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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 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
$130.59
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)
$58.63
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
$69.91
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
$64.50
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
$113.77
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)
$142.71
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
$309.38
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)
$90.27
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
$79.36
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
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
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
$167.71
This is a 19 year old, single cask Bruichladdich from Duncan Taylor's Dimensions series. It was distilled in November 1992 before a maturation in cask 3674. It was then bottled at natural cask...  More info
$203.78
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
$217.20
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
$140.56
This is a wonderfully rich, sherry-matured Bruichladdich from Douglas Laing's Old Malt Cask range. It was distilled in February 1992 before a 20 year maturation in a single refill sherry butt. Bottled...  More info
$140.04
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
$68.49
This is the fourth edition of Bruichladdich's very popular DNA whisky. It's made using some of the very best stock from the distillery, distilled in 1985 and aged for 27 years before bottling...  More info
$409.95
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)
Bowmore is the oldest distillery on Islay and this bottle has been filled without chill filtration for Signatory's Un-Chill Filtered range.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$63.99
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)
$307.85

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