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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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An Islay favourite, Caol Ila make a glorious peated single malt. if you're looking for proof, look no further than this independent bottling of 13 year old Caol Ila, taken from a refill hogshead...  More info
$110.19
Subtitled after Julio Cortázar's short story La Noche Bocca Arriba, Bruichladdich Cuvee 407 is a 21 year old whisky which was aged in American oak and finished in rich, sweet Pedro Ximenez sherry...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
A love letter to the traditional craft, Kilchoman 100% Islay is produced from barley "grown, malted, distilled and bottled at the distillery". Originally, Kilchoman intended to produce all of their...  More info
$105.70
This Port Charlotte is a heavily peated (44ppm) single malt whisky from the progressive Islay distillers at Bruichladdich. This bottling is a blend of multiple vintages of this smoky whisky and offers...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$71.29
Bw3 is the third instalment of Bowmore single malt Scotch whisky for Speciality Drinks' Elements of Islay range. It doesn't take a scientist to know that this should be some tasty independently...  More info
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Bruichladdich Peat
(70cl, 46%)
A newer release to replace the 3D bottling, a more peat rich single malt from the Bruichladdich distillery with phenol levels of 35ppm, though it does not overbear the typical 'Laddie characteristics...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
This is a delicious and very special whisky from the Caol Ila distillery, released as part of Diageo's Distillers Edition range. This was distilled in 2000 and was initially matured in American oak...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$94.59
Ooooh, a Signatory bottling of 11 year old cask strength, single cask Bunnahabhain Islay single malt Scotch whisky that was matured in a sherry butt. Nice. Just 677 of these little beauties were made.  More info
$81.97
Octomore is Bruichladdich's limited edition range of ever popular super peated whiskies; some of the most peated whiskies on the entire planet! Octomore 03.1 is aged for 5 years and made with malt...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$617.97
STRICTLY ONE PER CUSTOMER

One of two special festival releases from Bowmore for Fèis Ìle 2014, this more expensive bottling is a marriage of first-fill American oak barrel and French wine barrique...  More info
$756.80
One fateful day in October 1992, the Bruichladdich distillery on Islay, filled 2 casks with their spirit and left them to mature. 21 years later, in February 2014, a second fateful date occurred when...  More info
$111.52
Un-chillfiltered Islay whisky from the Caol Ila distillery. This single malt spent 17 years maturing in two casks before it was bottled with an outturn of 782 bottles by Signatory in October 2013.  More info
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This is an interesting one. Octomore Comus is peated to an immense 167ppm, then finished in sauternes casks. This has suceeded in taming the beast somewhat, but this is still a powerful, peaty dram...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
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Bottled by our own fair hands during Fèis Ìle 2014 (the Islay whisky festival), the whisky in question was distilled in 1995 and matured for nearly 19 years in a single Oloroso butt. No filtration...  More info
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Single cask single malt whisky from the talented Caol Ila distillery near Port Askaig on Islay, bottled by Signatory. After maturing in a hogshead for 30 years(!), it was bottled for the Cask Strength...  More info
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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)
$93.80
Douglas Laing properly go for it with their Old and Rare Platinum range, picking only the most ridiculously desirable whiskies to join the impressive selection. Speaking of ridiculously desirable, how...  More info
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Known for their recent explosion of weird and wonderful releases, Bruichladdich are also good at just producing simple, spectacular single malt Scotch whisky, like this Berry Bros. & Rudd single cask...  More info
$180.50
A Signatory bottling of Bowmore single malt Scotch whisky, distilled in 2001, left to mature in a refill butt and bottled in March 2014. It was released as part of the Signatory Un-Chillfiltered...  More info
$81.47
An 11 year old Bunnah from top independent bottlers Signatory. Matured in a single Sherry butt with an outrun of 665 bottled. Nice.  More info
$94.85
This incredible Bowmore single malt Scotch whisky was distilled in December 1987 and aged for 25 years before being bottled up by Douglas Laing as part of their Old Particular range of single cask...  More info
$440.20
This is a 20 year old Bruichladdich from Signatory's Un-Chillfiltered Collection, distilled on the 25th November 1992 and aged in two hogsheads before bottling on the 11th December 2012. A release of...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$108.29
A winter distillation of Bowmore from indie bottlers Douglas Laing. Part of their Provenance range, this Islay single cask whisky was bottled in spring 2013 after 10 years in a refill hogshead.  More info
$99.42
The Old Malt Cask, a classic range from indie bottlers Douglas Laing, now comes under the newly formed Hunter Laing as Fred and Stewart Laing have chosen to go their separate ways, splitting the...  More info
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A litre bottle of Lagavulin's classic 16 year old. A must have Islay malt, with oodles of complexity. The definition of smoky whisky…  More info
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