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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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Bowmore Bicentenary
(75cl, 43%)
It is said that the rare Bicentenary Bowmore is one of the most delicious Bowmores ever bottled. This is 75.7 proof, it's volume is stated as 26 2.3 fl oz. It was released to celebrate the...  More info
$2640.93
A 17 year old Bruichladdich single malt Scotch whisky, distilled all the way back in 1992 and matured in a Brunello wine cask. It was produced in honour of the centenary of T. B. Watson LTD., which...  More info
$243.35
The second edition of Bruichladdich's DNA series was this 32 year old single malt Scotch whisky, distilled all the way back in 1977 and left to mature in American oak bourbon casks. What a sight!  More info
$493.53
An Elements of Islay bottling of single malt Scotch whisky from an Islay distillery which you might be able to identify from its "chemical symbol" - Cl. Figured it out yet? Yes, that's that one...  More info
$109.48
From Speciality Drinks' Elements of Islay range comes Bw4, an independently bottled single malt Scotch whisky from a famous Islay distillery. You might have heard of them, in fact. You might even be...  More info
$109.48
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
$539.65
Independently bottled Bunnahabhain single malt Scotch whisky, handsomely presented as part of Hunter Laing's fantastic Old & Rare range. This Islay single malt was distilled in November 1991 and...  More info
$330.60
Single malt Scotch whisky from the Bowmore distillery, matured in a single hogshead from 1996 to 2014. It was bottled with an outturn of 344 bottles by Wemyss and given the tasty title Aniseed...  More info
$142.57
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
$296.68
A 22 year old Bunnahabhain single malt Scotch whisky, bottled for Duncan Taylor's Octave range. Distilled on Islay in 1991 and bottled in 2014, but not before it was finished in a tiny Octave Sherry...  More info
$216.48
A Rare Malts bottling of 21 year old Caol Ila single malt Scotch whisky, distilled in 1975. These Rare Malts bottlings are always a good shout for awesome whiskies, whether you're enjoying it or...  More info
$591.07
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
$1378.35
A frequent favourite of Diageo's Special Releases, this is the 2014 edition 12 year old Lagavulin single malt Scotch whisky. Featuring malts that were distilled in 2001 and 2002, matured in refill...  More info
$125.21
Sure to be a favourite of the 2014 Special Releases this is a 30 year old Caol Ila single malt, distilled in 1983 and matured in a mix of American and European oak casks. 7,638 bottles were produced.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$665.20
It's not every day you see unpeated Caol Ila, but it's part of Diageo's Special Releases for a reason - it's a bit special, it is. Released for the 2014 collection of Special Releases, this edition...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$117.39
An independent bottling of Bunnahabhain single malt Scotch whisky, which was matured in a refill hogshead for 35 long years! This Islay expression was distilled in December 1978 and bottled in June...  More info
$502.65
Another fabulous release of single cask Scotch whisky from Hunter Laing, the company created when the two Laing brothers at Douglas Laing went their separate ways. This edition of their Old & Rare...  More info
$509.81
One of the stupendously well presented & well aged Duncan Taylor Tantalus collection, this time featuring a 44 year old Bunnahabhain single malt Scotch whisky. Yes, that's right, this whisky matured...  More info
$2174.02
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
$85.79
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
$1563.53
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
$1300.66
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
$104.13
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
$75.80
16 year old single malt from the Bunnahabhain distillery on Islay, bottled by the fabulous folk at Douglas Laing. It was distilled in April 1998 and aged in a single refill hogshead for 16 long years...  More info
$120.96
Ooh, an indie Bruichladdich! And bottled at cask strength, no less. Very exciting stuff from Gordon & MacPahil. This Islay single malt was distilled in October 1991 and matured in refill Sherry...  More info
$165.25
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