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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.

Smokehead Extra Rare 1l

100cl, 40%
Smokehead

A heavily peated Islay single malt from Ian Macleod, Smokehead Extra Rare is a travel retail exclusive, and offer tons of flavour…  More info

Smokehead Extra Rare 1l
4
$59.39

Caol Ila 2003 (bottled 2015) - Connoisseurs Choice (Gordon & MacPhail)

70cl, 46%
Caol Ila

An independent bottling of Caol Ila single malt Scotch whiksy, presented as part of the long-running Connoisseurs Choice range by Gordon & MacPhail. It was distilled on the isle of Islay in 2003 and…  More info

Caol Ila 2003 (bottled 2015) - Connoisseurs Choice (Gordon & MacPhail)
$48.65

Caol Ila 2002 - Feis Ile 2014

70cl, 55.50%
Caol Ila

Caol Ila's Fèis Ìle 2014 bottling was selected by new distillery manager David Wood (a truly excellent name for anybody in a position to choose casks) who carries on Billy Stitchell's great work.…  More info

Caol Ila 2002 - Feis Ile 2014
$270.06

Port Ellen 27 Year Old 1983 (cask 6101) - Provenance (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 46%
Port Ellen

A 27 year old, single cask Port Ellen, need we say more? Well, just in case we'll add that it was distilled in Spring 1983 (just before the legendary distillery closed for good) and was bottled in…  More info

Port Ellen 27 Year Old 1983 (cask 6101) - Provenance (Douglas Laing)
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Caol Ila Feis Ile 2011 - Bodega Sherry

70cl, 64.30%
Caol Ila

A fabulous cask strength release from Caol Ila, this was bottled for the 2011 Feis Ile (Islay Festival). We first tried this in the cold and rain at Caol Ila's blustery distillery day. It was just…  More info

Caol Ila Feis Ile 2011 - Bodega Sherry

Bunnahabhain 26 Year Old 1989 (casks 5811 & 5812) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 45.20%
Bunnahabhain

A Cask Strength Collection bottling of 26 year old Bunnahabhain single malt Scotch whisky, aged in a pair of hogshead casks. The distillery on Islay's north-east coast distilleried this one in…  More info

Bunnahabhain 26 Year Old 1989 (casks 5811 & 5812) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)
$130.55

Bunnahabhain 8 Year Old 2007 (outturn: 364 bottles) - Hepburn's Choice (Langside)

70cl, 46%
Bunnahabhain

An 8 year old independent bottling of Bunnahabhain matured in a single cask for over 8 years. Hunter Laing's Hepburn's Choice range is for their relatively younger, but still excellent, bottlings.  More info

Bunnahabhain 8 Year Old 2007 (outturn: 364 bottles) - Hepburn's Choice (Langside)
$49.05

Caol Ila 5 Year Old 2009 - Hepburn's Choice (Langside)

70cl, 46%
Caol Ila

A 5 year old, independently bottled, quarter-cask-finish Caol ila single malt here, bottled by the folks at Langside for their Hepburn's Choice series. It was distilled in 2009 and bottled in 2015…  More info

Caol Ila 5 Year Old 2009 - Hepburn's Choice (Langside)
$56.12

Bunnahabhain 43 Year Old 1969 (cask 6729) - Tantalus (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 40.50%
Bunnahabhain

The Tantalus range from Duncan Taylor is one for the collectors out there. All the whiskies in the range are extraordinarily rare, most of them having matured for over 40 years. Once Duncan Taylor…  More info

Bunnahabhain 43 Year Old 1969 (cask 6729) - Tantalus (Duncan Taylor)
$1317.18

Ardbeg 12 Year Old 2003 - A Rare Find (Gleann Mór) 57.8%

70cl, 57.80%
Ardbeg

214 bottles emerged from a single cask in September 2015, having been maturing since April 2003. The colour, obviously, is natural and this independently bottled Ardbeg single malt is also non…  More info

Ardbeg 12 Year Old 2003 - A Rare Find (Gleann Mór) 57.8%
$97.40

Bowmore 50 Year Old 1961

70cl, 40.70%
Bowmore

Distilled on a very, very cold (as Bowmore like to emphasise) 22nd December in 1961, when 500 litres of new make were filled into a pair of American oak bourbon hogsheads. After 50 long years in…  More info

Bowmore 50 Year Old 1961
$17636.00

Bowmore 13 Year Old 2002 (bottled 2016) - A Rare Find (Gleann Mór)

70cl, 52.30%
Bowmore

Bottled in January 2016 by Gleann Mór, this is a 13 year old Bowmore single cask whisky from Islay. No chill filtration nor artificial colouring has been used and the outturn was just 204 bottles.  More info

