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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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From Berry's whisky selection comes this single cask Caol Ila distilled in 1983 and aged for 28 years in cask 4825 before bottling in 2011.  More info
$205.97
A lovely expression from Bowmore carefully selected by the Maltmen at the distillery. These men continue the traditional floor maltings at the distillery - a rare thing now in modern Scotch whisky...  More info
$254.58
An absolutely stunningly packaged Bowmore distilled on the 24th September 1970, aged in sherry butt 4687 and bottled at natural cask strength for Signatory's Cask Strength Collection on the 15th June...  More info
A beautifully dark whisky from Signatory's award-winning Cask Strength Collection. This was distilled on the 21st January 1980 and was aged in sherry butt 604 for 31 years before bottling in 2012. A...  More info
$201.95
Distilled at Bowmore on the 4th May 1999, this was aged in three bourbon barrels (numbers 800196 thru' '198) before bottling by Signatory on the 26th January 2012. A release of 998 bottles.  More info
$66.50
This 19 year old Bruichladdich was distilled on the 3rd April 1992. It was aged in two hogsheads (numbers 1344 and 1352) before bottling by Signatory on the 26th January 2012. A release of 665...  More info
$89.40
This was distilled at Caol Ila on the 9th November 2000 and aged for 11 years in two bourbon barrels before bottling for Signatory's Un-Chillfiltered Collection on the 27th April 2912. Each bottle is...  More info
$62.10
A special Caol Ila and the latest in a line of fantastic whiskies in the Distillers Edition range. The whisky has been double matured, first in American oak casks then a second maturation in casks...  More info
$94.11
A teenaged Caol Ila bottled by Gordon and MacPhail as part of their renowned Connoisseurs Choice range.  More info
$314.00
A very peaty Caol Ila from Wemyss Malts, who favour evocative names for their releases, this being no exception. Smokiness abounds and this is a great dram for those in search of phenolic excellence...  More info
$92.36
This cask strength, single cask Bowmore was distilled on the 22nd November 1985, and it was aged in hogshead 32211 for 25 years before bottling by Signatory on the 16th June 2011. A release of 257...  More info
$169.69
This was distilled at Bowmore on the 13th June 1997, and it was aged for 14 years in hogsheads 1906 and 1907 before bottling on the 13th June 2011. A release of 779 numbered bottles from Signatory.  More info
$67.83
A fabulously rich, darkly hued sherry cask Bunnahabhain, distilled in 1979 and aged in cask 1795 before bottling by Berry Brothers and Rudd in 2011.  More info
$237.60
Distilled at Bunnahabhain in November of 1986 and aged in cask 1575 before bottling by Duncan Taylor in September 2011. A 24 year old, single cask, cask strength whisky, and a release of 174 bottles.  More info
This was distilled at Bunnahabhain in September 1988, it was aged for 22 years in cask 2356 before bottling by Duncan Taylor's Rare Auld series in August of 2011. A cask strength release of 237...  More info
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
$92.36
An utterly fabulous on-going annual release of Lagavulin, from Diageo's Special Releases. 2011 sees this cask strength monster offering up oodles of complexity thanks to its maturation in refill...  More info
Strictly One Per CustomerThis will sell out within 5 minutes of me putting the product live. It's a limited release of 2,988 bottles, aged for 32 years in refill American oak casks, and guess what...  More info
A stunning single cask, deeply sherried Islay whisky from Bunnahabhain. This was distilled in 2000, aged in cask 948 and was bottled at 10 years old in 2011 by Adelphi. A release of 636 bottles.  More info
$109.12
A fascinating little Bunnahabhain distilled in December of 1990 and aged in a single Spanish oak butt for 20 years before bottling on the 7th November 2011. Astonishingly sherried, this stuff really...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (3.5/5)
A five year old release from Kilchoman, distilled in 2006. This is actually the first ever whisky of this age from the distillery, 80% aged in first fill bourbon and 20% in refill bourbon. A limited...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$82.27
An 11 year old Bowmore, distilled in September 2000 and aged in a sherry butt before bottling in November 2011. A rich, muscular malt, and part of a release of just 439 bottles.  More info
$92.87
A 16 year old single cask Bruichladdich distilled in November of 1993, this was aged in a refill hogshead before bottling in July 2010 for Douglas Laing's stellar Old Malt Cask range. A release of 346...  More info
$114.31
A sherry-matured 10 year old Bunnahabhain from Douglas Laing's Old Malt Cask range. This was distilled in December of 2001 and bottled in 2011 at the "preferred strength of 50%". Lovely stuff.  More info
$99.13
An old, rich Caol Ila, distilled in September 1980 and aged for 30 years in a refill hogshead. This was bottled in May of 2011 for the Old Malt Cask range. Just 270 bottles.  More info
$252.10

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