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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.

Port Charlotte 9 Year Old 2004 (cask 1036) - The Coopers Choice (The Vintage Malt Whisky Co.)

70cl, 46%
Bruichladdich

A Cooper's Choice bottling of Port Charlotte single malt Scotch whisky, which was distilled by Bruichladdich using peated barley in 2004. It was left to age in a single cask for 9 years, before it…  More info

Port Charlotte 9 Year Old 2004 (cask 1036) - The Coopers Choice (The Vintage Malt Whisky Co.)
$72.79

Ardbeg 23 Year Old 1991 (cask 10274) - Directors' Cut (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 53.10%
Ardbeg

Hold the phone, is this an independently bottled, single cask 23 year old Ardbeg single malt Scotch whisky?! By Jove it is! A very exciting dram from one of the most renowned distilleries on Islay,…  More info

Ardbeg 23 Year Old 1991 (cask 10274) - Directors' Cut (Douglas Laing)
$529.30

Bowmore 15 Year Old 1999 (cask 10583) - Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 48.40%
Bowmore

An independent bottling of 15 year old Bowmore single malt Scotch whisky, presented as part of the Old Particular range from Douglas Laing. This Islay treat was distilled back in September 1999 (when…  More info

Bowmore 15 Year Old 1999 (cask 10583) - Old Particular (Douglas Laing)
$106.99

Bunnahabhain 25 Year Old 1989 (cask 388337) - The Duncan Taylor Single

70cl, 46%
Bunnahabhain

A Duncan Taylor bottling of 25 year old Bunnahabhain single malt Scotch whisky, matured in a Shery oak cask from October 1989 to January 2015. Following its lengthy maturation, this Islay single malt…  More info

Bunnahabhain 25 Year Old 1989 (cask 388337) - The Duncan Taylor Single
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$220.57

Bunnahabhain 35 Year Old 1978 (cask 10348) - Directors' Cut (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 45.20%
Bunnahabhain

An independent bottling of Bunnahabhain single malt Scotch whisky, which was matured in a refill hogshead for 35 long years! This Islay expression was distilled in December 1978 and bottled in June…  More info

Bunnahabhain 35 Year Old 1978 (cask 10348) - Directors' Cut (Douglas Laing)
$330.26

Ardbeg - Batch 6 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)

50cl, 48.60%
Ardbeg

Whispered about in the halls in only hushed, excited voices, this is a much anticipated release - and it's here. The sixth batch of Ardbeg single malt Scotch whisky bottled by That Boutique-y Whisky…  More info

Ardbeg -  Batch 6 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)

Caol Ila 20 Year Old 1995 (cask 10870) - Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 51.50%
Caol Ila

Malt whisky distilled at the Islay distillery Coal Ila in January 1995, matured in a single refill hogshead for two decades, and then bottled by Douglas Laing in August 2015. The outturn was 282…  More info

Caol Ila 20 Year Old 1995 (cask 10870) - Old Particular (Douglas Laing)
$114.59

Caol Ila 30 Year Old 1983 (cask 4842) - A Rare Find (Gleann Mór)

70cl, 54.80%
Caol Ila

Fancy some well-aged Caol Ila? Well Gleann Mór have just the thing for that hankering with this independently bottled Caol Ila single malt Scotch whisky, matured in a single cask for 30 years! It was…  More info

Caol Ila 30 Year Old 1983 (cask 4842) - A Rare Find (Gleann Mór)
$383.02

Bowmore 16 Year Old 1998 (cask 11211) - Old Malt Cask (Hunter Laing)

70cl, 50%
Bowmore

16 year old Bowmore single malt Scotch whisky, bottled as part of the Old Malt Cask range by Hunter Laing. This peaty Islay treat was distilled in June 1998 and set aside to age in refill hogshead…  More info

Bowmore 16 Year Old 1998 (cask 11211) - Old Malt Cask (Hunter Laing)
$85.19

Caol Ila 8 Year Old 2006 - Strictly Limited (Càrn Mòr)

70cl, 46%
Caol Ila

An independently bottled Caol Ila single malt Scotch whisky, matured in 2 bourbon barrels and bottled without chill filtration or additional colouring. It was distilled on the island of Islay in 2006…  More info

Caol Ila 8 Year Old 2006 - Strictly Limited (Càrn Mòr)
$64.39

Laphroaig 14 Year Old 2000 (cask 11209) - Old Malt Cask (Hunter Laing)

70cl, 50%
Laphroaig

An indie Islay right here, folks! This is a Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask bottling of single malt Scotch whisky from the legendary Laphroaig distillery. The whisky was matured in a single refill cask…  More info

Laphroaig 14 Year Old 2000 (cask 11209) - Old Malt Cask (Hunter Laing)
$94.97

Bowmore 16 Year Old 1998 (cask 800152) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 56.70%
Bowmore

Mature in a refill Sherry hogshead for 16 years, this Bowmore was distilled on 2nd June 1998 and bottled on 10th April 2015. A delicious offering from Signatory's Cask Strength Collection, the…  More info

