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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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35 year old Caol Ila single malt, good gosh! Taken from hogshead cask #10291, which lovingly matured the whisky for 35 years, from February 1979 to March 2014. After this, it was bottled by Douglas...  More info
£356.40
A single cask bottling of single malt Scotch whisky from one of Islay's most respected and loved distilleries - Ardbeg. This Duncan Taylor Single bottling contains whisky distilled in May 1994 and...  More info
£470.86
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)
£284.95
Bunnahabhain around 20-21 years old seems good at the moment. Hard to miss to be honest.  More info
£112.42
The fifth bottling of single malt Scotch whisky from the "Lp" distillery, bottled by Speciality Drinks for their Elements of Islay range, which explores many Islay distilleries and presents the...  More info
£69.95
A Bosun (also known as a Boatswain) is a senior member of a ship's deck department. To use a simile us landlubbers might understand, they're a bit like managers or supervisors in shops - high up for...  More info
£75.77
A 23 year old single malt from the Bowmore distillery, aged completely in port casks to compliment the floral and peaty flavours the Islay distillery is known for. Because it's such a special release...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (3.5/5)
£314.52
Hold the phone, is this an independently bottled, single cask 23 year old Ardbeg single malt Scotch whisky?! By Jove it is! A very exciting dram from one of the most renowned distilleries on Islay...  More info
£515.86
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
£1359.86
An indie bottling of 10 year old Caol Ila single malt. It was distilled on Islay in 2003 and matured until 2014, when it was bottled with an outturn of 738 bottles. We have WM Cadenhead to thank for...  More info
£76.91
18 year old single malt from Islay's Bowmore distillery, distilled back in March 1996. After spending 18 years in a single refill hogshead, Douglas Laing deemed this whisky good enough to join their...  More info
£113.74
16 year old single malt from the Bunnahabhain distillery on Islay, bottled by the fabulous folk at Douglas Laing. It was distilled in April 1998 and aged in a single refill hogshead for 16 long years...  More info
£77.28
A Douglas Laing bottling of Bunnahabhain single malt Scotch whisky, drawn from a single cask and bottled in Winter 2014 for their Provenance series. Douglas Laing have described it as "young &...  More info
£48.43
8 year old Laphroaig single malt, distilled on the isle of Islay in the autumn of 2005 and matured in a single hogshead until summer 2014. It was bottled as part of Douglas Laing's Provenance range...  More info
£66.53
This single malt Scotch whisky from the Bruichladdich distillery, released under the Port Charlotte name, as they do for all of their peated releases (minus the super-peated Octomore bottlings), is a...  More info
£54.95
A 21 year old Ardbeg distilled in 1974 and bottled in 1996 (only full years are counted) by the renowned Italian independent bottlers Sestante at 40% abv. This is a rare and valuable single malt...  More info
£831.00
Few distilleries are as sought after as Islay's Ardbeg. Sestante meanwhile, are a celebrated independent bottling brand of real note who are no longer operating. What then, would it take to top a rare...  More info
£998.95
A 6 year old single cask Bunnahabhain distilled in 2006 and bottled in early 2013 by Berry Brothers & Rudd. It will come as no surprise that no artificial colouring was added to this one.  More info
£54.81
One of the stupendously well presented & well aged Duncan Taylor Tantalus collection, this time featuring a 44 year old Bunnahabhain single malt Scotch whisky. Yes, that's right, this whisky matured...  More info
£1389.00
Another fabulous release of single cask Scotch whisky from Hunter Laing, the company created when the two Laing brothers at Douglas Laing went their separate ways. This edition of their Old & Rare...  More info
£325.72
An independent bottling of Bunnahabhain single malt Scotch whisky, which was matured in a refill hogshead for 35 long years! This Islay expression was distilled in December 1978 and bottled in June...  More info
£321.15
Sure to be a favourite of the 2014 Special Releases this is a 30 year old Caol Ila single malt, distilled in 1983 and matured in a mix of American and European oak casks. 7,638 bottles were produced.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
£425.00
This is a classic Rare Malts bottling of single malt Scotch whisky from the infamous, though sadly closed, Port Ellen distillery on Islay. Matured for 20 years after being distilled in 1978, it was...  More info
£880.64
A Rare Malts bottling of 21 year old Caol Ila single malt Scotch whisky, distilled in 1975. These Rare Malts bottlings are always a good shout for awesome whiskies, whether you're enjoying it or...  More info
£377.64
A 22 year old Bunnahabhain single malt Scotch whisky, bottled for Duncan Taylor's Octave range. Distilled on Islay in 1991 and bottled in 2014, but not before it was finished in a tiny Octave Sherry...  More info
£138.31
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