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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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30 year old Caol Ila single malt, bottled for the Duncan Taylor Single collection. This Sherried Islay dram has matured from May 1983 to February 2014, when it was bottled with an outturn of just 66...  More info
Ardbeg 17 Year Old
(70cl, 40%)
Increasingly rare, now discontinued whisky from Ardbeg. Incredibly rich and powerful, and all too easy to drink.  More info
User Rating:  (13 Reviews)
Single cask, single malt Scotch whisky from the Laphroaig distillery on Islay, bottled by Signatory for the Cask Strength Collection. This Islay whisky was matured in a refill Sherry hogshead from...  More info
Independently bottled Bunnahabhain single malt, matured in a single hogshead cask from 1991 to 2014. As with all wonderful Wemyss bottlings, it's got a yummy descriptive name, and this one goes by the...  More info
21 year old single malt Scotch whisky from the Bruichladdich distillery on Islay, bottled by Duncan Taylor. This is a single cask release from the Dimensions range, made to show off the...  More info
This single cask Bunnahabhain was distilled in October 1989 and left to mature for 24 years, all the way until April 2014, when the cask was cracked open and the whisky was bottled up by Duncan...  More info
An indie bottling of Islay single malt Scotch whisky from the Laphroaig distillery, bottled by Hunter Laing. It was drawn from a single refill hogshead cask (#10809), which was filled in July 2000 and...  More info
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
User Rating:  (1 Review)
Port Ellen alert! Port Ellen alert! That's right, we've got a Gordon & MacPhail bottling of single malt from the closed distillery on Islay, distilled in 1979, matured in refill Sherry butts and...  More info

"What in the Devil's name is this?"

Well, good friends, this is the second release of Bowmore's Devil's Casks single malt Scotch whisky, the first of which was released...  More info
User Rating:  (1 Review)
314 bottles were produced from the single refill hogshead cask that this Laphroaig whisky happily matured inside for 15 years. Part of Douglas Laing's Directors' Cut range, this wonderful Islay whisky...  More info
A first for Islay's farm distillery, Kilchoman - single malt Scotch whisky matured in port casks. It was distilled in 2011 and left to matured in ex-ruby port casks until the whisky was bottled in...  More info
User Rating:  (2 Reviews)
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
This Bruichladdich is part of the John Milroy Selection bottled by Berry Brothers and Rudd. John Milroy led the Scotch Single Malt movement in London from the early 60’s with his brother Wallace.  More info
15 year old Bowmore single malt, what a treat! This Islay whisky was distilled in January 1998 and left to mature in a single refill hogshead. Many years later, in December 2013, the chaps at Hunter...  More info
24 year old single malt from Islay's Bunnahabhain distillery, bottled by A. D. Rattray in Kirkoswald. This delicious dram was distilled in October 1989, matured in a bourbon hogshead and bottled in...  More info
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
User Rating:  (13 Reviews)
This Bunnahabhain looks to be a properly Sherried beast! It was distilled on Islay in October 1995 and matured in a Sherry hogshead for 18 years, until it was bottled in August 2014 with a tiny...  More info
Goodness gracious, look at this 34 year old Bunnahabhain! Obviously it spent all those years in Sherry oak, so expect a flavour profile brimming with Sherried goodness. The Islay distillery put the...  More info
User Rating:  (4 Reviews)
An exciting single cask release of Islay Scotch whisky from Anthony Wills' farm distillery, Kilchoman. They grow a portion of the barley used in their whiskies themselves and are one of the small...  More info
User Rating:  (3 Reviews)
A lovely, sooty Laphroaig single malt, bottled by the fine folks at Douglas Laing as part of their Directors' Cut selection. The renowned Islay distillery filled the refill hogshead (#10351) in March...  More info
You know that a distillery is getting popular when they release a gift pack, and we're happy beyond belief that Kilchoman have got to that point so quickly. This set comes with a bottle of their...  More info
The 2014 release of Kilchoman's Loch Gorm single malt, which has been fully matured in Oloroso Sherry butts from 2009 to 2014. The previous Loch Gorm release won the Islay distillery a Gold Medal in...  More info
User Rating:  (4 Reviews)
Not only is Bruichladdich Octomore the world's most heavily peated whisky, at 140 ppm, this astonishingly complex whisky has also been finished (or ACEd (Additional Cask Enhancement) in...  More info
User Rating:  (2 Reviews)
Single malt Scotch whisky from the Bowmore distillery, an Islay favourite. This was matured in a bourbon hogshead (#65, if you were wondering) from May 2000 to April 2014, bottled just shy of 14 years...  More info

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