Bowmore 16 Year Old 1998 (cask 800152) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)
$106.87

Bunnahabhain Mòine (cask 3180) - Feis Ile 2004

70cl, 59.60%
Bunnahabhain

Just 310 bottles of peated Bunahabhain (Mòine being Gaelic for 'peat') were released for the Fèis Ìle festival in 2004 from a single ex-bourbon cask. A rare and very hard to find bottle for Islay…  More info

Bunnahabhain Mòine (cask 3180) - Feis Ile 2004
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$355.60

Port Charlotte 13 Years Old 2001 (cask 1036) (Rest & Be Thankful)

70cl, 62.80%
Bruichladdich

An independent bottling of 13 year old Port Charlotte single malt Scotch whisky, which is the name the Bruichladdich distillery uses for their heavily peated spirit. It was distilled back in December…  More info

Port Charlotte 13 Years Old 2001 (cask 1036) (Rest & Be Thankful)
$141.54

Bruichladdich 22 Year Old 1991 - Cask Strength (Gordon & MacPhail)

70cl, 52.40%
Bruichladdich

Ooh, an indie Bruichladdich! And bottled at cask strength, no less. Very exciting stuff from Gordon & MacPahil. This Islay single malt was distilled in October 1991 and matured in refill Sherry…  More info

Bruichladdich 22 Year Old 1991 - Cask Strength (Gordon & MacPhail)
$123.42

Caol Ila 14 Years Old Unpeated (2012 Special Release)

70cl, 59.30%
Caol Ila

This is a 14 year old Caol Ila which has been made from un-peated malted barley - unusual for these Islay Distillers. The whisky has been matured in ex-Sherry casks for a fruity character which still…  More info

Caol Ila 14 Years Old Unpeated (2012 Special Release)
$109.38

Bruichladdich 21 Year Old 1993 (cask 10429) - Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 49.50%
Bruichladdich

From one of Islay's most inventive distilleries, Bruichladdich, comes this 21 year old single malt - by way of Douglas Laing's Old Particular range. It was matured in a single refill hogshead from…  More info

Bruichladdich 21 Year Old 1993 (cask 10429) - Old Particular (Douglas Laing)
$115.30

Ardbeg 21 Year Old 1994 (cask 347624) - The Duncan Taylor Single

70cl, 51.90%
Ardbeg

The Duncan Taylor Single Range ins made up almost exclusively of whiskies over 30 years old and/or from closed distilleries, but I think we'd all agree that a 21 year old Ardbeg is also something…  More info

Ardbeg 21 Year Old 1994 (cask 347624) - The Duncan Taylor Single
$350.81

Bowmore 30 Year Old 1985 (cask 1062) - A Rare Find (Gleann Mór)

70cl, 52.30%
Bowmore

This one certainly is 'A Rare Find' indeed - An independent bottling of 30 year old Bowmore single malt Scotch whisky! It was distilled back in March 1985, matured in cask #1062 and bottled in May…  More info

Bowmore 30 Year Old 1985 (cask 1062) - A Rare Find (Gleann Mór)
$362.29

Bowmore Mizunara Cask Finish

70cl, 53.90%
Bowmore

Single malt Scotch whisky from Bowmore distillery on Islay, made up of different vintages from the 1990s (so around 15-25 years old), finished in Japanese Mizunara oak! This is the first time that…  More info

Bowmore Mizunara Cask Finish
$711.33

Caol Ila 14 Year Old 2000 - Small Batch (WM Cadenhead)

70cl, 54.40%
Caol Ila

Part of WM Cadenhead's Small Batch bottlings range, this Caol Ila single malt Scotch whisky was distilled in 2000 and bottled in 2015. 576 bottles have been produced.  More info

Caol Ila 14 Year Old 2000 - Small Batch (WM Cadenhead)
$63.78

Laphroaig 14 Year Old 2001 (cask 10877) - Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 48.40%
Laphroaig

Independently bottled single malt Scotch whisky from the Laphroaig distillery, matured in a single refill butt for 14 years. It was distilled in February 2001 and bottled in 2015 by Douglas Laing as…  More info

Laphroaig 14 Year Old 2001 (cask 10877) - Old Particular (Douglas Laing)
$95.13

Bunnahabhain "Young & Feisty" (cask 10175) - Provenance (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 46%
Bunnahabhain

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

Bunnahabhain
$55.59

Caol Ila 18 Year Old 1996 (cask 10790) - Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 48.40%
Caol Ila

Awesome 18 year old Caol Ila from Douglas Laing's excellent Old Particular range. Distilled in September 1996 and bottled in May 2015.  More info

Caol Ila 18 Year Old 1996 (cask 10790) - Old Particular (Douglas Laing)
$93.24

Ardbeg 1977

70cl, 46%
Ardbeg

Rare and delicious Ardbeg! Jim Murray awarded this 96 points and described it as "simply one of the greatest experiences". This was distilled in 1977 and bottled in 2001, part of a release of 2,400…  More info

Ardbeg 1977
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