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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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This is a twenty-one year old bottling of Islay's eldest distillery from the 1990's. Bowmore boasts peated and coastal qualities in abundance.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$719.50
This is a youthful, small-batch bottling of Caol Ila from the Provenance range, bottled in Winter 2012 without an age statement. It was described by the bottlers as "Young and Feisty".  More info
$101.08
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
$1081.75
This is the third release of the Bruichladdich Black Arts series. The recipe is kept a strict secret and the bottle features the arcane symbols seen on earlier releases.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$154.84
The second batch of sherried Bunnahabhain distilled in December 1991 and bottled by Duncan Taylor. This release was matured for 20 years.  More info
$163.67
This is the second edition of the Kilchoman 100% Islay. The whisky is a 50:50 vatting of three and four year old whisky matured in ex-Bourbon casks. The whisky is entirely produced on the island of...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
A limited edition Laphroaig 18 to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. Part of a release of just 3000 bottles, the award-winning 18 year old is a stunning whisky. The distillery is donating £3000...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (3.0/5)
This is a 14 year old Caol Ila which has been made from un-peated malted barley - unusual for these Islay Distillers. The whisky has been matured in ex-Sherry casks for a fruity character which still...  More info
$108.89
This is a fabulous old Port Ellen from Douglas Laing's stellar Old and Rare Platinum Selection. It was distilled in August 1977, some six years before the distillery shut its doors for good, and the...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$1373.24
A blend of different vintages, Laddie Classic marks a full release of American Oak matured whisky, crafted by Master Distiller Jim McEwan to exhibit the true, classic flavours of Bruichladdich...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
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
$132.92
Classic peaty Islay goodness here, matured in a single refil hogshead for 16 years before being bottled by Hunter Laing in December 2013. 322 bottles of this Laphroaig were produced at 50% abv.  More info
$139.31
Bowmore Feis Ile 2013
(70cl, 56.50%)
STRICTLY ONE PER CUSTOMER

Bowmore’s festival bottling for Fèis Ìle 2013 was a bourbon matured release of just 1,000 bottles. It's cask strength, non chill-filtered and very yummy.  More info
$167.86
This is a sherry cask Bunnahabhain bottled at a staggering thirty-seven years of age by Douglas Laing for their fantastic Old & Rare Collection. Bunnahabhains from the 1970s tend to be particularly...  More info
$443.91
A 30 year old Caol Ila from Signatory? How delicious! Thank you. What do you mean I only get to write the bottling note, and that I don't get to take all of these home with me? Hmph. Well, I guess I...  More info
$258.79
This single malt Bowmore whisky matured in a single hoggie for 16 years, from June 1997 to November 2013, until it was bottled by Signatory for the Cask Strength Collection. 309 bottles of this fab...  More info
$116.28
This was distilled at the Bunnahabhain distillery in 1989 before a 21 year maturation in a single cask (number 5755). It was bottled for Berry Brothers and Rudd in 2012 and it comes at natural cask...  More info
$162.31
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
$72.08
A Douglas Laing bottling of 17 year old single malt from the particularly talented Islay distillery, Caol Ila. Oh, what a coincidence! I used the word "particularly" and this is an Old Particular...  More info
$129.23
STRICTLY ONE PER CUSTOMER

Kilchoman’s Fèis Ìle 2013 festival release is a vatting of two ex-bourbon casks (246 & 247). Only 500 bottles of this 5 year old Single Malt Scotch Whisky were produced by...  More info
$335.79
A new addition of Bruichladdich Organic. This follows on from the 2003 edition, and there are only a couple of current production single malts that are certified organic. It is made with organic...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
This is a rich, sherry-matured Bunnahabhain from Douglas Laing's Old Malt Cask range. It was distilled in December 2001 and was aged for 11 years before bottling in early 2013. This is a release of...  More info
$120.66
This is a 27 year old, cask-strength Caol Ila from Douglas Laing's Old and Rare Platinum Selection. It was distilled in March 1987 before a single cask maturation (in a sherry hogshead). It was...  More info
$430.71
These mid-1990s Connoisseur's Choice bottlings of mid-70s Ardbegs have become legendary, and this is a truly stunning example we don't expect to hang around very long...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$849.72
Punchy Islay smoke from Caol Ila distillery. Bottled from two sherry hogsheads after 16 years, with an outturn of 778 bottles.  More info
$93.53
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