Bowmore 13 Year Old 2002 (bottled 2016) - A Rare Find (Gleann Mór)
$82.62

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
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Ardbeg Dark Cove 2016 - Committee Release

70cl, 55%
Ardbeg

Released in 2016, this Committee Release of Dark Cove was matured in ex-bourbon and "dark Sherry casks" for "The Darkest Ardbeg Ever". Whilst the colour isn't actually that dark at all, those dark…  More info

Ardbeg Dark Cove 2016 - Committee Release
$220.39

Bruichladdich 13 Year Old 2002 (cask 10957) - Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 48.40%
Bruichladdich

13 year old single malt Scotch whisky from the Bruichladdich, matured in a refill hogshead from August 2002 to November 2015. It has been bottled by the lovely folks at Douglas Laing as part of their…  More info

Bruichladdich 13 Year Old 2002 (cask 10957) - Old Particular (Douglas Laing)
$82.59

Caol Ila Moch - Classic Malts & Food Gift Set with 2x Glasses

70cl, 43%
Caol Ila

A nice gift set including a bottle of Caol Ila Moch, 2x Classic Malts tasting glasses and a recipe book (in French).  More info

Caol Ila Moch - Classic Malts & Food Gift Set with 2x Glasses
$49.30

Port Ellen 23 Year Old 1982 - Jumping Jack (Whisky Plus)

70cl, 56.10%
Port Ellen

A rather flash release selected by Jumping Jack for Whisky Plus - a 1982 vintage Port Ellen! This bottle was part of a private collection. More detailed information and photographs of this item…  More info

Port Ellen 23 Year Old 1982 - Jumping Jack (Whisky Plus)
$935.81

Port Ellen 1980 (bottled 2015) (Lot No. RO/15/12) - Rare Old (Gordon & MacPhail)

70cl, 46%
Port Ellen

A bottling of Port Ellen single malt distilled in 1980 and bottled by Gordon & MacPhail for their Rare Old collection. The impressive whiskies from this closed Islay distillery are extremely sought…  More info

Port Ellen 1980 (bottled 2015) (Lot No. RO/15/12) - Rare Old (Gordon & MacPhail)
$745.09

Bunnahabhain 26 Year Old 1989 (cask 12142) - Old Malt Cask (Hunter Laing)

70cl, 50%
Bunnahabhain

An independent bottling of Islay single malt from the classic Old Malt Cask range, now part of Hunter Laing's offering (following the split with Douglas Laing). Distilled in October 1989, this 26…  More info

Bunnahabhain 26 Year Old 1989 (cask 12142) - Old Malt Cask (Hunter Laing)
$137.38

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
$88.83

Bunnahabhain Heavily Peated 7 Year Old 2006 (cask 800092) (Berry Bros & Rudd)

70cl, 56.10%
Bunnahabhain

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

Bunnahabhain Heavily Peated 7 Year Old 2006 (cask 800092) (Berry Bros & Rudd)
$65.95

Laphroaig 15 Year Old 2000 (cask 11708) - Old Malt Cask (Hunter Laing)

70cl, 50%
Laphroaig

Distilled in April 2000, this 15 year old Laphroaig left its old malt single cask home in July 2015. The outturn was 156 bottles.  More info

Laphroaig 15 Year Old 2000 (cask 11708) - Old Malt Cask (Hunter Laing)
$107.67

Port Ellen 30 Year Old 1983 (cask 671) Tantalus (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 52%
Port Ellen

Saying that Port Ellen whisky is sought-after is like saying jam is pretty good on toast - a massive understatement! The distillery on Islay closed in 1983, to the disappointment of many who loved…  More info

Port Ellen 30 Year Old 1983 (cask 671) Tantalus (Duncan Taylor)
2
$1990.19

Bowmore 16 Year Old 1999 (cask 11107) Feis Ile 2016 - Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 48.30%
Bowmore

A single cask Islay single malt from Bowmore bottled by Douglas Laing for Fèis Ìle 2016. Distilled in September 1999, it matured in a refill hogshead until March 2016 when the outturn was 246 bottles.  More info

Bowmore 16 Year Old 1999 (cask 11107) Feis Ile 2016 - Old Particular (Douglas Laing)
$101.20

Ardbeg Alligator - Committee Release

70cl, 51.20%
Ardbeg

The Committee Release of Ardbeg Alligator, so named for the barrels it was aged in; the American oak casks were given such an intense char, the resulting charcoal surface resembled alligator skin!…  More info

Ardbeg Alligator - Committee Release
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