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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 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)
$153.02
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
$364.75
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
$348.65
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
$178.13
A 15 year old Bunnahabhain single malt taken from two consecutive casks (hogsheads), yielding 798 bottles. Bottled by Signatory in July 2013 by Signatory without the use of chill filtration.  More info
$75.80
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
$425.66
A (comparatively) young Islay whisky from Signatory. Peat smoke ho!  More info
$71.45
A 23 year old Caol Ila distilled on 8th February 1990 and matured in a single cask before bottling by Montgomerie's in March 2013.  More info
$244.97
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
$335.64
This was distilled at Bunnahabhain in 1987, aged for 24 years and bottled for Duncan Taylor for their stellar Octave range.  More info
$293.33
This is a 1997 vintage Bunnahabhain from Wemyss Malts - a range of whiskies named after their flavours. Driftwood is a 15 year old whisky and each cask in the range is specially selected under the eye...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (2.5/5)
$118.65
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
$216.44
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
$229.75
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
$222.30
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
$141.37
What many of you have been waiting for - a new batch of Ardbeg from That Boutique-y Whisky Company!!!

Geert Bero, the world's most famous Ardbeg collector and proprietor of the legendary Ardbeg Bar...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
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
$105.16
This Port Charlotte is a heavily peated (44ppm) single malt whisky from the progressive Islay distillers at Bruichladdich. This bottling is a blend of multiple vintages of this smoky whisky and offers...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$72.74
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
$162.37
Ardbeg sits on the island’s Southern coast and produces its highly peated malt whisky. Ardbeg closed in July 1996, thankfully the distillery was bought by Glenmorangie plc in 1997 and the distillery...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
Ardbeg Galileo
(70cl, 49%)
The rumour mill has been rumbling about this Ardbeg release for some time. In April 2012 Ardbeg sent some of their new-make spirit up into space to make Ardbeg the first inter-stellar whisky, so it...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
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
$1229.51
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
$132.41
This is a Caol Ila distilled in 1990 and bottled by independent bottler Mackillops in 2012. The philosophy behind Mackillops is to take the appreciation of wine to whisky, so the whiskies selected...  More info
A collectible bottle of 12 year old single malt Scotch whisky from the Bunnahabhain distillery on Islay, released in the 1990s. It features the classic seafaring chap on the label, who looks to be...  More info
$119.50

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