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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 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
$69.59
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)
$246.42
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
$70.92
A young and punchy 11 year old single cask peated offering from Caol Ila distillery, bottled by Adelphi in early 2013.  More info
$95.77
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
$89.05
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
$335.93
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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$1307.59
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
$410.12
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
$97.75
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
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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
$133.64
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)
$60.00
The second release in Bruichladdich's Uber Provenance range, made with barley grown on Islay at Dunlossit Farm. As Bruichladdich put it: "Now once again the sea salt spray lashed fields of Islay are...  More info
$71.54
This is the first batch of delicious Bunnahabhain single malt from That Boutique-y Whisky. The whisky is rich and fruity with a hint of peat, and the graphic-novel-style label depicts the distillery...  More info
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
$66.01
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
$116.43
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
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$146.05
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
$316.61
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
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$92.38
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
$81.22
This is a 23 year old Bunnahbhain which was distilled on the 20th October 1989. Single cask Bunnahabhains seem to have a habit of being quite different from one another. This particular cask is like a...  More info
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Subtitled after Julio Cortázar's short story La Noche Bocca Arriba, Bruichladdich Cuvee 407 is a 21 year old whisky which was aged in American oak and finished in rich, sweet Pedro Ximenez sherry...  More info
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Bruichladdich Cuvee 640 is the first of three whiskies from the distillery's Cuvee range. This Eroica edition was aged in American oak and finished in Limousin oak brandy casks before bottling. It...  More info
$171.63
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

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