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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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This is the third release of the Bruichladdich Black Arts series. The recipe is kept a strict secret and the bottle features the arcane symbols seen on earlier releases.  More info
User Rating:  (1 Review)
$143.72
Matured in two first fill Sherry butts, this 2000 vintage Caol Ila was bottled by Gordon & MacPhail in June 2012 as part of their Cask Strength range.  More info
User Rating:  (2 Reviews)
$89.90
This was distilled at Bunnahabhain in 1987, aged for 24 years and bottled for Duncan Taylor for their stellar Octave range.  More info
$275.50
A 15 year old Bunnahabhain single malt taken from two consecutive casks (hogsheads), yielding 798 bottles. Bottled by Signatory in July 2013 by Signatory without the use of chill filtration.  More info
$71.19
A rare new release from Bruichladdich, this is the third edition in the DNA series. Created by Master Distiller Jim McEwan, this was made using some of the very best casks in the Bruichladdich...  More info
$342.58
This is a Caol Ila distilled in 1990 and bottled by independent bottler Mackillops in 2012. The philosophy behind Mackillops is to take the appreciation of wine to whisky, so the whiskies selected...  More info
Since December 1991, two casks of single malt Bunnahabhain whisky sat waiting for the day when it would become part of the Signatory Un-Chillfiltered Collection. 15 years later... that day has come!  More info
$71.19
This was distilled at the Bowmore distillery in April of 1996 and aged in refill hogshead 8034 before bottling for the Director's Cut range in January of 2012. A release of 290 single cask, cask...  More info
$164.87
This was distilled at the Bowmore distillery in Autumn 2002 before a 10 year maturation in a single refill hogshead. It was bottled for the Provenance range in Winter 2012.  More info
$95.29
Bruichladdich Cuvee 640 is the first of three whiskies from the distillery's Cuvee range. This Eroica edition was aged in American oak and finished in Limousin oak brandy casks before bottling. It...  More info
$167.30
This is a stunning twenty year old Bunnahabhain from London-based retailers Berry Brothers and Rudd.  More info
$118.76
This is a 1997 vintage Bunnahabhain from Wemyss Malts - a range of whiskies named after their flavours. Driftwood is a 15 year old whisky and each cask in the range is specially selected under the eye...  More info
User Rating:  (2 Reviews)
$111.44
This single malt from the closed distillery of Port Ellen distilled in 1997 and bottled in 2012 for Douglas Laing's Old & Rare collection.  More info
$1154.77
A 23 year old Caol Ila distilled on 8th February 1990 and matured in a single cask before bottling by Montgomerie's in March 2013.  More info
$230.08
This is a 27 year old, cask-strength Caol Ila from Douglas Laing's Old and Rare Platinum Selection. It was distilled in March 1987 before a single cask maturation (in a sherry hogshead). It was...  More info
$399.78
This is a smouldering, intense Laphroaig from the Directors Cut range. It was distilled in October 1990 before a 21 year maturation in a single cask (a refill hogshead). It was then bottled in August...  More info
$327.46
A new addition of Bruichladdich Organic. This follows on from the 2003 edition, and there are only a couple of current production single malts that are certified organic. It is made with organic...  More info
User Rating:  (4 Reviews)
This Bunnahabhain is the fourth release from this distillery from independent bottler Speciality drinks.  More info
$61.65
This is a fabulous old Port Ellen from Douglas Laing's stellar Old and Rare Platinum Selection. It was distilled in August 1977, some six years before the distillery shut its doors for good, and the...  More info
User Rating:  (1 Review)
$1274.62
This is the first Bowmore bottled by Speciality Drinks for their Elements of Islay range. The range is modelled on the periodic table with each Islay distillery being reduced to a couple of letters...  More info
$84.80
Bunnahabhain distilled in 1988 and matured in a single sherry cask for 24 years? Erm, yes. Yes please.  More info
User Rating:  (1 Review)
$167.37
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Boom! Batch 4 of That Boutique-y Whisky Company's Port Ellen has landed!

After closing its doors in 1983 Port Ellen has become perhaps the most legendary whisky...  More info
A 12 year old single cask from popular Islay distillery of Laphroaig, bottled by Douglas Laing as part of the Provenance range. It is an autumn distillation and was aged in a refill hogshead.  More info
$107.67
This was distilled at the Ardbeg distillery in 1974 and it was bottled especially for Speymalt Whisky's Spirit of Scotland range. A very rare and collectible bottling from the legendary Islay...  More info
$974.17
Punchy Islay smoke from Caol Ila distillery. Bottled from two sherry hogsheads after 16 years, with an outturn of 778 bottles.  More info
$86.81

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