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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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A single cask Islay whisky from a secret distillery (let's just say its name rhymes with Moona-HAR-ven), this, as the name suggests, is a warming, spicy malt with loads of fruity flavour. Distilled in...  More info
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The Old Malt Cask, a classic range from indie bottlers Douglas Laing, now comes under the newly formed Hunter Laing as Fred and Stewart Laing have chosen to go their separate ways, splitting the...  More info
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This was distilled at the Bunnahabhain distillery in 1990 before a 21 year maturation in a single cask (number 19). It was bottled by Berry Brothers and Rudd in 2012, and it comes without...  More info
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One fateful day in October 1992, the Bruichladdich distillery on Islay, filled 2 casks with their spirit and left them to mature. 21 years later, in February 2014, a second fateful date occurred when...  More info
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Bruichladdich Peat
(70cl, 46%)
A newer release to replace the 3D bottling, a more peat rich single malt from the Bruichladdich distillery with phenol levels of 35ppm, though it does not overbear the typical 'Laddie characteristics...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
This incredible Bowmore single malt Scotch whisky was distilled in December 1987 and aged for 25 years before being bottled up by Douglas Laing as part of their Old Particular range of single cask...  More info
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A love letter to the traditional craft, Kilchoman 100% Islay is produced from barley "grown, malted, distilled and bottled at the distillery". Originally, Kilchoman intended to produce all of their...  More info
$110.34
This Bunnahabhain was distilled in 1979 and aged for 33 years before bottling by Duncan Taylor for their fabulous Octave range.  More info
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This is an interesting one. Octomore Comus is peated to an immense 167ppm, then finished in sauternes casks. This has suceeded in taming the beast somewhat, but this is still a powerful, peaty dram...  More info
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$351.03
Un-chillfiltered Islay whisky from the Caol Ila distillery. This single malt spent 17 years maturing in two casks before it was bottled with an outturn of 782 bottles by Signatory in October 2013.  More info
$101.02
Whisky matured in a wine cask is almost always an interesting and worthwhile experiment, for distillers and connoisseurs alike. If you're feeling adventurous, why not take a chance on this 16 year old...  More info
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A 30 year old Caol Ila distilled in December 1982 and bottled in April 2013 by Signatory as part of their Cask Strength Collection. Matured in cask 6483, there was an outturn of 270 bottles.  More info
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You're not going to find Duncan Taylor's Single range in your local music shop next to a bunch of 7" vinyls and CDs with only two tracks on them, because these whiskies are rather different than the...  More info
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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
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A Signatory bottling of 16 year old Bowmore single malt from Islay taken from consecutive hogsheads. 502 bottles were produced at 54% as part of the Cask Strength Collection.  More info
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Well, hello there, cask strength Laphroaig! This peaty treat was distillery at the distillery on Islay in April 1997 and matured in a single refill Sherry butt for 16 years, all the way until February...  More info
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Distilled at the Bunnahabhain distillery on Islay, this 21 year old whisky has earned its place in Hunter Laing's Old Malt Cask range.

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With a presentation box almost as gorgeous as the whisky itself, you know you're in for a treat with The Duncan Taylor Single range of independently bottled single cask whiskies. This particular treat...  More info
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Bottled by our own fair hands during Fèis Ìle 2014 (the Islay whisky festival), the whisky in question was distilled in 1995 and matured for nearly 19 years in a single Oloroso butt. No filtration...  More info
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Single cask Bowmore, you say? Oh, go on then! It was distilled in 2001 and left to mature in a hogshead until it was bottled by Wemyss in 2013. As with their other independent bottlings, it has been...  More info
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Bottled by Wemyss Malts, this Bunnahabhain whisky was distilled in 1989. With a name like Maritime Embrace, you can expect a nice big Atlantic/Loch Indaal hug. 265 bottles were produced.  More info
Single malt Scotch whisky from that there Bowmore distillery on Islay! Drawn from two consecutive casks, this whisky was bottled by Signatory for the Un-Chillfiltered Collection in December 2013...  More info
$81.41
Ardbeg 1980 Kildalton
(70cl, 57.60%)
Liquid gold for any fans of Ardbeg, Kildalton is a legendary whisky, which was distilled in 1980 and release in 2004 with an outturn of 1,300, never-to-be-repeated bottles. All at natural cask...  More info
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This lovely Laphroaig was distilled in October 1996. Following that, the cask rested for 17 years until Hunter Laing bottled it up for their Old Malt Cask range in October 2013. Just 347 bottles of...  More info
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Ardbeg 1974 Provenance
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An incredibly rare, highly collectible and rather legendary bottle of vintage Ardbeg, bottled at natural cask strength. Distilled in 1974, Serge from WhiskyFun.com awarded this an astonishing 95...  More info
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