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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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A litre bottle of Lagavulin's classic 16 year old. A must have Islay malt, with oodles of complexity. The definition of smoky whisky…  More info
$454.13
An autumnal single cask Laphroaig, part of Douglas Laing's Provenance range. This classic Islay single malt was distilled in the Autumn of 2005 and bottled at 8 years old in the Spring of 2014.  More info
$106.59
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
$108.09
The summer of 1976 was said to be fantastic, not just for sandcastle builders and ice-cream sellers, but distillers were also very happy as that year produced some very fine barley to make some...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$1934.60
Hunter Laing?! What happened to that Douglas fellow who used to have his name on my Old Malt Cask bottles? Well, the Laing brothers have gone their separate ways, with Stewart retaining the popular...  More info
$136.90
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
$180.62
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)
$3037.44
Released as part of the Tantalus collection, this is an incredible 31 year old Bowmore single malt Scotch whisky which has been bottled by Duncan Taylor. As with all Tantalus releases, it comes with a...  More info
$2287.64
A 6 year old single cask Bunnahabhain distilled in 2006 and bottled in early 2013 by Berry Brothers & Rudd. It will come as no surprise that no artificial colouring was added to this one.  More info
$92.20
Distilled on 24th April 1990 at the Bowmore distillery on Islay, this whisky spent nearly 23 years in cask 185078 before bottling by Montgomerie's as part of their Rare Select range in March 2013.  More info
$261.88
Few distilleries are as sought after as Islay's Ardbeg. Sestante meanwhile, are a celebrated independent bottling brand of real note who are no longer operating. What then, would it take to top a rare...  More info
$1816.69
A 21 year old Ardbeg distilled in 1974 and bottled in 1996 (only full years are counted) by the renowned Italian independent bottlers Sestante at 40% abv. This is a rare and valuable single malt...  More info
$1397.96
A supremely well-aged Bunnahabhain from Berry Brothers & Rudd, distilled in 1989 and bottled in 2013.  More info
$173.26
This Bunnahabhain, bottled by Wemyss Malts, is pale and golden in colour, and as the name suggests, it's a malty and full bodied dram. Bottled at 46% abv.  More info
$112.63
Ardbeg 17 Year Old
(70cl, 40%)
Increasingly rare, now discontinued whisky from Ardbeg. Incredibly rich and powerful, and all too easy to drink.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$588.79
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
$133.67
This Bruichladdich is part of the John Milroy Selection bottled by Berry Brothers and Rudd. John Milroy led the Scotch Single Malt movement in London from the early 60’s with his brother Wallace.  More info
$160.84
Brilliant Bowmore single malt Scotch whisky from 1989! Who do we have to thank for this wonderful single cask release of 244 bottles? Well, it's the talented folks at Mackillop's, of course. We doff...  More info
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A Douglas Laing bottling of Bunnahabhain single malt Scotch whisky, drawn from a single cask and bottled in Winter 2014 for their Provenance series. Douglas Laing have described it as "young &...  More info
$81.47
14 year old Bowmore single malt Scotch whisky, bottled for the Old Malt Cask range by Hunter Laing. 563 bottles were produced.  More info
$113.91
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
$377.06
Love Islay whisky, specifically the brilliant single malts from Bunnahabhain? Then get yourself over here and check out this little stunner. A 23 year old peated single malt Scotch whisky from that...  More info
$134.65
Bw3 is the third instalment of Bowmore single malt Scotch whisky for Speciality Drinks' Elements of Islay range. It doesn't take a scientist to know that this should be some tasty independently...  More info
$113.10
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)
$597.12
25 year old Bruichladdich single malt, bottled by Douglas Laing for the Old Particular selection. 227 of these wonderful bottles full of Islay whisky were made, so grab one before they're all gone.  More info
$316.38
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