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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 at Bowmore in 1994 and matured in refill sherry casks for 14 years before bottling by Murray McDavid at the Bruichladdich distillery in 2009. An outturn of 486 bottles.  More info
Mmm… A delicious 14 year old Bowmore distilled on the 13th June 1997 and aged in hogshead 1904 before bottling on the 29th March 2012. A release of 316 numbered bottles from Signatory's Cask Strength...  More info
$114.04
This was distilled at Bowmore on the 13th June 1997, and it was aged for 14 years in hogsheads 1906 and 1907 before bottling on the 13th June 2011. A release of 779 numbered bottles from Signatory.  More info
$64.29
This was distilled at the Bowmore distillery in April of 1996 and aged in refill hogshead 8034 before bottling for the Director's Cut range in January of 2012. A release of 290 single cask, cask...  More info
$170.22
Bottled by Douglas Hunter Laing, this Bowmore single cask whisky was matured for 15 years old. Part of the Old Malt Cask range, only 239 bottles were produced from cask 9808.  More info
$114.09
A rich, smouldering single cask Bowmore from Signatory's superb Cask Strength Collection... This was distilled on the 13th June 1997 before a 15 year maturation in hogshead number 1903 before bottling...  More info
$117.18
15 year old Bowmore single malt, what a treat! This Islay whisky was distilled in January 1998 and left to mature in a single refill hogshead. Many years later, in December 2013, the chaps at Hunter...  More info
$116.64
Made especially for the 2011 Feis Ile, this Bowmore was aged for 15 years and finished in a sherry cask before bottling at natural cask strength. A release of just 500 bottles. Very rare!  More info
User Rating:  Rating (3.5/5)
$273.51
A 15-year-old expression from Bowmore, aimed at the travel retail market, Mariner is a very different Bowmore with a maritime twist.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$112.57
Bowmore 16 Year Old 1989
(70cl, 51.80%)
A cask strength 16 year old, a rare edition from a vatting of 134 casks of 1989 vintage Bowmore, most of the casks were ex-bourbon. The resultant single malt is thick and exudes fruit and floral...  More info
A 16 year old Bowmore, distilled in November 1990 and matured in refill hogshead number 3559 before bottling by Douglas Laing in May 2007. A release of 239 bottles.  More info
A 1990 vintage from the Bowmore distillery, bottled at cask strength, this 16 year old was matured in Oloroso sherry casks and the sherry notes really shine through with enough strength to match up to...  More info
Cask strength Bowmore, this was distilled in 1991, and aged solely in port pipes. A release of 18,000 bottles.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
A cask strength release from the Islay distillery, Bowmore. This 'Claret' finish whisky has been matured for 16 years, with a finish in a Bordeaux Wine Cask - the label is emblazoned, accordingly...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
Distilled in 1994, this Bowmore was initially aged in sherry wood. It was selected by Murray McDavid, and taken to the Bruichladdich distillery, where it was reracked into none other than the finest...  More info
Distilled at Bowmore on the 19th April 1994 and aged in two hogsheads before bottling by Signatory on the 12th October 2010. A release of 742 bottles.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$68.51
An interesting Bowmore from Adelphi which offers marked differences to the distillery's standard character.  More info
$126.11
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
$111.43
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
$111.43
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
$94.02
Bowmore 17 Year Old
(70cl, 43%)
A 17 year old Bowmore with a beautifully balanced, rounded palate with notes of soft chocolate, toffee apples and a little wood smoke. This was a Gold Medal winner at the International Spirits...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$156.02
Smooth and well balanced 17 year old Bowmore from Cadenhead's Duthies range. A release of just 573 bottles.  More info
A sooty 17 year old Bowmore here from Douglas Laing's particularly good old Particular range. 312 bottles of this Islay whisky were produced from a single hogshead.  More info
$153.48
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
$172.89
This is a twenty year old Bowmore bottled by Mackillop's Choice in 2012. Bowmore is the oldest distillery on Islay and produces a smoky malt whisky.  More info
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