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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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FEW Spirits
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)
A Signatory bottling of 16 year old Bowmore single malt from Islay taken from consecutive hogsheads. 502 bottles were produced at 54% as part of the Cask Strength Collection.  More info
$111.02
You're not going to find Duncan Taylor's Single range in your local music shop next to a bunch of 7" vinyls and CDs with only two tracks on them, because these whiskies are rather different than the...  More info
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Distilled in March 1996 and bottled in March 2014, this 18 year old Bowmore single malt Scotch whisky features plenty of ash and smoke alongside rich barley - all excellent things, we must say. It was...  More info
$172.25
Whisky matured in a wine cask is almost always an interesting and worthwhile experiment, for distillers and connoisseurs alike. If you're feeling adventurous, why not take a chance on this 16 year old...  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.

The whiskies in the Old Malt Cask range are only bottled when...  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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12 year old Bowmore single malt, bottled by Douglas Laing for their Old Particular range. Like us, we're sure you're more than eager to get your hands on some excellent Islay whisky, so don't let this...  More info
$107.09
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
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An indie bottling of Caol Ila single malt Scotch whisky, matured for 5 years in a single refill hogshead. It was distilled in 2008 and bottled in 2014 with an outturn of 381 bottles.  More info
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An Islay favourite, Caol Ila make a glorious peated single malt. if you're looking for proof, look no further than this independent bottling of 13 year old Caol Ila, taken from a refill hogshead...  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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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)
$93.25
Ooooh, a Signatory bottling of 11 year old cask strength, single cask Bunnahabhain Islay single malt Scotch whisky that was matured in a sherry butt. Nice. Just 677 of these little beauties were made.  More info
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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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Produced by the ever-reliable Bunnahabhain distillery, this single cask single malt Scotch whisky has been matured for 16 years before it was bottled by Hunter Laing for their also ever-reliable Old...  More info
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STRICTLY ONE PER CUSTOMER

One of two special festival releases from Bowmore for Fèis Ìle 2014, this more expensive bottling is a marriage of first-fill American oak barrel and French wine barrique...  More info
$746.05
Single malt Scotch whisky from the Bowmore distillery, an Islay favourite. This was matured in a bourbon hogshead (#65, if you were wondering) from May 2000 to April 2014, bottled just shy of 14 years...  More info
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One fateful day in October 1992, the Bruichladdich distillery on Islay, filled 2 casks with their spirit and left them to mature. 21 years later, in February 2014, a second fateful date occurred when...  More info
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Un-chillfiltered Islay whisky from the Caol Ila distillery. This single malt spent 17 years maturing in two casks before it was bottled with an outturn of 782 bottles by Signatory in October 2013.  More info
$95.40
This is an interesting one. Octomore Comus is peated to an immense 167ppm, then finished in sauternes casks. This has suceeded in taming the beast somewhat, but this is still a powerful, peaty dram...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$331.51
Bottled by our own fair hands during Fèis Ìle 2014 (the Islay whisky festival), the whisky in question was distilled in 1995 and matured for nearly 19 years in a single Oloroso butt. No filtration...  More info
$279.45
Single cask single malt whisky from the talented Caol Ila distillery near Port Askaig on Islay, bottled by Signatory. After maturing in a hogshead for 30 years(!), it was bottled for the Cask Strength...  More info
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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
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Known for their recent explosion of weird and wonderful releases, Bruichladdich are also good at just producing simple, spectacular single malt Scotch whisky, like this Berry Bros. & Rudd single cask...  More info
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