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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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St George Spirits
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
£155.67
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
£80.00
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
£199.27
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
£84.65
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
£810.00
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
£64.31
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
£50.85
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 (3.5/5)
£34.84
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)
£57.74
Bowmore 18 Year Old
(70cl, 43%)
A comparatively recent release from Bowmore, the 18 year old was launched in January of 2007 to replace the 17 year old. A perfumed, fruity offering from the Islay distillery.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
£67.45
Distilled in 2004 and bottled in 2013 by Gordon and MacPhail for The MacPhail's Collection, this is a rather tempting sherry matured Bunnahabhain single malt Scotch whisky.  More info
£33.04
Bowmore's 4th release of the 10 year old, bourbon matured Tempest. Decribed on the box as being "as fresh as the sea-air with wisps of peat smoke and sweet citrus", this matches this batch...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
£50.33
Batch 2 of That Boutique-y Whisky Company's Bunnahabhain has landed, complete once again with a label that depicts various goings on at the distillery such as caber tossing and a rally car navigating...  More info
£52.95
A second of two special releases to mark the acquisition and rebirth of the Islay distillery, originally founded in 1881. Distilled in 2001 and matured in bourbon casks, 2,500 unpeated bottles were...  More info
£67.75
Named after distillery manager Billy Stitchell who retires this year, this bottling honours his 39 years at Caol Ila, following in the footsteps of four previous generations of his family! The eighth...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
£72.76
A gorgeous gift pack of single malt Scotch whisky from the Islay farm distillery Kilchoman, presented with two branded glasses. The whisky is the 2014 release Machir Bay, which is a vatting of 5 and 6...  More info
£45.34
It's here. Phone people. Write letters. Open up windows and shout at things. Let the things know that it's here. But what is it? Batch 5 of Port Ellen single malt Scotch whisky, bottled by That...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
£573.95
Oh yes, cask strength Kilchoman! Exciting stuff. This 5 year old single malt Scotch whisky from Islay's farm distillery came from 35 ex-bourbon barrels which were filled in 2009 and opened in 2014...  More info
£68.82
Bunnahabhain Toiteach
(70cl, 46%)
Toiteach is Gaelic for "Smoky", a hint of what's to come. That's right, a heavily peated Bunnahabhain! A great chance to try a smoky malt from a distiller of gentle, fruity Islay whisky.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
£59.83
Bunnahabhain 25 Year Old
(70cl, 46.30%)
In what will be seen as a positive move to whisky connoisseurs, Bunnahabhain have decided to bottle the 25 year old without chill-filtration and without colouring. Presented in smoked oak glass bottle...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
£218.00
Islay Storm
(70cl, 40%)
An Islay single malt from a secret distillery, Islay Storm has loads of peaty character.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (3.0/5)
£24.95
Made from barley harvested at Rockside Farm, Islay, in 2006 and distilled in 2007. The specially selected grain, the slow distillation and carefully considered casks were vital in creating this iconic...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
£43.85
Smokey Joe Islay Malt
(70cl, 46%)
A blended malt made up of different Islay single malt whiskies. We're not sure which ones, exactly, but we do know that it tastes delicious!  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
£35.31
This is the eagerly anticipated That Boutique-y Whisky Company bottling of single malt Scotch whisky from the Bruichladdich distillery on Islay. On the graphic-novel-style label, we see a Laddie who’s...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
£99.95
The first of two special releases to mark the acquisition and rebirth of Bruichladdich distillery, distilled in 1998 under the previous ownership. 2,500 bottles were produced, matured in bourbon casks...  More info
£81.46
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