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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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Master of Malt Whisky Liqueurs
A punchy cask strength release, it's at 65.8%! This is an unpeated expression from the Caol Ila distillery. They make this stuff but once a year, and is matured in first fill bourbon barrels.  More info
A very rare, hotly anticipated Port Ellen. This is from the slew of Diageo 2009 Special Releases, this is the 9th release, distilled in 1979 and bottled at cask strength (part of an outturn of 5,916...  More info
A Signatory bottling of Bowmore. This was distilled on the 13th November 1980 and matured in bourbon barrel number 8055 for 28 years before bottling on the 16th September 2009. Part of a release of...  More info
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)
Matured in hogsheads 83 and 84 for 19 years. This is a Signatory bottling from the Bruichladdich distillery, distilled on the 2nd November 1989 and bottling on the 26th August 2009. A release of 679...  More info
This was distilled at Bunnahabhain on the 3rd April 1978 and matured in refill butt number 2586 for 31 years before bottling on the 27th April 2009 at cask strength. Part of a release of 598 decanter...  More info
A 12 year old peated Bunnahabhain. This was distilled in 1997 and aged in a few casks before vatting together and bottling as part of Signatory's Un-Chillfiltered range of natural colour, 46% abv...  More info
A 32 year old Caol Ila, bottled by Signatory. This well aged malt was distilled on the 27th December 1974 and matured in a single cask (hogshead number 12624) before bottling on the 28th June 2007...  More info
A Signatory bottling from Caol Ila. This was distilled on the 22nd November 1999 and matured in two hogsheads (umbers 3/1063 and 1064) for 10 years before bottling on the 26th November 2009. A release...  More info
Distilled at Caol Ila - an Islay distillery known for its oily, smoky character - on the 22nd November 1999, matured in two casks (hogsheads numbers 3/11067 11068) and bottled by Signatory on the 17th...  More info
Port Charlotte PC5
(70cl, 63.50%)
This was distilled by Bruichladdich in 2001 and aged for 5 years. Now incredibly rare, PC5 was the first in the incredible Port Charlotte range, some of the most heavily peated whisky from...  More info
A single cask Laphroaig, bottled by Duncan Taylor for the Rare Auld series at cask strength in February 2010. This was distilled in July 1997 and matured in cask number 56375. Part of a release of 271...  More info
This was distilled at Laphroaig in 1997 and matured for 12 years before bottling by Duncan Taylor in 2010. This was bottled for the NC2 range, the name refers to the fact that this not chill filtered...  More info
This was matured in two refill hogsheads (casks 5095 and 5096), distilled at Laphroaig in the Spring of 2001 and matured for 8 years before bottling by Douglas Laing in the Spring of 2009 for their...  More info
30 Year Old Bunnahabhain distilled in December 1978 and matured for 30 years in refill butt number 5120 before bottling by Douglas Laing in April 2009. Part of an outturn of 566 bottles.  More info
A refill hogshead matured Bowmore. This was distilled in Winter 1998 and aged for 9 years in casks 4109 and 4110 before bottling for Douglas Laing's Provenance range in Winter 2008.  More info
A 16 year old Bowmore, distilled in November 1990 and matured in refill hogshead number 3559 before bottling by Douglas Laing in May 2007. A release of 239 bottles.  More info
This Caol Ila was aged in two refill hogsheads (casks 5720 and 5721) for 12 years. Distilled in Autumn 1997 and bottled by Douglas Laing in Winter 2009.  More info
A 20 year old single cask Laphroaig! This was distilled in March 1989 and matured in a sherry hogshead before bottling in December 2009 by Douglas Laing for the Old Malt Cask range. This is part of a...  More info
An 18 year old single cask Ardbeg, this was matured in a refill hogshead, distilled in March 1991 and bottled in September 2009 by Douglas Laing with an outturn of 316 bottles.  More info
A single cask from Islay. This was distilled at Bruichladdich in March 1990 and aged for 14 years in cask number 1066 before bottling in October 2004 for Douglas Laing's exceptional Old Malt Cask...  More info
An amazing single cask Port Ellen, the legendary defunct Islay distillery. This was distilled in November 1979 and aged for a massive 30 years before bottling by Douglas Laing in August 2010. A...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (3.5/5)
Single cask Islay malt, this was distilled at Caol Ila in November 1979 and matured for 30 years in a refill butt before bottling in January 2010. Part of a release of 266 bottles, bottled by Douglas...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
A fruity, sweet Islay malt. This was distilled at the Bunnahabhain in September of 1996 and aged for 12 years in a refill hogshead, with an outturn of 355 bottles. This was bottled by Douglas Laing in...  More info
Distilled at Ardbeg in March 1991 and matured for 18 years before bottling in August 2009. A release of 208 bottles, bottled by Douglas Laing.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)

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