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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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From one of the excellent distilleries on the Island of Islay comes this edition of Mackillop's Choice. Give a warm welcome to the Bowmore 1990, which was distilled in April 1990 and bottled in July...  More info
$266.63
24 year old single malt from Islay's Bunnahabhain distillery, bottled by A. D. Rattray in Kirkoswald. This delicious dram was distilled in October 1989, matured in a bourbon hogshead and bottled in...  More info
$138.93
20 year old Bruichladdich? Yes please! A Duncan Taylor release of fabulous Islay single malt Scotch whisky, from their Dimensions range. A limited release of 300 bottles.  More info
$191.16
Distilled in 2004 and bottled in 2013 by Gordon and MacPhail for The MacPhail's Collection, this is a rather tempting sherry matured Bunnahabhain single malt Scotch whisky.  More info
$50.25
Islay whiskies are very popular these days, and with bottles like this 23 year old Caol Ila being incredibly tasty, we're not surprised! This bottling comes from Montgomerie's Rare Select collection.  More info
$234.13
A second of two special releases to mark the acquisition and rebirth of the Islay distillery, originally founded in 1881. Distilled in 2001 and matured in bourbon casks, 2,500 unpeated bottles were...  More info
$113.78
Speciality Drinks bottle Islay whiskies as part of their Elements of Islay Range. The iconography is like that of the periodic table and the whiskies are really rather tasty. This bottle is the fourth...  More info
$74.35
Distilled in 1974 and bottled in November 1997, just after the Ardbeg distillery was bought by Glenmorangie, the Ardbeg Provenance is a legendary bottling of 23 year old single malt Scotch whisky...  More info
$2642.66
A wonderful single cask release of Caol Ila single malt Scotch whisky, distilled in 1982, from the Mackillop's Choice range. 292 bottles of this delicious Islay whisky were produced from cask 6507 at...  More info
$325.14
The Tantalus range from Duncan Taylor is one for the collectors out there. All the whiskies in the range are extraordinarily rare, most of them having matured for over 40 years. Once Duncan Taylor...  More info
$2281.68
Good gosh, would you look at this! A 21 year old Ardbeg, bottled by Douglas Laing! What an amazing addition to the Old Particular range. The whisky was produced at the Islay distillery in October 1992...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (2.0/5)
$786.54
Bunnahabhain around 20-21 years old seems good at the moment. Hard to miss to be honest.  More info
$188.63
A rich and beautifully dark Bunnahabhain which we presume was aged in a very good sherry cask. This stuff was distilled in 1979 and aged for 23 long years before bottling in October 2002. This superb...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (1.0/5)
$478.11
Lorne Mackillop chooses the expressions that become part of the Mackillop's Choice range, and they're all absolutely top notch drams. Distilled at the Islay distillery in 1990, this Caol Ila has been...  More info
$253.78
This 20 year old Bruichladdich has been finished in an ex-sherrywood octave cask, which are one-eighth the size of a regular sherry butt. This is done to increase the amount of interaction between the...  More info
$215.12
Ah, looky! I'd better go and open this window here so I can shout out of it that we have a new sooty, leathery Port Ellen from Douglas Laing in stock. They'll probably all be gone by the time I turn...  More info
$1314.33
Bottled by Gordon and MacPhail, this release of Bruichladdich was distilled at the Islay distillery in October 1991 and matured until September 2012. A spiffing single malt Scotch whisky, bottled at...  More info
$164.10
An independently bottled single malt Scotch whisky from the legendary Port Ellen distillery on the Island of Islay. It was distilled in June 1982 and bottled in March 2014 for the Mackillop's Choice...  More info
$1104.75
A 33 year old (!) Caol Ila matured in a single hogshead and then bottled by those lovely folk over at Douglas Laing in December 2013. Just 136 bottles of this wonderful Islay whisky were produced.  More info
$495.23
25 year old Bruichladdich single malt, bottled by Douglas Laing for the Old Particular selection. 227 of these wonderful bottles full of Islay whisky were made, so grab one before they're all gone.  More info
$315.56
The Committee Release of Ardbeg Alligator, so named for the barrels it was aged in; the American oak casks were given such an intense char, the resulting charcoal surface resembled alligator skin!...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (3.5/5)
$595.56
Bw3 is the third instalment of Bowmore single malt Scotch whisky for Speciality Drinks' Elements of Islay range. It doesn't take a scientist to know that this should be some tasty independently...  More info
$112.80
Love Islay whisky, specifically the brilliant single malts from Bunnahabhain? Then get yourself over here and check out this little stunner. A 23 year old peated single malt Scotch whisky from that...  More info
$134.30
A Bunnahabhain bottled by Berry Bros. & Rudd, what a fantastic excuse for alliteration and awesome single cask whisky! This Islay single malt aged for 25 years before it was bottled.  More info
$376.08
14 year old Bowmore single malt Scotch whisky, bottled for the Old Malt Cask range by Hunter Laing. 563 bottles were produced.  More info
$113.61
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