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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 1996 vintage bottling from Gordon and MacPhail's Connoisseur's Choice is a veritable exhibition of Caol Ila's character, there is a fruity freshness underpinning phenols and a strong coastal...  More info
Chocolate Honeycomb. Crunchie bars then? #copyrightinfringement

A fantastic single cask Bunnahabhain from Wemyss Malts.  More info
$91.26
Smoky, fleeting, and somewhat ethereal. Delicious single cask Bunnahabhain from Wemyss.  More info
$114.07
A (comparatively) young Islay whisky from Signatory. Peat smoke ho!  More info
$67.40
A punchy and smoky Laphroaig from Signatory at full cask strength. 295 bottles of this single cask whisky were produced.  More info
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A 19 year old Bruichladdich bottled by Signatory. Distilled in November 1992 and bottled in March 2012 without the use of chill filtration.  More info
$104.24
A very well-aged Bruichladdich from Berry Brothers & Rudd dating to the Whyte & Mackay era.  More info
$141.70
A 23 year old Caol Ila distilled on 8th February 1990 and matured in a single cask before bottling by Montgomerie's in March 2013.  More info
$231.09
A 24 year old single malt from the Caol Ila distillery on Islay and bottled in 2008 by the Vintage Whisky Co. as part of The Coopers Choice range.  More info
$377.77
Distilled at Port Ellen distillery on Islay in 1982, this Old Bothwell single cask release comes from one of the most sought after distilleries of all time.

When Diageo sought to shut down one of...  More info
$651.52
Ardbeg Uigeadail is a 'dark and mysterious' expression from the popular Islay distillery, a rich and smoky single malt with incredible balance and depth of flavour. This one has a slightly damaged...  More info
$94.80
An old bottling of Lagavulin's classic 16 year old single malt scotch whisky form Islay. Rich, peaty and awesome!  More info
$62.64
Caol Ila is Islay's biggest producer in terms of volume. By jingo it's good though. Oh yes.  More info
$62.64
An older bottling of Bunnahabhain's 12 year old single malt Islay whisky. It has the old packaging and tube as well as the lower abv of 40%.  More info
$62.64
Lagavulin Feis Ile 2008
(70cl, 52.90%)
Released as a special bottling for the Islay Festival in 2008, this single cask, cask strength release was distilled in 1993 and hand selected by Iain McArthur. It was matured in cask 1403 (European...  More info
$781.42
The first release of Kilchoman's Loch Gorm single malt Scotch whisky, distilled at the Islay farm distillery and fully matured in ex-sherry casks for 5 years before being bottled. Rather...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$89.22
Made with heavily peated malt, this Bunnahabhain was aged for 15 years before being bottled by Signatory as part of their Un-Chillfiltered range.  More info
This is the second batch of Duncan Taylor's 32 year old Bunnahabhain, distilled in September 1979, this Islay malt was bottled in July 2012 as part of their Dimensions range. The dark hue is natural...  More info
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This is a 20 year old single cask Bruichladdich from Duncan Taylor’s Dimensions series. It was distilled in November 1992 before maturation in cask 3674. It was bottled in December of 2012.  More info
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An 18 year old red wine finished Caol Ila from superb bottler Gordon & MacPhail.  More info
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Distilled at Coal Ila distillery in 1995 and finished in Madeira casks, this Islay single malt was bottled by Gordon & MacPhail for their Private Collection range.  More info
$109.64
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
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This Bunnahabhain was distilled in 1987 and bottled by Douglas Laing as part of their Old Malt Cask range after a 25 year maturation. It is bottled at 50%, or 'the Golden strength', without artificial...  More info
$177.09
This was distilled at the Ardbeg distillery in 1974 and it was bottled especially for Speymalt Whisky's Spirit of Scotland range. A very rare and collectible bottling from the legendary Islay...  More info
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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
$782.79

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