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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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Master of Malt Single Cask Whisky
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)
$98.24
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)
$113.42
A Bunnahabhain bottled by Berry Bros. & Rudd, what a fantastic excuse for alliteration and awesome single cask whisky! This Islay single malt aged for 25 years before it was bottled.  More info
$392.85
STRICTLY 1 PER CUSTOMER

The oldest official bottling of Lagavulin ever released. This rare, natural cask strength gem of limited release was distilled back in 1976 before being matured in refill...  More info
$3321.75
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
$85.85
This is a Caol Ila distilled in 1990 and bottled by independent bottler Mackillops in 2012. The philosophy behind Mackillops is to take the appreciation of wine to whisky, so the whiskies selected...  More info
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
$104.13
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
$99.35
A cask strength bottling from Mackillop's distilled at the Bowmore Distillery on Islay in April of 1989. Bottled in March of 2013 in a limited run. Sterling stuff…  More info
$278.21
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
$262.50
A very well-aged Bruichladdich from Berry Brothers & Rudd dating to the Whyte & Mackay era.  More info
$154.18
One malt to rule them all. An incredible dram, Whisky Mag recommended, Lord of the Isles is an exquisite Ardbeg, matured for 25 years. This is rich, full-bodied, with good sweetness.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
This is a twenty-one year old bottling of Islay's eldest distillery from the 1990's. Bowmore boasts peated and coastal qualities in abundance.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$729.81
This is a youthful, small-batch bottling of Caol Ila from the Provenance range, bottled in Winter 2012 without an age statement. It was described by the bottlers as "Young and Feisty".  More info
$102.53
The second batch of sherried Bunnahabhain distilled in December 1991 and bottled by Duncan Taylor. This release was matured for 20 years.  More info
$166.02
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
$85.33
This is the latest release from Bruichladdich. An un-peated sixteen year old bottling from an American Oak cask.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
A 33 year old (!) Caol Ila matured in a single hogshead and then bottled by those lovely folk over at Douglas Laing in December 2013. Just 136 bottles of this wonderful Islay whisky were produced.  More info
$502.78
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
$189.05
Bruichladdich Cuvee 640 is the first of three whiskies from the distillery's Cuvee range. This Eroica edition was aged in American oak and finished in Limousin oak brandy casks before bottling. It...  More info
$182.83
This is a fabulous old Port Ellen from Douglas Laing's stellar Old and Rare Platinum Selection. It was distilled in August 1977, some six years before the distillery shut its doors for good, and the...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$1392.92
A single cask independent bottling of Laphroaig single malt whisky, because there can never be too much Islay whisky. This release from cask 9932 was matured for 15 years before Hunter Laing bottled...  More info
$134.83
Classic peaty Islay goodness here, matured in a single refil hogshead for 16 years before being bottled by Hunter Laing in December 2013. 322 bottles of this Laphroaig were produced at 50% abv.  More info
$141.30
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
$1097.25
Bowmore Feis Ile 2013
(70cl, 56.50%)
STRICTLY ONE PER CUSTOMER

Bowmore’s festival bottling for Fèis Ìle 2013 was a bourbon matured release of just 1,000 bottles. It's cask strength, non chill-filtered and very yummy.  More info
$170.26
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