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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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Distilled by Bruichladdich at their glorious Islay distillery 21 years ago, this WM Cadenhead release of single malt Scotch whisky has been bottled at cask strength out an outturn of 276 bottles.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
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Ardbeg 1977
(70cl, 46%)
Rare and delicious Ardbeg! Jim Murray awarded this 96 points and described it as "simply one of the greatest experiences". This was distilled in 1977 and bottled in 2001, part of a release of 2,400...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
Octomore is Bruichladdich's limited edition range of ever popular super peated whiskies; some of the most peated whiskies on the entire planet! Octomore 03.1 is aged for 5 years and made with malt...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
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STRICTLY 1 PER CUSTOMER
Single cask 21 year old Ardbeg? Erm... Yes please! As always with our single cask releases, we don't chill-filter any of the goodness out or add anything else that doesn't...  More info
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This 19 year old single malt Caol Ila laughs in the face of chill-filtration! It was drawn from two hogsheads by Signatory, producing 692 bottles of scrumptious Islay whisky.  More info
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This is the latest release from Bruichladdich. An un-peated sixteen year old bottling from an American Oak cask.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (3.5/5)
Maximum one bottle per customer.Quite possibly the most exciting new whisky release for 2010! This is the brand new Supernova, stronger, more pungent in flavour, and more earthy than last year's...  More info
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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
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
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An independent bottling of 15 year old Laphroaig single malt Scotch whisky. Part of Signatory's Un-Chillfiltered Collection, meaning it has all those lovely oils intact. 810 bottles were produced.  More info
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This is one of a trio of superb 21 year old single malts from Bruichladdich - the Cuvee range. Cuvee 382 "La Berenice" was matured in American oak casks before a finish in sweet Barsac and Sauternes...  More info
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This is the fourth edition of Bruichladdich's very popular DNA whisky. It's made using some of the very best stock from the distillery, distilled in 1985 and aged for 27 years before bottling...  More info
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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)
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Single cask, independently bottled Islay whisky from the very popular Laphroaig distillery, yippee! This cask strength Signatory release was distilled in November 1996 and bottled in October 2013 with...  More info
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That there Caol Ila distillery were the clever minds behind this 30 year old single malt Scotch whisky, while Signatory were the careful hands who popped the whisky into the bottles, at cask strength...  More info
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On the 15th February 2010, the release of Ardbeg Rollercoaster was met with palpable excitement. The 50,000 Committee Members were keen to get their hands on the 15,000 bottles and apparently the...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
Ardbeg 1974 Provenance
(70cl, 55.60%)
An incredibly rare, highly collectible and rather legendary bottle of vintage Ardbeg, bottled at natural cask strength. Distilled in 1974, Serge from WhiskyFun.com awarded this an astonishing 95...  More info
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This lovely Laphroaig was distilled in October 1996. Following that, the cask rested for 17 years until Hunter Laing bottled it up for their Old Malt Cask range in October 2013. Just 347 bottles of...  More info
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An astonishing 20 year old single cask Bunnahabhain, bottled for the premium Director's Cut range from Douglas Laing. Expect a big ol' whack of flavour and complexity from this gem…  More info
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Ardbeg 1980 Kildalton
(70cl, 57.60%)
Liquid gold for any fans of Ardbeg, Kildalton is a legendary whisky, which was distilled in 1980 and release in 2004 with an outturn of 1,300, never-to-be-repeated bottles. All at natural cask...  More info
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Single malt Scotch whisky from that there Bowmore distillery on Islay! Drawn from two consecutive casks, this whisky was bottled by Signatory for the Un-Chillfiltered Collection in December 2013...  More info
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This is a delicious and very special whisky from the Caol Ila distillery, released as part of Diageo's Distillers Edition range. This was distilled in 2000 and was initially matured in American oak...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
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Bottled by Wemyss Malts, this Bunnahabhain whisky was distilled in 1989. With a name like Maritime Embrace, you can expect a nice big Atlantic/Loch Indaal hug. 265 bottles were produced.  More info
With a presentation box almost as gorgeous as the whisky itself, you know you're in for a treat with The Duncan Taylor Single range of independently bottled single cask whiskies. This particular treat...  More info
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A 30 year old Caol Ila distilled in December 1982 and bottled in April 2013 by Signatory as part of their Cask Strength Collection. Matured in cask 6483, there was an outturn of 270 bottles.  More info
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Distilled at the Bunnahabhain distillery on Islay, this 21 year old whisky has earned its place in Hunter Laing's Old Malt Cask range.

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