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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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Bruichladdich Octomore
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
$62.31
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 "rather smoky" 10 year old Laphroaig bottled by Douglas Laing for its quality as a fine accompaniment to a good cigar. A release of 362 bottles from a single refill hogshead.  More info
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
$206.66
A single cask Bunnahabhain, bottled by Berry Brothers and Rudd. This was distilled in 1990 and aged in cask 18 for 21 years before bottling un-chillfiltered at natural cask strength in 2012.  More info
$151.85
A single cask Caol Ila, bottled by the world-famous London wine merchants, Berry Brothers and Rudd. This was distilled in 1982 and aged in cask 6510 for 29 years before bottling in 2011...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$206.66
This cask strength Bunnahabhain was distilled in 1986 and aged for 25 years before bottling. The latter part of the maturation was spent in an Octave cask - much smaller than a standard hogshead - and...  More info
This comes from Duncan Taylor's Octave range, where fine whiskies are recasked into "octave casks" - much smaller than regular hogsheads, these allow the whisky to age faster and absorb more spicy...  More info
$186.63
This is the first sherry matured whisky from Kilchoman, and despite being a mere five years of age it's a very characterful dram from an Islay distillery that's producing some wonderful whisky.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (3.5/5)
$84.32
A limited release of 2,502 bottles, the 125th Anniversary from Bruichladdich is a rare 35 year old dram, distilled in 1970 and aged in American oak to commemorate the 125th Anniversary of the Islay...  More info
$679.68
A single cask Whisky from Caol Ila Distillery, bottled by Signatory as part of their Cask Strength Collection. A 1982 vintage, this has been aged for 29 years.  More info
$205.39
The progressive Hebridean distillers at Bruichladdich on the storm swept island of Islay have released their second edition of their fifteen year old whisky finished in Chateau d'Yquem Sauternes...  More info
A heavily-peated Bunnahabhain, the Islay distillery known for producing lightly peated drams. This has been bottled by Signatory, and it's really rather good.  More info
$94.44
A 13 year old Laphroaig distilled on the 12th May 1998 and aged in hogsheads 5554 and 5555 before bottling for Signatory's Un-Chillfiltered Collection on the 27th April 2012. A release of 666 numbered...  More info
$81.03
This 12 year old Caol Ila was distilled on the 12th November 1999 and it was aged in two hogsheads before bottling by Signatory on the 12th December 2011.  More info
A big, punchy cask-strength Laphroaig bottled by Signatory as part of their Single Cask Series.  More info
$133.60
A Mackillop's Choice bottling of 30 year old single cask Caol Ila. This was distilled in 1981 and bottled in early 2012. It's cask strength and non-chill filtered.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
A beautiful single cask Bunnahabhain from Duncan Taylor's Octave cask range. This was distilled in 1979 and finished in smaller "Octave" casks, the result of which is an increased maturation and added...  More info
$300.06
A beautiful cask-strength Bunnahabhain, distilled in 1986 and aged in standard casks before a finish in small "Octave" casks which give additional spice and complexity.  More info
$196.51
A beautiful Bruichladdich from Duncan Taylor. This was distilled from heavily peated malt (unusual for Bruichladdich), and it was finished in a 70 litre sherry Octave cask.  More info
$147.08
Distilled at Caol Ila in May of 1983, this was aged for 28 years in a single cask (number 3618) before bottling in 2012. A release of 413 individually numbered bottles from Duncan Taylor's Dimensions...  More info
$201.84
A single cask, cask strength Bowmore from Duncan Taylor's Rare Auld range. This was distilled in October 1982 and aged for 28 years in cask 85213 before bottling in September of 2011. A release of 204...  More info
$256.59
A marvellous and decidedly rare Port Ellen distilled in April 1982 and aged for a massive 30 years in a single refill hogshead before bottling in April 2012 for Douglas Laing's premium Old and Rare...  More info
$691.43
An 11 year old Laphroaig, distilled in 2000 and aged in a single cask before bottling for Douglas Laing's smart-looking Premier Barrel range. A release of just 384 hand-filled decanters.  More info
$123.76
This was distilled at the Laphroaig distillery in February 2001 and aged for 11 years in a refill hogshead before bottling in April of 2012. This was a release of 289 bottles from Douglas Laing's Old...  More info
$118.61

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