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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 the second batch of Duncan Taylor's 32 year old Bunnahabhain, distilled in September 1979, this Islay malt was bottled in July 2012 as part of their Dimensions range. The dark hue is natural...  More info
$343.55
This is the third release of the Bruichladdich Black Arts series. The recipe is kept a strict secret and the bottle features the arcane symbols seen on earlier releases.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$156.63
A 12 year old single cask from popular Islay distillery of Laphroaig, bottled by Douglas Laing as part of the Provenance range. It is an autumn distillation and was aged in a refill hogshead.  More info
$117.34
A single cask bottling of Port Charlotte whisky from the Bruichladdich distillery, bottled for the Basildon Malt Whisky Circle. This peated expression from Islay was distilled in June 2002 and bottled...  More info
$235.16
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
This was distilled at Bunnahabhain in October 1989 and aged for 22 years in a single cask (number 5663) before bottling in June 2012. A release of 252 individually numbered bottles from Duncan...  More info
$227.54
A smoky single malt from Douglas Laing produced at the Caol Ila distillery. Matured in a single cask and selected as part of the Directors' Cut range, 173 bottles were produced.  More info
$199.01
Hunter Laing, the company that Stewart Laing created when the assets of Douglas Laing were split between himself and his brother, retained the excellent Old Malt Cask label. This Caol Ila, is 18 years...  More info
$144.70
A 10 year old autumn distillation from Laphroaig distillery courtesy of Douglas Laing.  More info
$109.23
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
$69.57
This Bunnahabhain is the fourth release from this distillery from independent bottler Speciality drinks.  More info
$67.19
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
$103.85
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
$356.87
An autumnal single cask Laphroaig, part of Douglas Laing's Provenance range. This classic Islay single malt was distilled in the Autumn of 2005 and bottled at 8 years old in the Spring of 2014.  More info
$107.64
This single malt from the closed distillery of Port Ellen distilled in 1997 and bottled in 2012 for Douglas Laing's Old & Rare collection.  More info
$1258.49
A new addition of Bruichladdich Organic. This follows on from the 2003 edition, and there are only a couple of current production single malts that are certified organic. It is made with organic...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
Lovely, luscious Laphroaig single malt, bottled by Signatory at cask strength. It matured for 16 years in a single cask, from November 1996 to October 2013. A release of 271 bottled.  More info
$166.19
This was distilled at Bunnahabhain in 1987, aged for 24 years and bottled for Duncan Taylor for their stellar Octave range.  More info
$300.25
This was distilled at the Bowmore distillery in April of 1996 and aged in refill hogshead 8034 before bottling for the Director's Cut range in January of 2012. A release of 290 single cask, cask...  More info
$179.68
When Stewart Laing started Hunter Laing after splitting the assets of Douglas Laing with his brother, he continued to produce independent bottlings of fantastic whisky for the Old Malt Cask selection...  More info
$135.53
A rare new release from Bruichladdich, this is the third edition in the DNA series. Created by Master Distiller Jim McEwan, this was made using some of the very best casks in the Bruichladdich...  More info
$373.35
Carn Mor have bottled this 22 year old, 1990 vintage Bruichladdich for their Celebration of the Cask series. Bruichladdich was mothballed during the 1990s and this whisky was distilled before this...  More info
$142.95
This is the first Bowmore bottled by Speciality Drinks for their Elements of Islay range. The range is modelled on the periodic table with each Islay distillery being reduced to a couple of letters...  More info
$92.41
Hunter Laing?! What happened to that Douglas fellow who used to have his name on my Old Malt Cask bottles? Well, the Laing brothers have gone their separate ways, with Stewart retaining the popular...  More info
$138.25
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
$76.00

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