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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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Tasting Sets
From the Lagavulin distillery on the island of Islay comes the 1997 Distillers Edition, a fantastic single malt which has been maturing since 1997 and enjoyed a finishing period in Pedro Ximénez cask...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
£66.95
Laphroaig 10 Year Old
(70cl, 40%)
Really smoky and iodine rich. This has to be one of Scotland's most characterful drams. Laphroaig are known for their medicinal malts, and the classic 10 year old is no exception.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
£35.45
Independently bottled Laphroaig single malt Scotch whisky, presented as part of the Duncan Taylor Single collection (and what a collection it is!). This Islay delight was distilled in April 1997 and...  More info
£284.61
Laphroaig 18 Year Old
(70cl, 48%)
The hotly anticipated Laphroaig eighteen year-old. This expression replaced the fifteen year-old and comes at a higher strength. This is a much more exclusive affair with a powerful punch. Awesome...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
£74.95
An independent bottling of Laphroaig single malt Scotch whisky from Mackillop's, distilled in June 1991 and bottled in September 2013. Just 280 bottles were produced.  More info
£199.27
An independent bottling of 24 year old Laphroaig single malt Scotch whisky, bottled for the fantastic Old & rare Platinum range. This Islay whisky was distilled in March 1990, matured in a refill...  More info
£344.79
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
£59.26
Released in 2004, this bottling was aged for five years before being finished in a quarter cask for seven months, the size of the cask is quite small, thus does not require such a long maturation...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
£38.26
Laphroaig Select
(70cl, 40%)
For the Laphroaig Select, the Islay distillery has taken whisky from a number of different types of cask, including Oloroso Sherry butts, white American oak, Pedro Ximenez seasoned hoggies, Quarter...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (3.5/5)
£34.84
Laphroaig Triple Wood
(70cl, 48%)
An incredible new release from Laphroaig. This was originally launched for the duty free market, and it is a tour de force from the Islay distillery. First off, they mature this in bourbon barrels...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
£46.33
A lovely Sherried single malt, bottled for the Elements of Islay range of independent bottlings from Speciality Drinks. This is the fourth release of whisky from the distillery simply known as "Lp"...  More info
£64.31
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
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
From the Bruichladdich distillery comes a peated single malt released under the Port Charlotte name. It was distilled in 2004 and matured in butt #1034 for 9 years, before being bottled for the...  More info
£65.71
Master distiller Jim McEwan specially chose the casks that create the Port Charlotte Scottish Barley, which highlight the elegance within this heavily peated single malt. Made with 100% Scottish...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
£43.44
It's here. Phone people. Write letters. Open up windows and shout at things. Let the things know that it's here. But what is it? Batch 5 of Port Ellen single malt Scotch whisky, bottled by That...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
£573.95
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
Saying that Port Ellen whisky is sought-after is like saying jam is pretty good on toast - a massive understatement! The distillery on Islay closed in 1983, to the disappointment of many who loved...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
£1805.57
An independently bottled single malt Scotch whisky from the legendary Port Ellen distillery on the Island of Islay. It was distilled in June 1982 and bottled in March 2014 for the Mackillop's Choice...  More info
£594.95
A Directors' Cut bottling from Douglas Laing of Port Ellen single malt. Yes, that Port Ellen, the one on Islay that was closed in the '80s and has remained closed ever since. Their stocks of superbly...  More info
£810.00
Smokey Joe Islay Malt
(70cl, 46%)
A blended malt made up of different Islay single malt whiskies. We're not sure which ones, exactly, but we do know that it tastes delicious!  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
£35.31
A Wemyss bottling of Bowmore single malt Scotch whisky, matured in a single hogshead from 1987 to 2014. It was bottled with an outturn of 231 bottles. With a title like "Sweet Peat Posy", you'll want...  More info
£189.55
The Ileach Peaty
(70cl, 40%)
The Ileach is a peaty single malt from a secret Islay distillery, this has received rave reviews from whisky critics and has a solid core of peat and malt.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
£25.24
This 1991 vintage Bunnahabhain was matured in a single hogshead, from 1991 to 2014, before it was bottled by Wemyss. It was bottled with an outturn of 302 bottles and given the rather poetic name A...  More info
£92.21
This is the second batch of Elements of Islay bottled Ar (who knows which Islay distillery Ar could refer to?!) Serge from WhiskyFun.com awarded this 90 points! This is a cask strength single malt...  More info
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