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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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FEW Spirits
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This year’s Fèis Ìle bottling from Lagavulin is sublime 18 year old selected by Iain McArthur distilled in 1995. A real highlight of the Islay whisky festival, 3,000 of...  More info
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$314.08
Bowmore Feis Ile 2013
(70cl, 56.50%)
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Bowmore’s festival bottling for Fèis Ìle 2013 was a bourbon matured release of just 1,000 bottles. It's cask strength, non chill-filtered and very yummy.  More info
$157.00
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A limited edition port finished Laphroaig release for Fèis Ìle 2013, the Islay whisky festival. Initially matured in bourbon casks, this Single Malt Scotch Whisky has an...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$141.29
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Boom! Batch 4 of That Boutique-y Whisky Company's Port Ellen has landed!

After closing its doors in 1983 Port Ellen has become perhaps the most legendary whisky...  More info
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Caol Ila’s limited edition Fèis Ìle festival bottling is a triple matured release of 3,000 bottles. But pray tell, what does ‘Triple Matured’ mean in this case? Well...  More info
$314.08
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Kilchoman’s Fèis Ìle 2013 festival release is a vatting of two ex-bourbon casks (246 & 247). Only 500 bottles of this 5 year old Single Malt Scotch Whisky were produced by...  More info
$314.08
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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
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$235.54
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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
$235.54
The Old Malt Cask, a classic range from indie bottlers Douglas Laing, now comes under the newly formed Hunter Laing as Fred and Stewart Laing have chosen to go their separate ways, splitting the...  More info
$176.67
A single cask Port Ellen from the Port Ellen distillery in the town of Port Ellen. This 30 year old single cask release was matured in a refill hogshead, which yielded just 94 precious bottles. Part...  More info
$882.30
Lagavulin 21 Year Old
(70cl, 56.50%)
A cask strength 21 year old release from Lagavulin, just 6,642 bottles were released, distilled in 1985 and bottled in 2007.  More info
When Lagavulin decided to produce a 'finished' whisky - The Distillers Edition, there were doubters who thought nothing could be a match for the pungent strength of Lagavulin. Those sceptics were...  More info
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Third of a very limited series of special releases from the essential Islay distillery. Delightfully subtle differences compared to previous 12 year old releases. This is the 2008 edition, a cask...  More info
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Part of a release of just 972 bottles from Laphroaig. This 27 year old was distilled in 1980 and aged in 5 casks used previously to hold Oloroso sherry.  More info
The 2008 released 27 year old from Islay giant Laphroaig. This was distilled in 1981 from five casks, previously used for Oloroso sherry, a thick and full single malt with a deep hue.  More info
Laphroaig Cairdeas
(70cl, 55%)
Cairdeas derives from the Gaelic for 'Friendship', this is a rare cask strength edition from the Laphroaig distillery.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
A potent, cask strength release from Laphroaig. A very pungent version of the 10 year old.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
Laphroaig 15 Year Old
(70cl, 43%)
A now discontinued bottling, this was replaced this year by the 18 year old. The old 15 is becoming rather rare, definitely an investment dram.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
Laphroaig 25 Year Old
(70cl, 45.10%)
The 25 year old Laphroaig, released in 2007. This is a surprisingly mellow dram from the distillery.  More info
Laphroaig 30 Year Old
(70cl, 43%)
A recent 30 year old release, this is very well-aged by Laphroaig standards. This is rich and powerful, age has brought balance. This won Gold medals at the International Spirits Challenge and the...  More info
A 12 year old single cask from popular Islay distillery of Laphroaig, bottled by Douglas Laing as part of the Provenance range. It is an autumn distillation and was aged in a refill hogshead.  More info
$108.49
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
$71.74
A 30 year old single cask Caol Ila from Signatory's excellent Cask Strength Collection. Just 253 bottles of this Islay whisky were produced, distilled in December 1982 and bottled in May 2013.  More info
$242.06
A love letter to the traditional craft, Kilchoman 100% Islay is produced from barley "grown, malted, distilled and bottled at the distillery". Originally, Kilchoman intended to produce all of their...  More info
$102.09
Hunter Laing, the company that Stewart Laing created when the assets of Douglas Laing were split between himself and his brother, retained the excellent Old Malt Cask label. This Caol Ila, is 18 years...  More info
$133.80

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