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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 single malt Bowmore whisky matured in a single hoggie for 16 years, from June 1997 to November 2013, until it was bottled by Signatory for the Cask Strength Collection. 309 bottles of this fab...  More info
$112.47
A sooty 17 year old Bowmore here from Douglas Laing's particularly good old Particular range. 312 bottles of this Islay whisky were produced from a single hogshead.  More info
$154.91
A winter distillation of Bowmore from indie bottlers Douglas Laing. Part of their Provenance range, this Islay single cask whisky was bottled in spring 2013 after 10 years in a refill hogshead.  More info
$99.29
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Caol Ila’s limited edition Fèis Ìle festival bottling is a triple matured release of 3,000 bottles. But pray tell, what does ‘Triple Matured’ mean in this case? Well...  More info
$324.78
Carn Mor have bottled this 22 year old, 1990 vintage Bruichladdich for their Celebration of the Cask series. Bruichladdich was mothballed during the 1990s and this whisky was distilled before this...  More info
$136.68
This is a twenty-one year old bottling of Islay's eldest distillery from the 1990's. Bowmore boasts peated and coastal qualities in abundance.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$695.90
A single cask independent bottling of Laphroaig single malt whisky, because there can never be too much Islay whisky. This release from cask 9932 was matured for 15 years before Hunter Laing bottled...  More info
$128.56
A 30 year old Caol Ila from Signatory? How delicious! Thank you. What do you mean I only get to write the bottling note, and that I don't get to take all of these home with me? Hmph. Well, I guess I...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$250.30
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
$148.41
A cask strength bottling from Mackillop's distilled at the Bowmore Distillery on Islay in April of 1989. Bottled in March of 2013 in a limited run. Sterling stuff…  More info
$265.28
This is a fourteen year old Bunnahabhain from Douglas Laing's Old Malt Cask range.

The Old Malt Cask range began as a release of fifty bottlings in 1998 to commemorate Douglas Laing's fiftieth...  More info
$144.71
Hunter Laing?! What happened to that Douglas fellow who used to have his name on my Old Malt Cask bottles? Well, the Laing brothers have gone their separate ways, with Stewart retaining the popular...  More info
$132.19
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
$116.12
A litre bottle of Lagavulin's classic 16 year old. A must have Islay malt, with oodles of complexity. The definition of smoky whisky…  More info
This is a 20 year old Bruichladdich from Signatory's Un-Chillfiltered Collection, distilled on the 25th November 1992 and aged in two hogsheads before bottling on the 11th December 2012. A release of...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$108.15
This is one of a trio of superb 21 year old single malts from Bruichladdich - the Cuvee range. Cuvee 382 "La Berenice" was matured in American oak casks before a finish in sweet Barsac and Sauternes...  More info
$175.07
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
$439.62
An 11 year old Bunnah from top independent bottlers Signatory. Matured in a single Sherry butt with an outrun of 665 bottled. Nice.  More info
$94.73
A Signatory bottling of Bowmore single malt Scotch whisky, distilled in 2001, left to mature in a refill butt and bottled in March 2014. It was released as part of the Signatory Un-Chillfiltered...  More info
$81.36
Known for their recent explosion of weird and wonderful releases, Bruichladdich are also good at just producing simple, spectacular single malt Scotch whisky, like this Berry Bros. & Rudd single cask...  More info
$180.26
Douglas Laing properly go for it with their Old and Rare Platinum range, picking only the most ridiculously desirable whiskies to join the impressive selection. Speaking of ridiculously desirable, how...  More info
$1046.26
Single cask single malt whisky from the talented Caol Ila distillery near Port Askaig on Islay, bottled by Signatory. After maturing in a hogshead for 30 years(!), it was bottled for the Cask Strength...  More info
$250.30
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
$283.10
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
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$335.84
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
$96.65

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