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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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Ardbeg 1975
(70cl, 43%)
Michael Jackson (whisky writer, not moonwalker) scored this 1975 Ardbeg with a 9 out of 10. An earthy, peppery, citrussy Ardbeg.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
A very rare Ardbeg bottled by Gordon and MacPhail in 2003. This was distilled in 1975 - a legendary vintage for Ardbeg.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$558.62
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)
Ardbeg 1978
(70cl, 43%)
A rather rare release from Ardbeg, this 1978 vintage represents single malt from the prodigious Ileach distillery at its most balanced and poised. Superb.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (3.5/5)
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
$1547.36
A Gordon and MacPhail bottling from Ardbeg, this was distilled in 1990 and bottled in 2001.  More info
A sherry matured Ardbeg, distilled in 1993 and bottled by Gordon and MacPhail for the Connoisseurs Choice range.  More info
$70.57
A beautiful 14 year old, single cask Ardbeg bottled especially for the 2010 Feis Ile (Islay Festival). This was distilled on the 7th December 1995, it was then aged in cask 2761 (a second fill bourbon...  More info
$971.57
The penultimate part in the Young series from Ardbeg, spanning the development of Ardbeg, from Very Young, all the way up to 10 years. This was distilled in 1998, and offers lots of complexity and a...  More info
$160.24
Ardbeg 1998 Single Cask
(70cl, 55.60%)
An extraordinary whisky from Ardbeg. This is one of those ultra-rare expressions, which really come around once in a blue moon. This was distilled on the 14th September 1998, before it was filled into...  More info
$801.53
An astonishing 11 year old single cask from Ardbeg - stunning in flavour and very, very rare. This was distilled in 1998 and aged in cask 1275 (a first fill bourbon barrel) before bottling in 2009 - a...  More info
$834.92
A very limited and rare release from Ardbeg, specially bottled for the Committee. This was crafted from 12 carefully chosen casks of Ardbeg distilled in 1979 and 1980. Released in 2001.  More info
Good gosh, would you look at this! A 21 year old Ardbeg, bottled by Douglas Laing! What an amazing addition to the Old Particular range. The whisky was produced at the Islay distillery in October 1992...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (2.0/5)
$759.14
I don't want to alarm anyone, but Hunter Laing have bottled a cask of 21 year old Ardbeg single malt Scotch whisky for the 15th anniversary of their Old Malt Cask range. There were just 136 bottles...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$736.98
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
$186.15
A rare bottle of Ardbeg, bottled by the Silver Seal company. This commemorates the Hillary and Norgay summiting Mount Everest on the 29th May 1953. This was distilled in 1978 and packaged in a silver...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
About as rare as they come, this is one of the very last whiskies released before Ardbeg shut down for a few years. Highly collectable and absolutely incredible in flavour (we've heard).  More info
User Rating:  Rating (1.5/5)
$992.62
This 16 year old was matured in ex-bourbon casks. The rather ominous 'Airigh Nam Beist' derives from the Scotch Gaelic for 'Shelter of the Beast'. Ardbeg describe this as "Ardbeg Icecream" - we...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
Ardbeg Alligator
(70cl, 51.20%)
Strictly limited to 2 per customer

It's finally here! The hotly anticipated official release of Ardbeg Alligator will simply fly off our shelves! It's aged in a similar style to the standard 10...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$161.86
The Committee Release of Ardbeg Alligator, so named for the barrels it was aged in; the American oak casks were given such an intense char, the resulting charcoal surface resembled alligator skin!...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (3.5/5)
Ardbeg Auriverdes
(70cl, 49.90%)
Strictly 1 Per Customer

A special edition single malt launched on Ardbeg Day 2014 - a day celebrated both at the Islay festival, Fèis Ìle and around the world. Auri(Gold)verdes(Green) is a name...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$129.54
Ardbeg Corryvreckan, this is a the Committee Reserve bottling, released in 2008 to great critical acclaim.  More info
Ardbeg day was released for Feis Ile 2012 but is basically a Committee release. It's a fantastic whisky, and a departure for the distillery which normally releases very limited, exceptional single...  More info
$242.83
Ardbeg Feis Ile 2011
(70cl, 55.10%)
Ardbeg's absolutely amazing Feis Ile bottling, bottled in 2011. This very rare Ardbeg was distilled in 1998 and aged in two Pedro Ximenez butts (making this the closest thing you'll ever get to a...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (3.0/5)
$809.63
Ardbeg Galileo
(70cl, 49%)
The rumour mill has been rumbling about this Ardbeg release for some time. In April 2012 Ardbeg sent some of their new-make spirit up into space to make Ardbeg the first inter-stellar whisky, so it...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
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