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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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Lagavulin 16 Year Old
(70cl, 43%)
A much sought-after single malt with the massive peat-smoke that's typical of southern Islay - but also offering richness and a dryness that turns it into a truly interesting dram. The 16 year old has...  More info
User Rating:  (259 Reviews)
$84.00
Well, this is rather exciting - Octomore single malt Scotch whisky from the Bruichladdich distillery, independently bottled by the Rest & Be Thankful Whisky Company. This heavily peated, Sauternes...  More info
$289.76
An independent bottling from the Rest & Be Thankful Whisky Company of 6 year old Octomore single malt Scotch whisky from the Bruichladdich distillery. This heavily peated dram was distilled in March...  More info
User Rating:  (1 Review)
$289.76
A stunning single cask Caol Ila single malt, matured in a refill hogshead from January 1984 to October 2014. It was bottled by Hunter Laing for their Old & Rare Platinum range, with an outturn of 246...  More info
$511.79
An independent bottling of 21 year old single malt Scotch whisky from the Bruichladdich distillery on the island of Islay. It was distilled in December 1992 and left to mature in a single cask until...  More info
$190.13
Released in a trio of travel retail bottlings, Bowmore's White Sands 17 Year Old single malt Scotch whisky gets matured in ex-bourbon casks, bringing creamy vanilla and thick treacle notes to the...  More info
User Rating:  (1 Review)
$101.52
Bowmore Black Rock 1l
(100cl, 40%)
A travel retail release from Bowmore, Black Rock is matured predominantly in Spanish ex-Sherry casks for a sweet-but smoky dram. Plenty of rich fruit, chewy vanilla and peat smoke, all well balanced...  More info
$78.06
Bowmore Gold Reef 1l
(100cl, 43%)
From Bowmore's travel retail selection, unveiled in 2014, the Gold Reef is a gorgeous coastal dram, matured mostly in first-fill ex-bourbon casks. A fantastic Islay single malt.  More info
$93.90
Bowmore Small Batch is an elegant Islay single malt, when gets matured in both first-fill and second-fill bourbon barrels. A great introduction to Bowmore's lovely smoky flavour profile - the Small...  More info
User Rating:  (3 Reviews)
$57.87
A travel retail Bruichladdich single malt Scotch whisky, made with Bere barley, which has a much lower yield than other varieties. For the 2008 vintage Bere Barley Bruichladdich (a phrase which...  More info
$85.47
A travel retail release of Bruichladdich organic single malt Scotch whisky, made with barley sourced from Mid Coul Farm, Mains of Tullibardine Farm and Coulmore farm. It's an unpeted expression, light...  More info
$100.65
An Cuan Mòr is one of the selection of Laphroaig single malt Scotch whiskies released for the Travel Retail market. For the An Cuan Mòr, which means 'Big Ocean' in Gaelic, the whisky is initially...  More info
$116.53
Bunnahabhain Ceòbanach
(70cl, 46.30%)
For the Ceòbanach (pronounced 'kyaw-bin-och'), the Bunnahabhain distillers have taken inspiration from the days when the distillery used to produced heavily peated spirit. Meaning 'Smoky mist' in...  More info
$71.97
This is an independently bottled, single cask, 21 year old Ardbeg single malt Scotch whisky. Yes, writing that sort of thing is always pretty exciting to do - almost as much as reading it! This Islay...  More info
$581.63
Celebrate all the good deeds casks do for us with a Càrn Mòr Celebration of the Cask bottling of 23 year old Bunnahabhain! What do you mean "What good deeds do casks do?" They mature whisky like this...  More info
$204.82
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An exceptional 2014 release from Laphroaig, this superb Islay single malt has been matured for 25 years in a combination of first-fill Oloroso Sherry casks and ex-American...  More info
$648.69
Fan's of Bowmore's wonderful peaty Islay whisky will be rather excited about this - an independent bottling of 23 year old Bowmore single malt, bottled by Montgomerie's for their Rare Select range. It...  More info
$219.84
A Duncan Taylor Dimensions bottling of single malt Scotch whisky from the Bunnahabhain distillery on the island of Islay. This single cask treat was distilled in February 2008 and set aside to age in...  More info
$59.00
You know how you love Bruichladdich single malt, yeah? We agree with you. It's excellent. That's why we've gone ahead and bottled a stunning 12 year old Bruichladdich which has been matured in a...  More info
$150.28
From our Master of Malt Single Cask Series comes a brilliant first-fill bourbon cask matured Bruichladdich single malt Scotch whisky, presented at a generous 57.3% ABV. It was distilled on the isle of...  More info
$139.32
A Cooper's Choice bottling of Port Charlotte single malt Scotch whisky, which was distilled by Bruichladdich using peated barley in 2004. It was left to age in a single cask for 9 years, before it was...  More info
$102.92
An independently bottled, heavily peated Bunnahabhain! This 7 year old single malt from the Bunnahabhain distillery on Islay was distilled in 2006 and matured in a single cask until 2014, when it was...  More info
$87.71
Hold on to your hats, folks, because we've gone and bottling some 23 year old Ardbeg! That's right, our Single Cask Series grows larger with the addition of a 23 year old single malt Scotch whisky...  More info
$559.07
A Douglas Laing bottling of 25 year old Bowmore single malt Scotch whisky, matured in a single refill hogshead cask. Back in the November 1989, this whisky was distillery on the isle of Islay and left...  More info
$459.85
An independent bottling of 15 year old Bowmore single malt Scotch whisky, presented as part of the Old Particular range from Douglas Laing. This Islay treat was distilled back in September 1999 (when...  More info
$153.12
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