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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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The fifth bottling of single malt Scotch whisky from the "Lp" distillery, bottled by Speciality Drinks for their Elements of Islay range, which explores many Islay distilleries and presents the...  More info
£69.95
Bunnahabhain around 20-21 years old seems good at the moment. Hard to miss to be honest.  More info
£112.42
From the Bruichladdich distillery comes a peated single malt released under the Port Charlotte name. It was distilled in 2004 and matured in butt #1034 for 9 years, before being bottled for the...  More info
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A rich and beautifully dark Bunnahabhain which we presume was aged in a very good sherry cask. This stuff was distilled in 1979 and aged for 23 long years before bottling in October 2002. This superb...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (1.0/5)
£284.95
Unveiled in 2014, Octomore 06.3 Islay Barley was made with barley grown on Islay. In fact, the crop was grown in the field known as Lorgba on Octomore farm! As ever with Bruichladdich's Octomore...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
£144.71
A single cask bottling of single malt Scotch whisky from one of Islay's most respected and loved distilleries - Ardbeg. This Duncan Taylor Single bottling contains whisky distilled in May 1994 and...  More info
£470.86
Saying that Port Ellen whisky is sought-after is like saying jam is pretty good on toast - a massive understatement! The distillery on Islay closed in 1983, to the disappointment of many who loved...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
£1805.57
Port Ellen alert! Port Ellen alert! That's right, we've got a Gordon & MacPhail bottling of single malt from the closed distillery on Islay, distilled in 1979, matured in refill Sherry butts and...  More info
£630.00
From one of Islay's most inventive distilleries, Bruichladdich, comes this 21 year old single malt - by way of Douglas Laing's Old Particular range. It was matured in a single refill hogshead from May...  More info
£101.18
Distilled in 1974 and bottled in November 1997, just after the Ardbeg distillery was bought by Glenmorangie, the Ardbeg Provenance is a legendary bottling of 23 year old single malt Scotch whisky...  More info
£2178.66
An Elements of Islay bottling of single malt from the mysterious "Bn" distillery. Well, not too mysterious, we're sure you can figure out which one it came from. This is the sixth bottling of Bn...  More info
£49.95
Released as part of the Tantalus collection, this is an incredible 31 year old Bowmore single malt Scotch whisky which has been bottled by Duncan Taylor. As with all Tantalus releases, it comes with a...  More info
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Ooh, an indie Bruichladdich! And bottled at cask strength, no less. Very exciting stuff from Gordon & MacPahil. This Islay single malt was distilled in October 1991 and matured in refill Sherry...  More info
£105.58
Bunnahabhain single malt Scotch whisky from a refill ex-bourbon hogshead, distilled in 1989 and independently bottled by Adelphi in 2014 at 24 years old. 242 of these simple, classy bottles were...  More info
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It's not every day you see unpeated Caol Ila, but it's part of Diageo's Special Releases for a reason - it's a bit special, it is. Released for the 2014 collection of Special Releases, this edition...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
£73.96
Bw3 is the third instalment of Bowmore single malt Scotch whisky for Speciality Drinks' Elements of Islay range. It doesn't take a scientist to know that this should be some tasty independently...  More info
£59.95
A supremely well-aged Bunnahabhain from Berry Brothers & Rudd, distilled in 1989 and bottled in 2013.  More info
£102.99
The second release of Bowmore's cask strength Tempest. This is aged for 10 years in first fill bourbon casks in the Number 1 vaults at Bowmore, which are literally at the edge of Loch Indaal.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (3.5/5)
£54.45
Islay whiskies are very popular these days, and with bottles like this 23 year old Caol Ila being incredibly tasty, we're not surprised! This bottling comes from Montgomerie's Rare Select collection.  More info
£139.54
A Coopers Choice bottling of Bunnahabhain single malt Scotch whisky, distilled all the way back in the glorious year 1990. The single hogshead lovingly matured the whisky until it was cracked open in...  More info
£70.25
Douglas Laing's Directors' Cut range is reserved for some very special, well aged whiskies, and this 25 year old Bunnahabhain fits into those categories rather splendidly! The single hogshead was...  More info
£210.00
14 year old Bowmore single malt Scotch whisky, bottled for the Old Malt Cask range by Hunter Laing. 563 bottles were produced.  More info
£67.71
An 8 year old Bunnahabhain, an Islay single malt from the smart-looking, newly packaged MacPhail's Collection.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
£34.17
Independently bottled Laphroaig single malt Scotch whisky, presented as part of the Duncan Taylor Single collection (and what a collection it is!). This Islay delight was distilled in April 1997 and...  More info
£284.61
An independently bottled single malt Scotch whisky from the legendary Port Ellen distillery on the Island of Islay. It was distilled in June 1982 and bottled in March 2014 for the Mackillop's Choice...  More info
£594.95
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