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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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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
$274.40
The 2014 release of Kilchoman's Loch Gorm single malt, which has been fully matured in Oloroso Sherry butts from 2009 to 2014. The previous Loch Gorm release won the Islay distillery a Gold Medal in...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (3.5/5)
$88.53
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
$84.30
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)
$684.01
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
$105.61
9 year old Port Charlotte single malt, which is peated whisky from the Bruichladdich distillery. This is a single cask release from the Coopers Choice range, which was bottled with an outturn of 330...  More info
$108.94
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 (2.0/5)
$56.63
This is the fourth Islay whisky bottled from a distillery on the island whose name begins with Br...  More info
$90.19
The 2014 release of Kilchoman's Machir Bay single malt Scotch whisky is here! For the third release in the series, Kilchoman have produced a vatting of 5 and 6 year old ex-bourbon barrels and Oloroso...  More info
$65.40
24 year old single malt from Islay's Bunnahabhain distillery, bottled by A. D. Rattray in Kirkoswald. This delicious dram was distilled in October 1989, matured in a bourbon hogshead and bottled in...  More info
$142.25
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
$112.42
You know that a distillery is getting popular when they release a gift pack, and we're happy beyond belief that Kilchoman have got to that point so quickly. This set comes with a bottle of their...  More info
$73.78
STRICTLY 1 PER CUSTOMER

Yet another cracking 12 year old limited edition Lagavulin from Diageo's Special Releases, the twelfth of the series. Vatted from refill American Oak casks before being...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$135.95
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 (3.0/5)
$86.92
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
$49.65
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)
$82.00
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
$32.28
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
$87.78
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)
$113.95
STRICTLY 1 PER CUSTOMER

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...  More info
$114.81
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
$135.37
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 (4.0/5)
$73.78
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)
$98.40
Ardbeg Blasda
(70cl, 40%)
Blasda represents a rare chance to sample a lightly-peated dram from the powerhouse Ardbeg distillery. The malt is peated at 8ppm as opposed to the standard 24ppm.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$281.76
The third release of the stunningly good Bowmore Tempest, a cask-strength 10 year old from the Islay distillery. This particular expression offers up oodles of fruity flavour and complexity.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$70.69
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