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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 Whisky

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Lagavulin 16 Year Old
(70cl, 43%)
A much sought-after single malt with the massive peat-smoke that's typical of southern Islay - but also offering richness and a dryness that turns it into a truly interesting dram. The 16 year old has...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$76.42
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)
$79.14
The sixth edition of experimental Octomore, famous for being made with the most heavily peated barley on the planet. Bruichladdich are still able to impart a delicate, graceful emphasis within this...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$150.24
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 (4.0/5)
$58.34
Laphroaig Triple Wood
(70cl, 48%)
An incredible new release from Laphroaig. This was originally launched for the duty free market, and it is a tour de force from the Islay distillery. First off, they mature this in bourbon barrels...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$73.83
Laphroaig 18 Year Old
(70cl, 48%)
The hotly anticipated Laphroaig eighteen year-old. This expression replaced the fifteen year-old and comes at a higher strength. This is a much more exclusive affair with a powerful punch. Awesome...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$128.78
From the Lagavulin distillery on the island of Islay comes the 1997 Distillers Edition, a fantastic single malt which has been maturing since 1997 and enjoyed a finishing period in Pedro Ximénez cask...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$119.31
This is a delicious 1996 vintage from the Lagavulin distillery, this was given a finish in top-quality Pedro Ximénez dessert sherry casks. The result is a mix of Lagavulin's signature smoky flavour...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$108.10
A great Islay single malt from an unnamed distillery. The Ileach always scores well with the critics, this cask strength edition was awarded a mindblowingly high 97 points by Jim Murray in his Whisky...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$61.52
Caol Ila 12 Year Old
(70cl, 43%)
This 12 year old is the entry level bottling from the Caol Ila distillery, launched in June of 2002 this expression is light and fresh with that distinctive Caol Ila smoke.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$58.64
Bunnahabhain 12 Year Old
(70cl, 46.30%)
This entry level Bunnahabhain bottling comes in a redesigned bottle. This 12 year old is lightly peated for an Islay single malt and consequently is a light, fresh dram. Now at the higher strength of...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$57.20
The Ileach Peaty
(70cl, 40%)
The Ileach is a peaty single malt from a secret Islay distillery, this has received rave reviews from whisky critics and has a solid core of peat and malt.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$40.14
Master distiller Jim McEwan specially chose the casks that create the Port Charlotte Scottish Barley, which highlight the elegance within this heavily peated single malt. Made with 100% Scottish...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$61.53
Laphroaig 10 Year Old
(70cl, 40%)
Really smoky and iodine rich. This has to be one of Scotland's most characterful drams. Laphroaig are known for their medicinal malts, and the classic 10 year old is no exception.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$56.98
Released in 2004, this bottling was aged for five years before being finished in a quarter cask for seven months, the size of the cask is quite small, thus does not require such a long maturation...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$61.42
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)
$48.69
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)
$75.00
Smokey Joe Islay Malt
(70cl, 46%)
A blended malt made up of different Islay single malt whiskies. We're not sure which ones, exactly, but we do know that it tastes delicious!  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$56.46
Caol Ila 18 Year Old
(70cl, 43%)
A wonderfully balanced expression from the core Caol Ila range, this 18 year old is malty and thick with notes of Caol Ila smoke and phenols, a lovely Islay single malt without extreme levels of peat...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$109.59
Created by Jim McEwan from whisky matured in American oak casks alongside Lochindaal, and chosen to represent the classic, unpeated distillery style. Bruichladdich's new signature bottling is made...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$66.41
The fourth release of the legendary Bruichladdich Black Art whisky. With the recipe a mystery to everyone apart from the creator, it's still a cryptic enigma.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$276.33
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)
$68.19
The 2014 release of Kilchoman's Machir Bay single malt Scotch whisky is here! For the third release in the series, Kilchoman have produced a vatting of 5 and 6 year old ex-bourbon barrels and Oloroso...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$63.08
STRICTLY 1 PER CUSTOMER

Yet another cracking 12 year old limited edition Lagavulin from Diageo's Special Releases, the twelfth of the series. Vatted from refill American Oak casks before being...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$131.13
Islay Storm
(70cl, 40%)
An Islay single malt from a secret distillery, Islay Storm has loads of peaty character.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (3.0/5)
$39.90
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