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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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Master of Malt Single Cask Whisky
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A 16 year old Caol Ila distilled in September 1996 and matured in cask 9512. This Islay whisky was bottled in February 2013 by Douglas Laing as part of their Old Malt Cask Range.  More info
$115.73
This was distilled at the Port Ellen distillery on the 16th November 1979. It was then aged for 24 years in sherry butt #6773 before bottling at cask-strength in October 2004. This is a release of...  More info
$853.34
The Syndicate is a group of whisky aficionados with a passion for the very best in Scotch single malts. This Lagavulin was distilled in 1990 and aged for 14 years before bottling as a single cask...  More info
$353.29
This was distilled at Caol Ila on the 14th December 1982 before a 29 year maturation in a single cask (hogshead 6485). It was bottled at natural cask strength in December 2012, and it comes from...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$263.01
This is a very tasty single cask, sherry-matured Bunnahabhain from the Vintage Malt Whisky Company's Coopers Choice range. It was distilled in 2001 and was aged in sherry butt number 3196 for 10 years...  More info
$75.69
This is the second batch of the utterly beguiling Port Ellen from That Boutique-y Whisky Company. It's a rich, smouldering, citrusy gem from what is perhaps Scotland's most legendary distillery, and...  More info
This is a superb whisky from Wemyss Malts and it was distilled at the Laphroaig distillery in 1998. It was aged in a single hogshead before bottling in 2012. With the apt moniker "Beach Bonfires"...  More info
$142.63
Bere barley is one of the oldest cereal crops in Britain. It may have been brought over by the Vikings in the 9th century and has been grown ever since, having been used in single malt whiskies before...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$64.04
This is a "Strictly Limited" single cask Bunnahabhain from Carn Mor. It was distilled in 2001 before a maturation in a single sherry puncheon. Bottled in 2012, there are just 785 bottles available.  More info
$70.45
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
$124.27
A beautiful hogshead-matured Laphroaig from Signatory's Cask Strength Collection. This was distilled on the 26th November 1996 before a 15 year maturation in a single cask. It was bottled at natural...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$155.87
Strictly one per customer. Sharing is caring.Described by the distillers as being "a dram for the connoisseur and the enlightened student of peat", Octomore 10 was distilled from the world's most...  More info
$337.91
This is a smoky, rich 21 year old Caol Ila from the Vintage Malt Whisky Company's Coopers Choice range. It was aged in a single cask (number 9056) before bottling in 2012.  More info
$98.60
This is a delicious cask-strength Bowmore from Berry Brothers and Rudd. It was distilled in 1996, aged in a single cask (number 1378) and bottled in 2011.  More info
$86.68
Just 12,990 bottles were released, this Caol Ila 8 year old proffers the chance to sample an unpeated malt from the distillery, matured in first fill bourbon casks. There is spice and fruit with a...  More info
This Natural Cask Strength single malt bottling from the Caol Ila distillery is a surprisingly smooth dram. Oily with pungent smoke and malt.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
Caol Ila 25 Year Old
(70cl, 59.40%)
A cask strength expression from the Caol Ila distillery, this 25 year old bottling was matured in refill American and European oak casks and it exudes oily, peaty notes with balancing sweetness.  More info
$237.23
This was distilled at the Laphroaig distillery in October 1998 before a 14 year maturation in a single refill hogshead. It was bottled for the Old Malt Cask range in December 2012 and there are just...  More info
$153.52
The oldest official bottling from the Caol Ila distillery, this 25 year old Islay single malt was released as one of just 6,000 bottles, distilled in 1978 and bottled in 2003 at cask strength.  More info
A sherry finished distillers edition from the Caol Ila distillery. Distilled in 1996, the Moscatel wine has coalesced beautifully with the smoked power of the Islay single malt, the feinty notes are...  More info
$74.81
A comparatively recent release from Bunnahabhain, a less-peated dram from Islay, this single malt has been sherry matured for 18 years and exhibits coastal notes and some medicinal undertones.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
This 25 year old offering from the Bunnahabhain distillery is a sherried dram, part of a limited release of just 400 bottles, as such it is a rather rare, lightly peated release from Islay.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$336.24
A 40 year old vintage bottling from the Bunnahabhain distillery, distilled in 1963 and bottled at natural cask strength, which is only 42.9%, such has been the effects of age on the alcohol con10t...  More info
A vatting from Bruichladdich featuring both Irish and Scotch whisk(e)y, this features both Cooley whiskey and Bruichladdich single malt.  More info
A 32 year old bottling from the Bruichladdich distillery, this single malt was distilled in 1970 and has been solely matured in first fill American hogsheads and exudes some lovely ripe orchard fruit...  More info

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