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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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Ardbeg 10 Year Old
(70cl, 46%)
Jim Murray's 2008 World Whisky of the Year! When Ardbeg 10 was released it was the first expression from the distillery not to be chill-filtered. It's a true classic from Islay, and a must have for...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (3.5/5)
$60.51
Few distilleries are as sought after as Islay's Ardbeg. Sestante meanwhile, are a celebrated independent bottling brand of real note who are no longer operating. What then, would it take to top a rare...  More info
$1657.00
Ardbeg 17 Year Old
(70cl, 40%)
Increasingly rare, now discontinued whisky from Ardbeg. Incredibly rich and powerful, and all too easy to drink.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$733.98
Distilled in 1974 and bottled in November 1997, just after the Ardbeg distillery was bought by Glenmorangie, the Ardbeg Provenance is a legendary bottling of 23 year old single malt Scotch whisky...  More info
$3613.83
A 21 year old Ardbeg distilled in 1974 and bottled in 1996 (only full years are counted) by the renowned Italian independent bottlers Sestante at 40% abv. This is a rare and valuable single malt...  More info
$1378.41
Hold the phone, is this an independently bottled, single cask 23 year old Ardbeg single malt Scotch whisky?! By Jove it is! A very exciting dram from one of the most renowned distilleries on Islay...  More info
$855.68
The Committee Release of Ardbeg Alligator, so named for the barrels it was aged in; the American oak casks were given such an intense char, the resulting charcoal surface resembled alligator skin!...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (3.5/5)
$558.46
Ardbeg Blasda
(70cl, 40%)
Blasda represents a rare chance to sample a lightly-peated dram from the powerhouse Ardbeg distillery. The malt is peated at 8ppm as opposed to the standard 24ppm.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$281.90
Ardbeg Corryvreckan
(70cl, 57.10%)
Malt Advocate's Top Whisky of the Year for 2009!

This is one of the legendary Islay malts. We loved the Committee release and we weren't disappointed with this incredible dram. This was released to...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$98.65
Ardbeg Uigeadail
(70cl, 54.20%)
Uigeadail derives from the Scotch Gaelic for 'Dark and Mysterious Place' and is named for the Loch from whence Ardbeg draws its waters. Jim Murray's 2009 World Whisky of the Year, this cask-strength...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$82.09
Bowmore 12 Year Old
(70cl, 40%)
The heart of the Bowmore range, the 12 year old exhibits some beautiful coastal notes with a gentle peat, it is the balance that the floral element presents that makes this a great entry bottling for...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$50.31
Single malt Scotch whisky from the Bowmore distillery, an Islay favourite. This was matured in a bourbon hogshead (#65, if you were wondering) from May 2000 to April 2014, bottled just shy of 14 years...  More info
$145.72
14 year old Bowmore single malt Scotch whisky, bottled for the Old Malt Cask range by Hunter Laing. 563 bottles were produced.  More info
$112.31
A 15 year old released in January of 2007 from the legendary Bowmore distillery in Islay. This single malt has enjoyed maturation in Oloroso sherry casks.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$77.79
Bowmore 18 Year Old
(70cl, 43%)
A comparatively recent release from Bowmore, the 18 year old was launched in January of 2007 to replace the 17 year old. A perfumed, fruity offering from the Islay distillery.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$114.01
Distilled on 24th April 1990 at the Bowmore distillery on Islay, this whisky spent nearly 23 years in cask 185078 before bottling by Montgomerie's as part of their Rare Select range in March 2013.  More info
$258.22
A 23 year old single malt from the Bowmore distillery, aged completely in port casks to compliment the floral and peaty flavours the Islay distillery is known for. Because it's such a special release...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (3.5/5)
$521.71
From one of the excellent distilleries on the Island of Islay comes this edition of Mackillop's Choice. Give a warm welcome to the Bowmore 1990, which was distilled in April 1990 and bottled in July...  More info
$274.54
Brilliant Bowmore single malt Scotch whisky from 1989! Who do we have to thank for this wonderful single cask release of 244 bottles? Well, it's the talented folks at Mackillop's, of course. We doff...  More info
$314.55
A 25 year old from the Bowmore distillery aged in American bourbon and Spanish sherry casks. The sherry influence combines wonderfully with the coastal, smoky distillery style to create a sublime aged...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$684.36
Another fabulous release of single cask Scotch whisky from Hunter Laing, the company created when the two Laing brothers at Douglas Laing went their separate ways. This edition of their Old & Rare...  More info
$540.28
Released as part of the Tantalus collection, this is an incredible 31 year old Bowmore single malt Scotch whisky which has been bottled by Duncan Taylor. As with all Tantalus releases, it comes with a...  More info
$2255.65
Independently bottled Islay single malt Scotch whisky from the beloved Bowmore distillery. It was put into the single refill hogshead in Winter 2003 and emerged from the cask in Spring 2013, like a...  More info
$98.78
Bowmore Dawn
(70cl, 51.50%)
A wonderful port cask finished whisky from Bowmore, this received an incredibly impressive 94 points in the Jim Murray Whisky Bible 2008.  More info
$281.74
The third release of the stunningly good Bowmore Tempest, a cask-strength 10 year old from the Islay distillery. This particular expression offers up oodles of fruity flavour and complexity.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$70.73
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