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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.

Bowmore - Batch 1 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)

50cl, 48.7%
Bowmore

This is the first batch of That Boutique-y Whisky Company’s Bowmore. This offering is a peaty style with a sherried streak running right through the middle of it. ‘That Boutique-y Whisky Company’…  More info

Bowmore - Batch 1 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)

Bruichladdich 27 Year Old DNA 1985 4th Edition

70cl, 49.3%
Bruichladdich

This is the fourth edition of Bruichladdich's very popular DNA whisky. It's made using some of the very best stock from the distillery, distilled in 1985 and aged for 27 years before bottling.…  More info

Bruichladdich 27 Year Old DNA 1985 4th Edition

Bunnahabhain 26 Year Old 1989 (cask 12627) - The First Editions (Hunter Laing)

70cl, 49.8%
Bunnahabhain

An indie bottling of 26 year old Bunnahabhain single malt Scotch whisky, aged in a refill hogshead from 1989 to 2016. Following its maturation, it was bottled by Hunter Laing for their newly…  More info

Bunnahabhain 26 Year Old 1989 (cask 12627) - The First Editions (Hunter Laing)

Caol Ila 5 Year Old 2011 (cask 11298) - Provenance (Douglas Laing) (La Maison du Whisky 60th Anniversary)

70cl, 46%
Caol Ila

Single cask Caol Ila single malt, matured in a refill hogshead for 5 years. It was distilled by the Islay-based distillery in March 2011 and bottled in September 2016 by Douglas Laing as part of…  More info

Caol Ila 5 Year Old 2011 (cask 11298) - Provenance (Douglas Laing) (La Maison du Whisky 60th Anniversary)
$71.69

Laphroaig 16 Year Old 1997 (cask 3320) - The Duncan Taylor Single

70cl, 53.7%
Laphroaig

Independently bottled Laphroaig single malt Scotch whisky, presented as part of the Duncan Taylor Single collection (and what a collection it is!). This Islay delight was distilled in April 1997 and…  More info

Laphroaig 16 Year Old 1997 (cask 3320) - The Duncan Taylor Single

Bunnahabhain Infinity 1974 (cask 604) (bottled 2014) - Samaroli

70cl, 43.6%
Bunnahabhain

Matured for around four decades, this is an independent bottling of Bunnahabhain single malt from Italian bottler Samaroli and their Concept range.  More info

Bunnahabhain Infinity 1974 (cask 604) (bottled 2014) - Samaroli
$530.58

Laphroaig 14 Year Old 2001 (cask 362) - Benchmark (Murray McDavid)

70cl, 46%
Laphroaig

14 year old single malt from the Laphroaig distillery on the Island of Islay, matured in a bourbon barrel from 2001 to October 2015. An independently release from Murray McDavid as part of their…  More info

Laphroaig 14 Year Old 2001 (cask 362) - Benchmark (Murray McDavid)

Lagavulin Islay Jazz Festival 2015

70cl, 55.4%
Lagavulin

A special bottling of Lagavulin for the 2015 Islay Jazz Festival (released a little later that year), matured in refill American oak as well as European oak casks. This bottle was part of a…  More info

Lagavulin Islay Jazz Festival 2015

Bowmore 18 Year Old 1998 (cask 800041) - Wilson & Morgan (La Maison du Whisky 60th Anniversary)

70cl, 60.2%
Bowmore

An 18 year old single malt from Bowmore, distilled on Islay in 1998 and matured in a single Sherry butt. After its maturation, it was bottled in 2016 by Italian indie bottler Wilson & Morgan and…  More info

Bowmore 18 Year Old 1998 (cask 800041) - Wilson & Morgan (La Maison du Whisky 60th Anniversary)
$164.86

Bruichladdich 20 Year Old 1992 (cask 3672) - Dimensions (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 49.3%
Bruichladdich

This is a 20 year old single cask Bruichladdich from Duncan Taylor’s Dimensions series. It was distilled in November 1992 before maturation in cask 3674. It was bottled in December of 2012.  More info

Bruichladdich 20 Year Old 1992 (cask 3672) - Dimensions (Duncan Taylor)

Laphroaig 15 Year Old (200th Anniversary Edition)

70cl, 43%
Laphroaig

In 1815, the Laphroaig distillery was founded on Islay. In 2015, the distillery celebrates its 200th anniversary. To mark the occasion, they've brought back their 15 Year Old single malt Scotch…  More info

Laphroaig 15 Year Old (200th Anniversary Edition)
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Caol Ila 6 Year Old 2009 - Hepburn's Choice (Langside)

70cl, 46%
Caol Ila

6 year old Caol Ila single malt Scotch whisky, drawn from a wine cask (a 'Tonnellerie wine finished hogshead', according to the label). This was distilled in 2009 and bottled in 2016 by Langside as…  More info

