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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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This is twenty-two year old Bowmore was bottled by Berry Brothers and Rudd from a single cask.  More info
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This is a fourteen year old Caol Ila bottled without chill-filtration by Signatory to maintain flavour and texture.  More info
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A marvellous and decidedly rare Port Ellen distilled in 1982 and aged for a massive 30 years in a single refill hogshead before bottling in 2012 for Douglas Laing's premium Old and Rare Platinum...  More info
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Ardbeg changed hands between 1996 and 1997, since then the distillery has only released a Ten Year Old with an age statement. So it is pretty darn exciting *massively massively exciting* to get to try...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
This is a previous Gordon & MacPhail bottling of Port Ellen. The Port Ellen distillery closed in 1983 and today only the maltings remain in use. This Port Ellen was bottled in 2001 and offers a rare...  More info
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This twelve year old Bowmore distilled in 1989 was bottled by Lombard for their Jewels of Scotland range. Bowmore is the oldest distillery on the island of Islay and is a peated style of single malt...  More info
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This is a nineteen year old Caol Ila from The Cooper's Choice range bottled at 46% abv. Caol Ila is a peated malt whisky with a coastal character.  More info
$95.88
Bowmore is the oldest distillery on Islay and this bottle has been filled without chill filtration for Signatory's Un-Chill Filtered range.  More info
$67.96
A delicious 16 year old, 1996 vintage from Wemyss Malts' range of superbly appropriately named whiskies - this is Lemon Smoke... It comes from a secret distillery on Islay - let's just say it's C Ila...  More info
This is single malt whisky from Wemyss Malts is so named because it has a sandy seaweed like flavour.  More info
$118.30
This is a single malt whisky bottled by Wemyss Malts. Wemyss originally dealt in wine, as such they are taking a vintner's approach to selecting whisky.

Wemyss name their single malt whiskies after...  More info
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This was distilled at the Bruichladdich distillery in October 1990 before a 21 year maturation in a single cask (refill sherry butt number 8837). It was bottled for the Directors Cut range in 2012...  More info
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This Bunnahabhain was bottled from an ex-sherry cask by Douglas Laing for their Old Malt Cask range.  More info
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Caol Ila is near Port Askaig in Islay and this sixteen year old whisky has been bottled by Douglas Laing for their Old Malt Cask range. All the whiskies in the Old Malt Cask range are bottled without...  More info
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Douglas Laing have bottled a single cask of the peaty Laphroaig single malt, with chill filtration, for their Old Malt Cask series.  More info
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This is a 20 year old Caol Ila bottled for the Cooper's Choice series of Scotch whisky.  More info
$95.88
This is a nine year old whisky from the Islay distillery of Bunnahabhain. This single malt has been aged in ex-Sherry casks for a deeper and richer flavour.  More info
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This fifteen year old Caol Ila has been bottled by Signatory without chill filtration and is a deliciously peaty Islay single malt!  More info
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Signatory have brought us a fifteen year old Laphroaig, the Marmite of the Islay whiskies! This pungent beast takes no prisoners and unleashes its medicinal peat with daring precision.  More info
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This is a sherry cask Bunnahabhain bottled at a staggering thirty-seven years of age by Douglas Laing for their fantastic Old & Rare Collection. Bunnahabhains from the 1970s tend to be particularly...  More info
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This is a wonderfully rich, sherry-matured Bruichladdich from Douglas Laing's Old Malt Cask range. It was distilled in February 1992 before a 20 year maturation in a single refill sherry butt. Bottled...  More info
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This was distilled at the Laphroaig distillery in October 1998 before a 14 year maturation in a single refill hogshead. It was bottled for the Old Malt Cask range in December 2012 and there are just...  More info
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This is a superb whisky from Wemyss Malts and it was distilled at the Laphroaig distillery in 1998. It was aged in a single hogshead before bottling in 2012. With the apt moniker "Beach Bonfires"...  More info
$138.70
This is the stunning Batch 3 of That Boutique-y Whisky Company's Ardbeg - it's a superb little whisky which flaunts the beautiful house style with more than a hint of sweet sherry too.

The label...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
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
$84.30

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