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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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STRICTLY ONE PER CUSTOMER

A special Kilchoman bottling produced specially for the 2014 Islay whisky festival, it was matured for around 5 years, initially in first-fill bourbon casks before...  More info
User Rating:  (1 Review)
$178.39
STRICTLY ONE PER CUSTOMER

One of Bunnahabhain's special bottlings produced for the 2014 Islay whisky festival. Distilled in November 1996, it was moved into a Cognac cask in October 2007 before...  More info
$540.95
Originally released exclusively for the Friends of the Classic Malts, this is one of five triple-matured bottlings across the Classic Malts range that are matured in refill casks, American oak...  More info
User Rating:  (1 Review)
$177.11
STRICTLY ONE PER CUSTOMER

One of two special festival releases from Bowmore for Fèis Ìle 2014, this more expensive bottling is a marriage of first-fill American oak barrel and French wine barrique...  More info
$724.89
This is an interesting one. Octomore Comus is peated to an immense 167ppm, then finished in sauternes casks. This has suceeded in taming the beast somewhat, but this is still a powerful, peaty dram...  More info
User Rating:  (2 Reviews)
$322.11
A cracking Caol Ila bottled by Gordon & MacPhail for their Connoisseurs Choice range.  More info
$79.22
Single cask Bowmore, you say? Oh, go on then! It was distilled in 2001 and left to mature in a hogshead until it was bottled by Wemyss in 2013. As with their other independent bottlings, it has been...  More info
$108.16
Douglas Laing make sure their Director's Cut releases have all the bells and whistles you'd expect; cask strength, un-chill filtered, pretty presentation box. They're obviously very proud, and who can...  More info
User Rating:  (5 Reviews)
$342.33
Batch 1 of single malt Scotch whisky from the new kid on the Islay block, Kilchoman, bottled by That Boutique-y Whisky Company. But what’s this? It seems that the new kid is schooling us on barley...  More info
Bottled by our own fair hands during Fèis Ìle 2014 (the Islay whisky festival), the whisky in question was distilled in 1995 and matured for nearly 19 years in a single Oloroso butt. No filtration...  More info
$271.52
That there Caol Ila distillery were the clever minds behind this 30 year old single malt Scotch whisky, while Signatory were the careful hands who popped the whisky into the bottles, at cask strength...  More info
$316.82
The summer of 1976 was said to be fantastic, not just for sandcastle builders and ice-cream sellers, but distillers were also very happy as that year produced some very fine barley to make some...  More info
User Rating:  (2 Reviews)
$1791.55
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
User Rating:  (2 Reviews)
Well, hello there, cask strength Laphroaig! This peaty treat was distillery at the distillery on Islay in April 1997 and matured in a single refill Sherry butt for 16 years, all the way until February...  More info
$200.95
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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 nineteen year old Bruichladdich bottled by Coopers Choice. This whisky was distilled before the distillery was closed and then successfully reopened in 2001.  More info
$106.29
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
$172.89
The oldest (so far) single malt whisky from the Islay distillery Kilchoman. Distilled in 2007, this whisky enjoyed a maturation in fresh bourbon barrels for 6 years and was subsequently bottled in...  More info
User Rating:  (3 Reviews)
$83.21
Good gosh, would you look at this! A 21 year old Ardbeg, bottled by Douglas Laing! What an amazing addition to the Old Particular range. The whisky was produced at the Islay distillery in October 1992...  More info
User Rating:  (5 Reviews)
$730.28
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
$98.71
Well aged Islay whisky from the Caol Ila distillery, you say? Now you're talking my language! That's right, this WM Cadenhead bottling of Caol Ila single malt is 33 years old.  More info
User Rating:  (1 Review)
$253.04
25 year old Bruichladdich single malt, bottled by Douglas Laing for the Old Particular selection. 227 of these wonderful bottles full of Islay whisky were made, so grab one before they're all gone.  More info
$292.99
Distilled in 1974 and bottled in November 1997, just after the Ardbeg distillery was bought by Glenmorangie, the Ardbeg Provenance is a legendary bottling of 23 year old single malt Scotch whisky...  More info
$3394.07
A 33 year old (!) Caol Ila matured in a single hogshead and then bottled by those lovely folk over at Douglas Laing in December 2013. Just 136 bottles of this wonderful Islay whisky were produced.  More info
User Rating:  (1 Review)
$459.81
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
$78.03

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