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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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Ardbeg Whisky Distillery
Bunnahabhain single malt Scotch whisky, taken from a single cask (which had the rather catchy cask number of #800088) at 7 years old by Berry Bros. & Rudd. It was distilled in 2006 and bottled in...  More info
$82.36
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
$219.19
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
$110.35
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)
$85.53
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
$363.76
14 year old Bowmore single malt Scotch whisky, bottled for the Old Malt Cask range by Hunter Laing. 563 bottles were produced.  More info
$106.36
From one of the excellent distilleries on the Island of Islay comes this edition of Mackillop's Choice. Give a warm welcome to the Bowmore 1990, which was distilled in April 1990 and bottled in July...  More info
$259.98
Bowmore Dawn
(70cl, 51.50%)
A wonderful port cask finished whisky from Bowmore, this received an incredibly impressive 94 points in the Jim Murray Whisky Bible 2008.  More info
$266.80
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
$447.06
An 8 year old Bunnahabhain, an Islay single malt from the smart-looking, newly packaged MacPhail's Collection.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$53.67
Distilled on 24th April 1990 at the Bowmore distillery on Islay, this whisky spent nearly 23 years in cask 185078 before bottling by Montgomerie's as part of their Rare Select range in March 2013.  More info
$244.52
A frequent favourite of Diageo's Special Releases, this is the 2014 edition 12 year old Lagavulin single malt Scotch whisky. Featuring malts that were distilled in 2001 and 2002, matured in refill...  More info
$125.66
This is the fourth Islay whisky bottled from a distillery on the island whose name begins with Br...  More info
$85.45
An independent bottling of Laphroaig single malt Scotch whisky from Mackillop's, distilled in June 1991 and bottled in September 2013. Just 280 bottles were produced.  More info
$313.01
An awesome gift box from Ardbeg, featuring a 70cl bottle of their classic 10 year old expression, along with two "shortie" tasting glasses. No, they don't have a picture of Ardbeg's cheerful dog...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$78.46
A Directors' Cut bottling from Douglas Laing of Port Ellen single malt. Yes, that Port Ellen, the one on Islay that was closed in the '80s and has remained closed ever since. Their stocks of superbly...  More info
$1398.55
A fantastic gift set from the Islay distillery, Bowmore. It includes a 70cl bottle of Bowmore 15 Year Old Darkest single malt Scotch whisky, which has been matured in American bourbon barrels and...  More info
$132.97
A lovely Sherried single malt, bottled for the Elements of Islay range of independent bottlings from Speciality Drinks. This is the fourth release of whisky from the distillery simply known as "Lp"...  More info
$101.02
A half bottle of the iconic, medicinal 10 year Islay's bestselling distillery, Laphroaig. This is a massive, punchy dram, it is said the medicinal character is from the high moss content in the peat.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$30.58
A 2001 vintage Caol Ila single malt Scotch whisky, independently bottled by the fine folks at Gordon & MacPhail. A fab Islay dram, matured in first fill bourbon barrels and bottled as part of Gordon &...  More info
$79.87
A 25 year old from the Bowmore distillery aged in American bourbon and Spanish sherry casks. The sherry influence combines wonderfully with the coastal, smoky distillery style to create a sublime aged...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$648.08
Laphroaig Select
(70cl, 40%)
For the Laphroaig Select, the Islay distillery has taken whisky from a number of different types of cask, including Oloroso Sherry butts, white American oak, Pedro Ximenez seasoned hoggies, Quarter...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (3.0/5)
$53.66
From the oldest distillery on Islay comes the fifth release of Bowmore's 10 year old Tempest single malt Scotch whisky. This annual release is matured in first-fill bourbon casks and presented at cask...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$78.45
The fourth release of Kilchoman's excellent, lightly-peated release, 100% Islay. They used barley grown on the island and completed every step of production at the distillery - a big undertaking, but...  More info
$100.06
Part of Diageo's Distillers Edition range comes a 2001 vintage single malt Scotch whisky from Caol Ila, which has been matured in American oak and finished in Moscatel wine casks. A limited edition...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (3.5/5)
$96.43
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