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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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Ardbeg Whisky Distillery
Vintage Cocktails
Bruichladdich Octomore
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Balcones Whisky Distillery
The Lost Distilleries Blend
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
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
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
Distilled at the Bunnahabhain distillery on Islay, this 21 year old whisky has earned its place in Hunter Laing's Old Malt Cask range.

The whiskies in the Old Malt Cask range are only bottled when...  More info
$153.51
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
$108.68
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
$71.86
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
$242.47
Douglas Laing properly go for it with their Old and Rare Platinum range, picking only the most ridiculously desirable whiskies to join the impressive selection. Speaking of ridiculously desirable, how...  More info
$1013.53
An 11 year old Bunnah from top independent bottlers Signatory. Matured in a single Sherry butt with an outrun of 665 bottled. Nice.  More info
$91.77
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
$102.26
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
$134.03
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)
$87.63
Since December 1991, two casks of single malt Bunnahabhain whisky sat waiting for the day when it would become part of the Signatory Un-Chillfiltered Collection. 15 years later... that day has come!  More info
$71.86
Distilled at the oldest Islay distillery, Bowmore, this un-chillfiltered 13 year old was bottled by Signatory. Casks 1432 & 1433 produced some rather fantastic single malt Scotch whisky. 809 bottles...  More info
$67.53
STRICTLY 1 PER CUSTOMER

If the chaps at Bowmore are to be believed, the Devil himself once visited the Islay town and hid in a church. But, because the Devil is silly, he hid in a round church...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$91.39
A single cask independent bottling of Laphroaig single malt whisky, because there can never be too much Islay whisky. This release from cask 9932 was matured for 15 years before Hunter Laing bottled...  More info
$124.54
This bottling was named for a yellow mini-submarine that was discovered just miles from the distillery, the vessel was clearing mines left from World War Two when a local fisherman discovered it. A...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
Matured largely in American oak, with a little Spanish oak. An increasingly rare first edition, the 15 year old is a great, fresh, lightly-peated offering from Bruichladdich.  More info
When Stewart Laing started Hunter Laing after splitting the assets of Douglas Laing with his brother, he continued to produce independent bottlings of fantastic whisky for the Old Malt Cask selection...  More info
$125.53
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
$86.24

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