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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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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
$170.47
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
$76.94
This delightfully smoky Caol Ila single malt Scotch whisky was bottled by the top chaps at Wemyss. It was distilled in 1982 and left to mature in a single hogshead until 2014, when it was bottled with...  More info
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$183.14
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
$73.65
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
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$102.27
A Douglas Laing bottling of Bunnahabhain single malt Scotch whisky, drawn from a single cask and bottled in Winter 2014 for their Provenance series. Douglas Laing have described it as "young &...  More info
$74.39
8 year old Laphroaig single malt, distilled on the isle of Islay in the autumn of 2005 and matured in a single hogshead until summer 2014. It was bottled as part of Douglas Laing's Provenance range...  More info
$91.02
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
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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
$136.84
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
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$236.70
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
$146.49
Bowmore 26 Year Old 1985
(70cl, 52.30%)
This whisky is from the oldest distillery on Islay, Bowmore. This bottling is an impressive 26 years old and is bottled at 52.3% abv.  More info
$593.05
Independently bottled Islay whisky from the legendary Laphroaig distillery. It was distilled in May 1998 and matured in two casks for 14 years until January 2013, when it was bottled by Signatory...  More info
$108.33
A 33 year old Bunnahabhain distilled in April 1979 before being bottled in December 2012. Matured in cask 4761 and released as part of Duncan Taylor's Dimensions range at natural cask strength...  More info
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$340.30
Independently bottled Islay single malt Scotch whisky from the beloved Bowmore distillery. It was put into the single refill hogshead in Winter 2003 and emerged from the cask in Spring 2013, like a...  More info
$91.47
This Bunnahabhain, bottled by Wemyss Malts, is pale and golden in colour, and as the name suggests, it's a malty and full bodied dram. Bottled at 46% abv.  More info
$102.84
Single cask 5 year old Caol Ila single malt Scotch whisky, distilled on Islay in 2008 and bottled without colouring or chill-filtering for the Hepburn's Choice range in 2014 with an outturn of 414...  More info
$66.59
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A cask strength, non-chillfiltered, Spanish-Sherry-butt-finished 15 year old single malt Scotch whisky from the Bowmore distillery. As Mr. Burns would say, "Excellent!" It...  More info
This is a superb little single cask Bowmore from Speciality Drinks' Single Malts of Scotland range. It was distilled in 1985 before a 26 year maturation.  More info
$189.34
A collectible bottle of 12 year old single malt Scotch whisky from the Bunnahabhain distillery on Islay, released in the 1990s. It features the classic seafaring chap on the label, who looks to be...  More info
$110.59
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
$93.90
Ardbeg sits on the island’s Southern coast and produces its highly peated malt whisky. Ardbeg closed in July 1996, thankfully the distillery was bought by Glenmorangie plc in 1997 and the distillery...  More info
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Lovely, luscious Laphroaig single malt, bottled by Signatory at cask strength. It matured for 16 years in a single cask, from November 1996 to October 2013. A release of 271 bottled.  More info
$150.27
An autumnal single cask Laphroaig, part of Douglas Laing's Provenance range. This classic Islay single malt was distilled in the Autumn of 2005 and bottled at 8 years old in the Spring of 2014.  More info
$97.32
What many of you have been waiting for - a new batch of Ardbeg from That Boutique-y Whisky Company!!!

Geert Bero, the world's most famous Ardbeg collector and proprietor of the legendary Ardbeg Bar...  More info
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