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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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Matured in two first fill Sherry butts, this 2000 vintage Caol Ila was bottled by Gordon & MacPhail in June 2012 as part of their Cask Strength range.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$93.39
This is a sherry-matured Caol Ila from Gordon and MacPhail's Connoisseurs Choice range. It was distilled in 1998 and bottled in 2010.  More info
$65.76
This is the first batch of That Boutique-y Whisky Company’s Bowmore. This offering is a peaty style with a sherried streak running right through the middle of it.

‘That Boutique-y Whisky Company’...  More info
This is a 20 year old Caol Ila bottled for the Cooper's Choice series of Scotch whisky.  More info
$93.55
This is a nine year old whisky from the Islay distillery of Bunnahabhain. This single malt has been aged in ex-Sherry casks for a deeper and richer flavour.  More info
$71.82
This fifteen year old Caol Ila has been bottled by Signatory without chill filtration and is a deliciously peaty Islay single malt!  More info
$66.41
Signatory have brought us a fifteen year old Laphroaig, the Marmite of the Islay whiskies! This pungent beast takes no prisoners and unleashes its medicinal peat with daring precision.  More info
$112.24
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
$428.06
This single malt from the closed distillery of Port Ellen distilled in 1997 and bottled in 2012 for Douglas Laing's Old & Rare collection.  More info
$1199.68
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
$199.33
This Bunnahabhain was bottled from an ex-sherry cask by Douglas Laing for their Old Malt Cask range.  More info
$96.83
Caol Ila is near Port Askaig in Islay and this sixteen year old whisky has been bottled by Douglas Laing for their Old Malt Cask range. All the whiskies in the Old Malt Cask range are bottled without...  More info
$111.74
Douglas Laing have bottled a single cask of the peaty Laphroaig single malt, with chill filtration, for their Old Malt Cask series.  More info
$122.99
This is a 1997 vintage Bunnahabhain from Wemyss Malts - a range of whiskies named after their flavours. Driftwood is a 15 year old whisky and each cask in the range is specially selected under the eye...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (2.5/5)
$115.77
A delicious 16 year old, 1996 vintage from Wemyss Malts' range of superbly appropriately named whiskies - this is Lemon Smoke... It comes from a secret distillery on Islay - let's just say it's C Ila...  More info
This is single malt whisky from Wemyss Malts is so named because it has a sandy seaweed like flavour.  More info
$115.43
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
$115.43
A 2007 release of 25 year old whisky from the Bowmore distillery. The older whiskies used in this single malt were aged in predominantly sherry casks and this has brought a lovely roundness with...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$352.71
A very rare 42 year old from the Islay distillery, Bowmore. This single malt has been matured in Oloroso sherry casks and is part of a limited release of just 827 bottles. A legendary dram.  More info
A cask strength release from the Islay distillery, Bowmore. This 'Claret' finish whisky has been matured for 16 years, with a finish in a Bordeaux Wine Cask - the label is emblazoned, accordingly...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
Bowmore 16 Year Old 1989
(70cl, 51.80%)
A cask strength 16 year old, a rare edition from a vatting of 134 casks of 1989 vintage Bowmore, most of the casks were ex-bourbon. The resultant single malt is thick and exudes fruit and floral...  More info
Just 732 bottles of this 1964 vintage Bowmore were released. Part of a trio from that year, this one with the moniker 'White', was named after the lighter colour that bourbon maturation tends to...  More info
$8414.43
Bowmore 37 Year Old 1968
(70cl, 43.40%)
A 37 year old offering from Bowmore, matured in ex-bourbon casks and presents a rare bottling from an outturn of just 708 bottles. A spicy, oily, slightly vegetal whisky of excellent depth.  More info
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
A 1990 vintage from the Bowmore distillery, bottled at cask strength, this 16 year old was matured in Oloroso sherry casks and the sherry notes really shine through with enough strength to match up to...  More info

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