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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 is a stunning twenty year old Bunnahabhain from London-based retailers Berry Brothers and Rudd.  More info
$128.66
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)
$77.12
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
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
$196.97
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
$948.53
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
$73.49
The second release from this distillery in the Elements of Islay range, Br2 carries on from the regular characteristics of the distillery with a fruity and honeyed dram.  More info
$91.87
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
$426.31
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
$632.50
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 is a sherry cask Bunnahabhain bottled at a staggering thirty-seven years of age by Douglas Laing for their fantastic Old & Rare Collection. Bunnahabhains from the 1970s tend to be particularly...  More info
$446.37
Ardbeg 10 Year Old remains a staple favourite of peat-lovers the world over, and with just one sip it’s easy to see why! Vanilla and citrus fruits underpinned with an Incredible Hulk of peat, this is...  More info
$94.96
A 30 year old single cask Caol Ila from Signatory's excellent Cask Strength Collection. Just 253 bottles of this Islay whisky were produced, distilled in December 1982 and bottled in May 2013.  More info
$260.23
Smoky, fleeting, and somewhat ethereal. Delicious single cask Bunnahabhain from Wemyss.  More info
$123.04
An 18 year old red wine finished Caol Ila from superb bottler Gordon & MacPhail.  More info
$122.85
This is a single malt whisky bottled by Wemyss Malts. Wemyss originally dealt in wine, as such they are taking a vintner's approach to selecting whisky.

Wemyss name their single malt whiskies after...  More info
$120.37
A 13 year old Bowmore distilled in May 1997 and aged in a single refill hogshead before bottling by Douglas Laing in February 2011. This comes from the Old Malt Cask range, and there are just 297...  More info
$108.47
A 24 year old single malt from the Caol Ila distillery on Islay and bottled in 2008 by the Vintage Whisky Co. as part of The Coopers Choice range.  More info
$407.47
Since December 1991, two casks of single malt Bunnahabhain whisky sat waiting for the day when it would become part of the Signatory Un-Chillfiltered Collection. 15 years later... that day has come!  More info
$77.12
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
$191.01
Cask strength Bunnahabhain - unpeated - from Signatory. Distilled in October 2001 and bottled in September 2012, shortly before it had spent 11 years in cask 1766.  More info
$82.73
This was distilled at Bowmore in Autumn of 2000 and aged for 10 years in a single refill hogshead before bottling for the Provenance range from Douglas Laing in Autumn of 2010. Deliciously malty...  More info
$82.48
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
$207.86
A Mackillop's Choice Caol Ila 17 Year Old, distilled on 8 February 1990 and bottled in May 2007 at cask strength. It is, of course, non-chill filtered.  More info

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