refill hogshead, which yielded just 94 precious bottles. Part...  More info
$944.91
Distilled in 2001, this 11 year old Bowmore came from two casks and was subsequently finished in a Pedro Ximinez cask. Bottled by Carn Mor as part of their Strictly Limited range this is a release of...  More info
This was distilled at Islay's Bowmore distillery in 2003 before a 9 year maturation in a single cask (cask number 20060). It was bottled by Berry Brothers and Rudd in 2013.  More info
$73.21
A 25 year old, single cask Bowmore from Douglas Laing's incredible Old and Rare Platinum Selection. This was distilled in February 1987 and aged in a refill butt before bottling in April 2012. A...  More info
$424.69
A rare single cask Laphroaig, distilled in February of 1986, and aged for 25 years in a refill hogshead before bottling for Douglas Laing's Old and Rare Platinum Selection in December 2011, an outturn...  More info
$630.09
This was distilled at the Laphroaig distillery in October 1998 before a 14 year maturation in a single refill hogshead. It was bottled for the Old Malt Cask range in December 2012 and there are just...  More info
$151.32
This Bunnahabhain was distilled in 1987 and bottled by Douglas Laing as part of their Old Malt Cask range after a 25 year maturation. It is bottled at 50%, or 'the Golden strength', without artificial...  More info
$190.28
Distilled at Coal Ila distillery in 1995 and finished in Madeira casks, this Islay single malt was bottled by Gordon & MacPhail for their Private Collection range.  More info
$117.81
This is the stunning Batch 3 of That Boutique-y Whisky Company's Ardbeg - it's a superb little whisky which flaunts the beautiful house style with more than a hint of sweet sherry too.

The label...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
This was distilled at Bowmore on the 12th March 1984 and it was aged in cask M427 for 25 years before bottling in July 2009 by Montgomerie's.  More info

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