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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
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$82.80
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
$285.63
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
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$285.63
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
$504.49
An independently bottled single malt from one of the most famous closed Scottish distilleries - the Port Ellen distillery on the island of Islay. It was distilled in October 1982 and matured in a...  More info
$1362.00
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
$187.42
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
$123.44
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
$77.12
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
$92.56
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
$57.05
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
$84.25
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
$99.21
Fancy some cask strength Caol Ila single malt? Well lucky you, we've got some right here, bottled by the one and only Gordon & MacPhail! This is a 12 year old Caol Ila, distilled in September 2003 and...  More info
$81.81
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
$70.94
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
$573.33
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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
$614.80
A Douglas Laing bottling of Laphroaig single malt Scotch whisky, matured in a single cask for 8 years. It was distilled in autumn 2005, aged in a refill hogshead for 8 years and bottled in summer 2014...  More info
$91.59
From the Bowmore distillery on Islay comes a single cask single malt Scotch whisky, bottled by the wonderful chaps at Signatory. This Cask Strength Collection bottling features 17 year old whisky...  More info
$129.46
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
$216.70
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
$58.16
A Distillers Edition bottling of Caol Ila single malt Scotch whisky, distilled in 2002 and bottled in 2014. Before it was bottled, it was given a finishing period in Moscatel casks to impart more rich...  More info
$80.21
Ardbeg Uigeadail
(70cl, 54.20%)
Uigeadail derives from the Scotch Gaelic for 'Dark and Mysterious Place' and is named for the Loch from whence Ardbeg draws its waters. Jim Murray's 2009 World Whisky of the Year, this cask-strength...  More info
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$76.24
The sixth edition of experimental Octomore, famous for being made with the most heavily peated barley on the planet. Bruichladdich are still able to impart a delicate, graceful emphasis within this...  More info
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$145.53
Laphroaig Triple Wood
(70cl, 48%)
An incredible new release from Laphroaig. This was originally launched for the duty free market, and it is a tour de force from the Islay distillery. First off, they mature this in bourbon barrels...  More info
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$71.53
Ardbeg 10 Year Old
(70cl, 46%)
Jim Murray's 2008 World Whisky of the Year! When Ardbeg 10 was released it was the first expression from the distillery not to be chill-filtered. It's a true classic from Islay, and a must have for...  More info
User Rating: 
$56.11
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