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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.

Ardbeg Uigeadail

70cl, 54.20%
Ardbeg

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

Ardbeg Uigeadail
177
$65.24

Lagavulin 16 Year Old

70cl, 43%
Lagavulin

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…  More info

Lagavulin 16 Year Old
338
$57.79

Ardbeg 10 Year Old

70cl, 46%
Ardbeg

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

Ardbeg 10 Year Old
224
$48.97

Bunnahabhain 18 Year Old

70cl, 46.30%
Bunnahabhain

In what will be seen as a positive move to whisky connoisseurs, Bunnahabhain have decided to bottle the 18 year old without chill-filtration and without colouring.  More info

Bunnahabhain 18 Year Old
21
$88.72

Darkness! Ardbeg 23 Year Old Oloroso Cask Finish

50cl, 49.10%
Ardbeg

Peat and Sherry is a combination that not everybody loves, but when it works... Wow. Also, if you subscribe to the formula 'one yummy thing + another yummy thing = a super yummy thing!' then this may…  More info

Darkness! Ardbeg 23 Year Old Oloroso Cask Finish
3
$351.87

Caol Ila 18 Year Old

70cl, 43%
Caol Ila

A wonderfully balanced expression from the core Caol Ila range, this 18 year old is malty and thick with notes of Caol Ila smoke and phenols, a lovely Islay single malt without extreme levels of peat.  More info

Caol Ila 18 Year Old
15
$99.42

Laphroaig 18 Year Old

70cl, 48%
Laphroaig

The hotly anticipated Laphroaig eighteen year-old. This expression replaced the fifteen year-old and comes at a higher strength. This is a much more exclusive affair with a powerful punch. Awesome…  More info

Laphroaig 18 Year Old
55
$124.66

The Ileach Peaty

70cl, 40%
Highlands and Islands Whisky Company

The Ileach is a peaty single malt from a secret Islay distillery, this has received rave reviews from whisky critics and has a solid core of peat and malt.  More info

The Ileach Peaty
42
$30.42

Lagavulin 1996 (bottled 2012) Pedro Ximénez Cask Finish - Distillers Edition

70cl, 43%
Lagavulin

This is a delicious 1996 vintage from the Lagavulin distillery, this was given a finish in top-quality Pedro Ximénez dessert sherry casks. The result is a mix of Lagavulin's signature smoky flavour,…  More info

Lagavulin 1996 (bottled 2012) Pedro Ximénez Cask Finish - Distillers Edition
6
$97.13

Caol Ila - Batch 2 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)

50cl, 55%
Caol Ila

Hold the phone, the Paps of Jura? Prince Vuntan?! I know that view! It's the view from the still room at Caol Ila! I recognise this label too, except this one says "Batch 2" on it... [Jake has…  More info

Caol Ila - Batch 2 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)
$57.79

Laphroaig Triple Wood

70cl, 48%
Laphroaig

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

Laphroaig Triple Wood
27
$57.65

Ardbeg Corryvreckan

70cl, 57.10%
Ardbeg

Malt Advocate's Top Whisky of the Year for 2009! This is one of the legendary Islay malts. We loved the Committee release and we weren't disappointed with this incredible dram. This was released…  More info

Ardbeg Corryvreckan
71
$78.17

Bruichladdich Octomore 07.1 5 Year Old

70cl, 59.50%
Bruichladdich

Peat fans, hold on to your hats, as here comes another Octomore from the Bruichladdich distillery on Islay! The Octomore 07.1 is a 5 year old single malt Scotch whisky, which has been peated to 208…  More info

Bruichladdich Octomore 07.1 5 Year Old
1
$120.22

Bruichladdich Islay Barley 2007

70cl, 50%
Bruichladdich

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…  More info

Bruichladdich Islay Barley 2007
4
$53.02

Bruichladdich Octomore 06.3 5 Year Old - Islay Barley

70cl, 64%
Bruichladdich

Unveiled in 2014, Octomore 06.3 Islay Barley was made with barley grown on Islay. In fact, the crop was grown in the field known as Lorgba on Octomore farm! As ever with Bruichladdich's Octomore…  More info

Bruichladdich Octomore 06.3 5 Year Old - Islay Barley
9
$174.39

Kilchoman 100% Islay - 5th Edition

70cl, 50%
Kilchoman

This is the 5th edition of Kilchoman's very popular 100% Islay series, released in 2015 - the year of Kilchoman's 10th anniversary, we'll have you know! A lightly peated single malt Scotch whisky,…  More info

Kilchoman 100% Islay - 5th Edition
2
$82.95

Bruichladdich Scottish Barley - The Classic Laddie

70cl, 50%
Bruichladdich

Created by Jim McEwan from whisky matured in American oak casks alongside Lochindaal, and chosen to represent the classic, unpeated distillery style. Bruichladdich's new signature bottling is made…  More info

Bruichladdich Scottish Barley - The Classic Laddie
18
$51.62

The Ileach Cask Strength

70cl, 58%
Highlands and Islands Whisky Company

A great Islay single malt from an unnamed distillery. The Ileach always scores well with the critics, this cask strength edition was awarded a mindblowingly high 97 points by Jim Murray in his Whisky…  More info

The Ileach Cask Strength
13
$46.69

Lagavulin 1998 (bottled 2014) Pedro Ximénez Cask Finish - Distillers Edition

70cl, 43%
Lagavulin

A Distillers Edition bottling of Lagavulin single malt Scotch whisky, distilled in 1998 and bottled in 2014 following a finishing period in Pedro Ximénez casks. These Distillers Editions have proved…  More info

Lagavulin 1998 (bottled 2014) Pedro Ximénez Cask Finish - Distillers Edition
12
$89.14

Bowmore 15 Year Old Darkest

70cl, 43%
Bowmore

A 15 year old released in January of 2007 from the legendary Bowmore distillery in Islay. This single malt has enjoyed maturation in Oloroso sherry casks.  More info

Bowmore 15 Year Old Darkest
30
$64.88

Lagavulin 12 Year Old (Special Release 2015)

70cl, 56.80%
Lagavulin

The least expensive of the 2015 Diageo Special Releases (as the unpeated Caol Ila was a 17 year old), the 12 year old is now a staple and a firm whisky fan favourite, this being the thirteenth…  More info

Lagavulin 12 Year Old (Special Release 2015)
2
$96.37

Port Charlotte Scottish Barley - Heavily Peated

70cl, 50%
Bruichladdich

Master distiller Jim McEwan specially chose the casks that create the Port Charlotte Scottish Barley, which highlight the elegance within this heavily peated single malt. Made with 100% Scottish…  More info

Port Charlotte Scottish Barley - Heavily Peated
17
$54.40

Caol Ila 12 Year Old

70cl, 43%
Caol Ila

This 12 year old is the entry level bottling from the Caol Ila distillery, launched in June of 2002 this expression is light and fresh with that distinctive Caol Ila smoke.  More info

Caol Ila 12 Year Old
82
$47.55

Bunnahabhain Ceòbanach

70cl, 46.30%
Bunnahabhain

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

Bunnahabhain Ceòbanach
10
$55.23

Bunnahabhain 25 Year Old

70cl, 46.30%
Bunnahabhain

In what will be seen as a positive move to whisky connoisseurs, Bunnahabhain have decided to bottle the 25 year old without chill-filtration and without colouring. Presented in smoked oak glass…  More info

Bunnahabhain 25 Year Old
14
$281.46

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