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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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The very first 10 year old whisky to be wholly distilled, aged and bottled following Bruichladdich's resurrection in 2001. In many ways this marks the beginning of the new era, and this will be...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
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The second batch of That Boutique-y Whisky Company's Bowmore is a smoky, muscular whisky with more than a hint of sherry in the mix. It comes with a rather wonderful comic book illustration of the...  More info
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Caol Ila 18 Year Old
(70cl, 43%)
A wonderfully balanced expression from the core Caol Ila range, this 18 year old is malty and thick with notes of Caol Ila smoke and phenols, a lovely Islay single malt without extreme levels of peat...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
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Port Charlotte PC8 75cl
(75cl, 60.50%)
PC8 is possibly the best of the 'PC' releases. A superb cask-strength classic from this once-independent distillery. “Ar duthcas” is Gaelic for “Land of our heritage”. This is very well-peated to...  More info
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Bruichladdich have launched a new range of whiskies which aim to create a signature style and move away from the often adventurous bottlings of the last ten years. This 22 year old forms the older of...  More info
This is a 23 year old Bunnahbhain which was distilled on the 20th October 1989. Single cask Bunnahabhains seem to have a habit of being quite different from one another. This particular cask is like a...  More info
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The third release of the stunningly good Bowmore Tempest, a cask-strength 10 year old from the Islay distillery. This particular expression offers up oodles of fruity flavour and complexity.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$71.09
STRICTLY 1 PER CUSTOMER

Yet another cracking 12 year old limited edition Lagavulin from Diageo's Special Releases, the twelfth of the series. Vatted from refill American Oak casks before being...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
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Islay Storm
(70cl, 40%)
An Islay single malt from a secret distillery, Islay Storm has loads of peaty character.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (3.0/5)
$52.03
This is the astounding 11th release of one of our favourite cask-strength whiskies - Lagavulin 12 year old. This 2012 edition is a smoky, zesty whisky with masses of character.  More info
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Bowmore 26 Year Old 1985
(70cl, 52.30%)
This whisky is from the oldest distillery on Islay, Bowmore. This bottling is an impressive 26 years old and is bottled at 52.3% abv.  More info
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Bowmore's 4th release of the 10 year old, bourbon matured Tempest. Decribed on the box as being "as fresh as the sea-air with wisps of peat smoke and sweet citrus", this matches this batch...  More info
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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
This Port Charlotte is a heavily peated (44ppm) single malt whisky from the progressive Islay distillers at Bruichladdich. This bottling is a blend of multiple vintages of this smoky whisky and offers...  More info
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$73.54
This is a superb little single cask Bowmore from Speciality Drinks' Single Malts of Scotland range. It was distilled in 1985 before a 26 year maturation.  More info
$206.83
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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
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Bowmore 46 Year Old 1964
(70cl, 42.90%)
This is a forty-six year old Bowmore presented in a beautiful glass bottle and wooden box. The whisky has been gently maturing in ex-Bourbon cask for almost half a century and was then finished in...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (3.0/5)
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Bottled by Hunter Laing as part of their Old Malt Cask selection, which has reached its 15th anniversary! There's obviously no better way to celebrate this milestone that with some 29 year old Caol...  More info
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Ardbog (Ardbeg)
(70cl, 52.10%)
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A limited edition Ardbeg released during the Fèis Ìle whisky festival. Aged in a combination of bourbon as well as some Manzanilla sherry casks, it was produced for...  More info
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$226.50
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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
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$97.45
The 10 year old Port Charlotte is the first of the PC bottlings to join Bruichladdich's core range. It is a rich, smouldering dram distilled from malt peated to 40ppm.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
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The 1995 vintage of Lagavulin's delicious Distillers Edition. This stuff is finished in sweet Pedro Ximenez dessert sherry casks, and it's bloomin' marvelous. Very smoky and very thick, sweet and...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
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Subtitled after Julio Cortázar's short story La Noche Bocca Arriba, Bruichladdich Cuvee 407 is a 21 year old whisky which was aged in American oak and finished in rich, sweet Pedro Ximenez sherry...  More info
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STRICTLY 1 PER CUSTOMER

Ah, Port Ellen, how we love you. And by 'we' I don't just mean us at MoM towers, whisky fans around the world adore this legendary malt from an Islay distillery that shut...  More info
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An 11 year old Bunnah, distilled in 2002 and bottled by Signatory for their Cask Strength Collection in 2013. 669 bottles were produced from the butt.  More info
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