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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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This was distilled from heavily peated malt (unusual for a Bunnahabhain) on the 8th December 1997 and was aged for 12 years in hogsheads 5342 and 5484 before bottling on the 23rd June 2010 as part of...  More info
A 13 year old Bowmore distilled in May 1997 and aged in a single refill hogshead before bottling by Douglas Laing in February 2011. This comes from the Old Malt Cask range, and there are just 297...  More info
£64.23
This was distilled at Bunnahabhain on the 25th May 1992, and it was aged in sherry butt 1691 for 19 years before bottling on the 17th October 2011 for the Carn Mor range. A release of 587 numbered...  More info
£99.95
This fifteen year old Caol Ila has been bottled by Signatory without chill filtration and is a deliciously peaty Islay single malt!  More info
£41.01
A 23 year old Bunnahabhain aged in sherry butt 1282. This was distilled on the 20th October 1986 and bottled on the 21st July 2010. A release of 540 bottles.  More info
£100.42
A 27 year old Port Ellen bottled under the Old Malt Cask label from Douglas Laing. It won't be around for ever, Port Ellen. And you'll miss it when it's gone so you will.  More info
This was distilled at Bunnahabhain on the 21st September 2001 and it was aged in sherry butt 1765 for 10 years before bottling on the 25th November 2011 for Signatory's Cask Strength Collection. A...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
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
£82.98
A single cask Bunnahabhain, distilled in December 1978, and aged for 33 years before bottling in December 2011 for Douglas Laing's Old and Rare Platinum Selection.  More info
£248.49
Bowmore 1974
(75cl, 40%)
This collectable Bowmore was distilled in 1974 and may have been bottled in the 1980's. Bowmore is the oldest distillery on Islay and its peaty, coastal style is still hugely popular today.  More info
£644.14
A fabulous cask strength release from Caol Ila, this was bottled for the 2011 Feis Ile (Islay Festival). We first tried this in the cold and rain at Caol Ila's blustery distillery day. It was just...  More info
27 year old Port Ellen distilled in 1982. This is rare whisky, aged in Bourbon casks and finished in ChÔteau D'Yquem sauternes barrels. This was bottled at the Bruichladdich distillery in 2009, and is...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
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
A Pedro Ximinez (sic) finished Bruichladdich. This is part of a release of 6,000 bottles of 17 years old whisky.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
This incredible Bowmore was aged for a whopping 40 years. When you think that 40 year old Bowmores regularly command prices of upwards of several thousand pounds you know this is an amazing bargain!  More info
This is the 5th official release from Islay's smallest distillery and youngest distillery, Kilchoman. This was aged for 3 years in fresh bourbon barrels.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (3.0/5)
This is the second edition of the Kilchoman 100% Islay. The whisky is a 50:50 vatting of three and four year old whisky matured in ex-Bourbon casks. The whisky is entirely produced on the island of...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
The original Lagavulin 21 Year Old has achieved legendary status in the whisky world so I was frothing at the bit to try this 52%abv Lagavulin bottled from first-fill ex-sherry casks. This is a...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
This was matured in two refill hogsheads (casks 5095 and 5096), distilled at Laphroaig in the Spring of 2001 and matured for 8 years before bottling by Douglas Laing in the Spring of 2009 for their...  More info
An interesting Bowmore from Adelphi which offers marked differences to the distillery's standard character.  More info
£78.36
This single malt from Bruichladdich was distilled in 1984 and matured in 'dumpy' squat bourbon hogsheads for 23 years. The casks proffered greater wood contact and have imparted a golden hue to the...  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)
This was distilled at Bowmore in 2001, and initially aged in bourbon casks. It was then taken a few miles down the road to the Bruichladdich distillery, where it was finished in Port Pipes before...  More info
£35.95
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)
The first ever Ardbeg Supernova, and Ardbeg's initial go at producing super peaty whisky! This was created specially for the Ardbeg Committee, and when we first tasted it we couldn't believe how...  More info
£299.95

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