Caol Ila 6 Year Old 2009 - Hepburn's Choice (Langside)

Bunnahabhain 24 Year Old 1990 (cask 10822) - Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 40.6%
Bunnahabhain

A citrus-and-barley-rich single malt Scotch whisky from the Bunnahabhain distillery on the isle of Islay, matured in a single refill hogshead for 24 years. It was distilled in November 1990 and…  More info

Bunnahabhain 24 Year Old 1990 (cask 10822) - Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

Ardbeg 20 Year Old 1996 (casks 808 & 811) - Chieftain's (Ian Macleod)

70cl, 46.5%
Ardbeg

An indie bottling of Ardbeg - these are always exciting indeed! This one comes from Ian Macleod's Chieftain's range, and was aged in a pair of barrels for 20 years, from March 1996 to June 2016. 601…  More info

Ardbeg 20 Year Old 1996 (casks 808 & 811) - Chieftain's (Ian Macleod)

Caol Ila 35 Year Old 1980 - Old & Rare Platinum (Hunter Laing)

70cl, 52.1%
Caol Ila

Very well-aged Caol Ila - whisky enthusiast's ears perk up at just the mere uttering of the phrase! This is a 35 year old Caol Ila, distilled in September 1980 matured in a refill hogshead until…  More info

Caol Ila 35 Year Old 1980 - Old & Rare Platinum (Hunter Laing)

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
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$60.18

Bowmore Feis Ile 2014

70cl, 56.1%
Bowmore

One of two Fèis Ìle releases from Bowmore for 2014 and the only festival bottling we didn't manage to get our hands on when we visited that year. The 1,000 bottles sold out straight away you see,…  More info

Bowmore Feis Ile 2014

Bunnahabhain 34 Year Old 1979 (cask 386807) - The Duncan Taylor Single

70cl, 46.5%
Bunnahabhain

Released as part of the Duncan Taylor Single range, this is a 34 year old Bunnahabhain single malt Scotch whisky, drawn from a single Sherry oak cask. It was distilled in September 1979 and bottled…  More info

Bunnahabhain 34 Year Old 1979 (cask 386807)  - The Duncan Taylor Single

Laphroaig 18 Year Old 1997 - Berry's Best (Berry Bros. & Rudd) (La Maison du Whisky 60th Anniversary)

70cl, 52.2%
Laphroaig

An indie bottling from the wonderful Berry Bros. & Rudd, released as part of their Berry's Best range for La Maison du Whisky's 60th Anniversary. It was distilled in 1997 and matured for 18 years…  More info

Laphroaig 18 Year Old 1997 - Berry's Best (Berry Bros. & Rudd) (La Maison du Whisky 60th Anniversary)
$242.66

Caol Ila 13 Year Old 2003 (cask 301264) (Adelphi)

70cl, 58.9%
Caol Ila

This is a 13 year old Caol Ila single malt Scotch whisky, distilled in 2003 and bottled in 2016 by the folks from Adelphi. 280 bottles were produced.  More info

Caol Ila 13 Year Old 2003 (cask 301264) (Adelphi)

Ardbeg Kildalton 2014

70cl, 46%
Ardbeg

Ardbeg! Yum yum yum yum yum... The limited edition Ardbeg Kildalton 2014 is matured in ex-bourbon and ex-Sherry casks and bottled at 46% ABV with no chill-filtration. Fun fact! If the name Ardbeg…  More info

Ardbeg Kildalton 2014
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Caol Ila Feis Ile 2015

70cl, 57.3%
Caol Ila

Distilled in 1998 and matured in American oak, Moscatel casks and finally old Sherry puncheons, the 2015 Fèis Ìle bottling was bottled at a natural cask strength of 57.3% abv. This bottle was part…  More info

Caol Ila Feis Ile 2015

Bowmore 15 Year Old 2000 (cask 10794) - Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 48.4%
Bowmore

Matured in a single Sherry butt for fifteen years, 468 bottles of this Bowmore were released by Douglas Laing in December 2015 as part of their Old Particular range.  More info

Bowmore 15 Year Old 2000 (cask 10794) - Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

Ardbeg Dark Cove

70cl, 46.5%
Ardbeg

Ardbeg Dark Cove is matured in ex-bourbon and "dark Sherry casks" for "The Darkest Ardbeg Ever". If the Committee Release is anything to go by (which it is), then the hue isn't actually terribly…  More info

Ardbeg Dark Cove
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Bruichladdich 7 Year Old Quadruple-Distilled Octomore - Feis Ile 2014

70cl, 69.5%
Bruichladdich

A quadruple (!) distilled Octomore, this dangerous, perilous 'usquebaugh-baul' came off the still at 89% abv but has retained an extraordinary amount of flavour. Just 1,695 bottles have been…  More info

Bruichladdich 7 Year Old Quadruple-Distilled Octomore - Feis Ile 2014
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