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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 single cask, packaged in a rather unusual looking sample bottle. This was distilled at Bunnahabhain in 2000, matured for 9 years in cask number 947, and bottled in 2010 by Adelphi at cask strength...  More info
Bunnahabhain bottled by Signatory. This is a cask strength, natural colour whisky distilled on the 4th December 1997, matured in two hogsheads for 12 years before bottling on the 21st January 2010. A...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (2.0/5)
Single cask Laphroaig distilled in October 1996, matured for 13 years in a refill hogshead and bottled in November 2009 as a release of 313 bottles.  More info
A single cask Bruichladdich distilled in November 1993, matured for 15 years in a refill hogshead and bottled in November of 2008 as part of a release of 353 bottles.  More info
Distilled at Laphroaig 2nd of May 1996 and aged in hogshead number 1983 for 13 years before bottling on the 8th June 2009. A release of 280 bottles, bottled by Speciality Drinks.  More info
$81.24
An 11 year old Cadenhead bottling from the Laphroaig distillery - an Islay based classic distiller known for its medicinal character. This was bottled as part of the Duthies range of unchillfiltered...  More info
Maximum one bottle per customer.

The newest release from Islay's new farm distillery, Kilchoman. This was matured for three years in fresh Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels before a 3.5 month finish in...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (3.5/5)
A single cask from Caol Ila, bottled by Speciality Drinks. This was distilled on the 11th January 1991 and aged for 18 years in a hogshead (cask 194/200) before bottling on the 20th April 2009 at Cask...  More info
$96.89
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
From Speciality Drinks' Elements of Islay range, originally packaged with a laboratory look. Each is a 50cl bottle of cask strength Islay malt, each are given Periodic Table style names, which hint at...  More info
From the Elements of Islay range from Speciality Drinks. Each is named in the style of a chemical element, each gives a hint at which distillery it might be from. This is Br1...  More info
The 1982 Bowmore from Duncan Taylor's incredible Octave range. The whiskies are matured in a standard cask before giving a finish in a sherry treated Octave cask (which offers a speedy maturation due...  More info
A fruity, gentle Islay whisky, bottled for Duncan Taylor's NC2 range. This was distilled in 1997 and bottled in 2009. It is both non-chillfiltered and non caramel coloured.  More info
An un-chillfiltered 22 year old Bruichladdich. This was distilled on the 11th February 1988, aged in hogsheads 65, 66 and 67 before bottling on the 11th February 2010 by Signatory. A release of 797...  More info
A Tokaji finished Caol Ila, this was distilled on the 30th September 1994 and matured in three casks before bottling by Gordon and MacPhail in July of 2009. Part of a release of just 492 bottles.  More info
A Bruichladdich from several vintages, created to show the complexity of the whisky. This is the third edition of Infinity, in general release, matured in refill sherry and tempranillo casks, with...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$72.15
A special limited release bottling from Bunnahabhain. There are just 3,792 bottles of this cask strength, Manzanilla finished Bunnahabhain.  More info
A 16 year old Bruichladdich, part of a release of 6,000 bottles. This is the Vancouver Golf Club edition from the Links series of Golf Themed whiskies with paintings by acclaimed golf artist Graeme...  More info
A sherry matured Ardbeg, distilled in 1993 and bottled by Gordon and MacPhail for the Connoisseurs Choice range.  More info
$72.33
A complex, rich single malt, bottled by Gordon and MacPhail. Port Ellen has become a legendary distillery, known for its stunning peaty flavours.  More info
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Batch number one from the new range of Laphroaig Cask Strength 10 year old whisky. They are now making these up in smaller batches, with a great price to boot! Released in February 2009. Much more...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
A 12 year old Caol Ila single cask, with a peaty, spicy flavour. This is part of an outturn of 743 bottles from a refill butt, distilled in September 1995 and bottled in January 2008 by Douglas Laing.  More info
Some 25 year old single cask Bowmore. This was distilled in March 1983 and aged in a refill hogshead. Bottled by Douglas Laing in March 2008, with an outturn of 259 bottles.  More info
Distilled at Ardbeg in March 1991 and matured for 18 years before bottling in August 2009. A release of 208 bottles, bottled by Douglas Laing.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
A fruity, sweet Islay malt. This was distilled at the Bunnahabhain in September of 1996 and aged for 12 years in a refill hogshead, with an outturn of 355 bottles. This was bottled by Douglas Laing in...  More info

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