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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 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
$204.52
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
$217.99
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
$141.07
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
$140.55
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
$68.74
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)
$64.22
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)
$308.97
A 35 old single malt to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the Islay distillery. This bottling comes in a presentation box with a black Bunnahabhain glass.  More info
$1113.54
A 40 year old vintage bottling from the Bunnahabhain distillery, distilled in 1963 and bottled at natural cask strength, which is only 42.9%, such has been the effects of age on the alcohol con10t...  More info
A vatting from Bruichladdich featuring both Irish and Scotch whisk(e)y, this features both Cooley whiskey and Bruichladdich single malt.  More info
A 32 year old bottling from the Bruichladdich distillery, this single malt was distilled in 1970 and has been solely matured in first fill American hogsheads and exudes some lovely ripe orchard fruit...  More info
Bruichladdich 1984
(70cl, 46%)
A limited edition 1984 vintage from the Bruichladdich distillery, this single malt exudes Bruichladdich's coastal qualities with notes of fruit and beautiful dry spices.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$157.44
Bruichladdich 40 Year Old
(70cl, 43.10%)
A release of just 500 bottles, this 40 year old is the oldest bottling one can find from the Bruichladdich distillery, only 100 bottles have been allocated for the UK market.  More info
$2277.49
Bruichladdich Waves
(70cl, 46%)
A 2008 release from the Bruichladdich distillery and a light single malt. The name Waves suggests the notes of crisp, fresh fruits and a touch of light spice with a touch of typical 'Laddie coastal...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (3.5/5)
$47.35
The rare first release of the bourbon matured expression from the Bruichladdich distillery, this 18 year old then enjoyed a further finish in Willi Opitz Pinot Noir casks and exhibits some crisp...  More info
$101.62
Port Charlotte PC7
(70cl, 61%)
PC7 is a heavily peated release from the Bruichladdich distillery from the limited release Port Charlotte range, this single malt has been bottled at the heady h8s of 61% abv and proffers the chance...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (3.5/5)
This bottling from Bruichladdich has been so-named 'redder still' for its scarlet hue, this single malt is a limited release of just 4,080 bottles, distilled in 1984, it has attained its colour from...  More info
Bruichladdich Peat
(70cl, 46%)
A newer release to replace the 3D bottling, a more peat rich single malt from the Bruichladdich distillery with phenol levels of 35ppm, though it does not overbear the typical 'Laddie characteristics...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
Moine Mhor is Gaelic and means 'big peat', it is a vatting of their different whiskies (thus the '3D'): the heavily peated 2001 Port Charlotte, moderately peated 1998 whisky and 1989 lightly peated...  More info
Port Charlotte PC6
(70cl, 62%)
PC6 represents a peatier release from the Bruichladdich distillery, this 6 year old is part of the Port Charlotte series, a limited release of 18,000 and peated to 40ppm.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
A rare release of 900 individually numbered bottles of 32 year old Bruichladdich. Jim McEwan, the master distiller, selected some of the oldest and rarest casks from the distillery to bottle as part...  More info
$308.97

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