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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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When tasting a whisky that comes from the Bunnahabhain distillery on Islay, you're expecting to taste at least some peat goodness. However, you might not be prepared for the peaty wallop you'll get...  More info
$92.71
A 19 year old Bruichladdich bottled by Signatory. Distilled in November 1992 and bottled in March 2012 without the use of chill filtration.  More info
$112.62
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
$1089.56
This is a 1997 vintage Bunnahabhain from Wemyss Malts - a range of whiskies named after their flavours. Driftwood is a 15 year old whisky and each cask in the range is specially selected under the eye...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (2.5/5)
$120.93
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
$198.68
A collectible bottle of 12 year old single malt Scotch whisky from the Bunnahabhain distillery on Islay, released in the 1990s. It features the classic seafaring chap on the label, who looks to be...  More info
$121.79
A 15 year old Bunnahabhain single malt taken from two consecutive casks (hogsheads), yielding 798 bottles. Bottled by Signatory in July 2013 by Signatory without the use of chill filtration.  More info
$77.25
STRICTLY ONE PER CUSTOMER

Bunnahabhain's Fèis Ìle festival release is a delightfully sherried whisky bottled at 60.1% abv on 19th March 2013. Only 606 bottles were released, each hand signed by...  More info
$253.64
A (comparatively) young Islay whisky from Signatory. Peat smoke ho!  More info
$72.82
Sherry butt-matured Laphroaig, bottled as part of Hunter Laing's Old Malt Cask range. From April 2000 to April 2014, this single malt aged in Sherry butt #10432. Afterwards, the whisky was placed into...  More info
$118.47
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
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$374.75
Do you have problems with chill filtration? Well you're in luck, as Signatory's Un-Chillfiltered Collection doesn't allow it! The range now includes a 16 year old Caol Ila from casks 5572 & 5573.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (3.5/5)
$94.20
A 35 old single malt to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the Islay distillery. This bottling comes in a presentation box with a black Bunnahabhain glass.  More info
$1201.03
This was distilled at the Ardbeg distillery in 1974 and it was bottled especially for Speymalt Whisky's Spirit of Scotland range. A very rare and collectible bottling from the legendary Islay...  More info
$1057.10
No whisky was chillfiltered in the making of this 17 year old Caol Ila single malt. After being distilled in 1996 and maturing in casks 12559 and 12570, it was bottled by Signatory in 2013 with an...  More info
$100.64
This is a 14 year old Caol Ila which has been made from un-peated malted barley - unusual for these Islay Distillers. The whisky has been matured in ex-Sherry casks for a fruity character which still...  More info
$109.68
Ardbeg Galileo
(70cl, 49%)
The rumour mill has been rumbling about this Ardbeg release for some time. In April 2012 Ardbeg sent some of their new-make spirit up into space to make Ardbeg the first inter-stellar whisky, so it...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
A limited edition Laphroaig 18 to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. Part of a release of just 3000 bottles, the award-winning 18 year old is a stunning whisky. The distillery is donating £3000...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (3.0/5)
Bottled by Douglas Hunter Laing, this Bowmore single cask whisky was matured for 15 years old. Part of the Old Malt Cask range, only 239 bottles were produced from cask 9808.  More info
$119.91
STRICTLY ONE PER CUSTOMER

Bruichladdich's Fèis Ìle 2013 festival bottling was a tribute to Jim McEwan's impressive “50 years of whisky creation”. A vatting of various selected vintages, just 700...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$253.64
Ardbeg sits on the island’s Southern coast and produces its highly peated malt whisky. Ardbeg closed in July 1996, thankfully the distillery was bought by Glenmorangie plc in 1997 and the distillery...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
Chocolate Honeycomb. Crunchie bars then? #copyrightinfringement

A fantastic single cask Bunnahabhain from Wemyss Malts.  More info
$98.60
Bunnahabhain distilled in 1988 and matured in a single sherry cask for 24 years? Erm, yes. Yes please.  More info
$181.62
The second release in Bruichladdich's Uber Provenance range, made with barley grown on Islay at Dunlossit Farm. As Bruichladdich put it: "Now once again the sea salt spray lashed fields of Islay are...  More info
$75.68
Hunter Laing?! What happened to that Douglas fellow who used to have his name on my Old Malt Cask bottles? Well, the Laing brothers have gone their separate ways, with Stewart retaining the popular...  More info
$137.65

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