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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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Cask strength Bowmore, this was distilled in 1991, and aged solely in port pipes. A release of 18,000 bottles.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
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)
Distilled in 1994, this Bowmore was initially aged in sherry wood. It was selected by Murray McDavid, and taken to the Bruichladdich distillery, where it was reracked into none other than the finest...  More info
Distilled at Bowmore on the 19th April 1994 and aged in two hogsheads before bottling by Signatory on the 12th October 2010. A release of 742 bottles.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$70.67
An interesting Bowmore from Adelphi which offers marked differences to the distillery's standard character.  More info
$130.08
This single malt Bowmore whisky matured in a single hoggie for 16 years, from June 1997 to November 2013, until it was bottled by Signatory for the Cask Strength Collection. 309 bottles of this fab...  More info
$114.94
A Signatory bottling of 16 year old Bowmore single malt from Islay taken from consecutive hogsheads. 502 bottles were produced at 54% as part of the Cask Strength Collection.  More info
$114.94
Whisky matured in a wine cask is almost always an interesting and worthwhile experiment, for distillers and connoisseurs alike. If you're feeling adventurous, why not take a chance on this 16 year old...  More info
$96.98
Bowmore 17 Year Old
(70cl, 43%)
A 17 year old Bowmore with a beautifully balanced, rounded palate with notes of soft chocolate, toffee apples and a little wood smoke. This was a Gold Medal winner at the International Spirits...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$160.94
Smooth and well balanced 17 year old Bowmore from Cadenhead's Duthies range. A release of just 573 bottles.  More info
A sooty 17 year old Bowmore here from Douglas Laing's particularly good old Particular range. 312 bottles of this Islay whisky were produced from a single hogshead.  More info
$158.31
This is a twenty year old Bowmore bottled by Mackillop's Choice in 2012. Bowmore is the oldest distillery on Islay and produces a smoky malt whisky.  More info
Bowmore 1974
(75cl, 40%)
This collectable Bowmore was distilled in 1974 and may have been bottled in the 1980's. Bowmore is the oldest distillery on Islay and its peaty, coastal style is still hugely popular today.  More info
$1069.27
This was distilled in 1985 and aged in sherry and bourbon casks in the renowned Bowmore No. 1 Vaults. This was bottled in 2012 at natural cask strength for the 2012 Feis Ile (Islay Festival) and there...  More info
$1327.91
An independent bottling from Bowmore, bottled by Signatory. This was distilled on the 29th March 1990 and matured in 2 hogsheads (casks 653 and 654) for 19 years before bottling on the 16th November...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
A smoky single malt distilled at Bowmore in 1994 and bottled by BBR.  More info
$98.89
This is a delicious cask-strength Bowmore from Berry Brothers and Rudd. It was distilled in 1996, aged in a single cask (number 1378) and bottled in 2011.  More info
$84.31
Vintage Bowmore from 1999, bottled at Cask strength by Berry Brothers and Rudd.  More info
$82.90
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)
$711.19
A sherry cask Bowmore distilled in 1989. The cask was selected by Jim McEwan and it was bottled at the Bruichladdich distillery in 2010. This is part of a release of 479 bottles.  More info
A rare and very handsome Bowmore, distilled in November of 1987 and aged for 22 years before bottling in April 2010. This was finished in a sherry hogshead which bore 244 bottles of cask strength...  More info
This is twenty-two year old Bowmore was bottled by Berry Brothers and Rudd from a single cask.  More info
$153.33
This is a twenty-two year old Bowmore from independent bottlers Murray MsDavid's Mission range. Bowmore is the oldest distillery on the storm-swept isle of Islay and displays peaty coastal flavours...  More info
$165.05
This was distilled on the 22nd November 1985 and matured in hogshead number 32203 for 23 years before bottling by Signatory on the 13th January 2009. A release of just 234 bottles of cask strength...  More info
Matured in a Sherry Butt for 23 years, this single-cask whisky is part of an outturn of only 218 bottles.  More info
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