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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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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
$109.40
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
$105.94
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
$176.71
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
$976.33
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
$781.11
A rare, peated Bunnahabhain from Signatory - made up of two casks, 5566 and 5567. Bottled at 46%.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$71.35
Cask strength Bunnahabhain - unpeated - from Signatory. Distilled in October 2001 and bottled in September 2012, shortly before it had spent 11 years in cask 1766.  More info
$76.53
Distilled on 28th March 1980 at Bunnahabhain on Islay, this single cask whisky from Signatory spent over 32 years in an ex-sherry cask before bottling on 5th December 2012 at natural cask strength.  More info
Distilled in 2001, this 11 year old Bowmore came from two casks and was subsequently finished in a Pedro Ximinez cask. Bottled by Carn Mor as part of their Strictly Limited range this is a release of...  More info
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
$323.39
This is a delicious and very special whisky from the Caol Ila distillery, released as part of Diageo's Distillers Edition range. This was distilled in 2000 and was initially matured in American oak...  More info
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$90.86
This was distilled at the Bunnahabhain distillery in 1990 before a 21 year maturation in a single cask (number 19). It was bottled by Berry Brothers and Rudd in 2012, and it comes without...  More info
$142.74
This was distilled at Islay's Bowmore distillery in 2003 before a 9 year maturation in a single cask (cask number 20060). It was bottled by Berry Brothers and Rudd in 2013.  More info
$67.99
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
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$240.74
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
$69.29
A young and punchy 11 year old single cask peated offering from Caol Ila distillery, bottled by Adelphi in early 2013.  More info
$93.56
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
Punchy Islay smoke from Caol Ila distillery. Bottled from two sherry hogsheads after 16 years, with an outturn of 778 bottles.  More info
$87.00
This is a smouldering, intense Laphroaig from the Directors Cut range. It was distilled in October 1990 before a 21 year maturation in a single cask (a refill hogshead). It was then bottled in August...  More info
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This is a fabulous old Port Ellen from Douglas Laing's stellar Old and Rare Platinum Selection. It was distilled in August 1977, some six years before the distillery shut its doors for good, and the...  More info
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$1277.45
This is a 27 year old, cask-strength Caol Ila from Douglas Laing's Old and Rare Platinum Selection. It was distilled in March 1987 before a single cask maturation (in a sherry hogshead). It was...  More info
$400.67
This was distilled at the Bowmore distillery in Autumn 2002 before a 10 year maturation in a single refill hogshead. It was bottled for the Provenance range in Winter 2012.  More info
$95.50
This is the stunning Batch 3 of That Boutique-y Whisky Company's Ardbeg - it's a superb little whisky which flaunts the beautiful house style with more than a hint of sweet sherry too.

The label...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
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
$130.56
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 (5.0/5)
$58.62

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