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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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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
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This delightfully smoky Caol Ila single malt Scotch whisky was bottled by the top chaps at Wemyss. It was distilled in 1982 and left to mature in a single hogshead until 2014, when it was bottled with...  More info
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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
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A Douglas Laing bottling of Bunnahabhain single malt Scotch whisky, drawn from a single cask and bottled in Winter 2014 for their Provenance series. Douglas Laing have described it as "young &...  More info
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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
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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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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
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This is a fourteen year old Bunnahabhain from Douglas Laing's Old Malt Cask range.

The Old Malt Cask range began as a release of fifty bottlings in 1998 to commemorate Douglas Laing's fiftieth...  More info
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Ah, Port Ellen, how we love you. And by 'we' I don't just mean us at MoM towers, whisky fans around the world adore this legendary malt from an Islay distillery that shut...  More info
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This lovely Laphroaig was distilled in October 1996. Following that, the cask rested for 17 years until Hunter Laing bottled it up for their Old Malt Cask range in October 2013. Just 347 bottles of...  More info
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A 30 year old Caol Ila from Signatory? How delicious! Thank you. What do you mean I only get to write the bottling note, and that I don't get to take all of these home with me? Hmph. Well, I guess I...  More info
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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
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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
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A Douglas Laing bottling of 17 year old single malt from the particularly talented Islay distillery, Caol Ila. Oh, what a coincidence! I used the word "particularly" and this is an Old Particular...  More info
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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
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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
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The second batch of sherried Bunnahabhain distilled in December 1991 and bottled by Duncan Taylor. This release was matured for 20 years.  More info
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Independently bottled Islay whisky from the legendary Laphroaig distillery. It was distilled in May 1998 and matured in two casks for 14 years until January 2013, when it was bottled by Signatory...  More info
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Duncan Taylor bottled this 24 year old Bunnahhabhain single malt Scotch whisky for their Dimensions series, which shows off the multitude of dimensions that exist within their vast catalogue of...  More info
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A 33 year old Bunnahabhain distilled in April 1979 before being bottled in December 2012. Matured in cask 4761 and released as part of Duncan Taylor's Dimensions range at natural cask strength...  More info
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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
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This Bunnahabhain, bottled by Wemyss Malts, is pale and golden in colour, and as the name suggests, it's a malty and full bodied dram. Bottled at 46% abv.  More info
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This is a rich, sherry-matured Bunnahabhain from Douglas Laing's Old Malt Cask range. It was distilled in December 2001 and was aged for 11 years before bottling in early 2013. This is a release of...  More info
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With a presentation box almost as gorgeous as the whisky itself, you know you're in for a treat with The Duncan Taylor Single range of independently bottled single cask whiskies. This particular treat...  More info
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