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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.

Bunnahabhain 10 Year Old 2005 - Small Batch (WM Cadenhead)

70cl, 46%
Bunnahabhain

A tasty bit of Islay single malt here from the Bunnahabhain distillery, matured for 10 years in a pair of bourbon barrels - from 2005 to 2015. This is another delicious entry in WM Cadenhead's Small…  More info

Bunnahabhain 10 Year Old 2005 - Small Batch (WM Cadenhead)

Bruichladdich High Noon - Feis Ile 2015

50cl, 48.7%
Bruichladdich

Bruichladdich's Fèis Ìle 2015 release was the High Noon Black Art Valinch (in keeping with the theme of that year - Hoe Down!). It's a rather mysterious release, with very little known about the…  More info

Bruichladdich High Noon - Feis Ile 2015

Bruichladdich Octomore Futures 5 Year Old 2009

70cl, 50%
Bruichladdich

This is a rather rare bottling of Octomore Futures 5 Year Old, a very heavily peated single malt from Bruichladdich, distilled in February 2009 and bottled August 2014. It was peated to 258PPM,…  More info

Bruichladdich Octomore Futures 5 Year Old 2009

Caol Ila 19 Year Old 1996 (cask 10971) - Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 51.5%
Caol Ila

An Islay Old Particular here, distilled at Caol Ila in September 1996 and matured in a single refill hogshead cask until December 2015. The outturn was 313 bottles at 51.5% abv.  More info

Caol Ila 19 Year Old 1996 (cask 10971) - Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

Bruichladdich 21 Year Old 1992 (cask 3807) (Berry Bros. & Rudd)

70cl, 46%
Bruichladdich

An independent bottling of 21 year old Bruichladdich single malt Scotch whisky, presented by Berry Brothers & Rudd. It was distilled in 1992 and set aside to age in cask #3807 until 2014, when it was…  More info

Bruichladdich 21 Year Old 1992 (cask 3807) (Berry Bros. & Rudd)

Bunnahabhain 26 Year Old 1987 (cask 2464) (Berry Bros. & Rudd)

70cl, 46%
Bunnahabhain

Single cask Bunnahabhain, presented by the brilliant Berry Brothers & Rudd. This is a 26 year old Islay whisky, distilled in 1987 and left to age in cask 2464. In 2014, the cask was cracked open an…  More info

Bunnahabhain 26 Year Old 1987 (cask 2464) (Berry Bros. & Rudd)

Ardbeg - Batch 4 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)

50cl, 52.4%
Ardbeg

What many of you have been waiting for - a new batch of Ardbeg from That Boutique-y Whisky Company!!! Geert Bero, the world's most famous Ardbeg collector and proprietor of the legendary Ardbeg…  More info

Ardbeg - Batch 4 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)
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Laphroaig 24 Year Old 1990 - Old & Rare Platinum (Hunter Laing)

70cl, 51.9%
Laphroaig

An independent bottling of 24 year old Laphroaig single malt Scotch whisky, bottled for the fantastic Old & rare Platinum range. This Islay whisky was distilled in March 1990, matured in a refill…  More info

Laphroaig 24 Year Old 1990 - Old & Rare Platinum (Hunter Laing)
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Caol Ila - Batch 2 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)

50cl, 55%
Caol Ila

Hold the phone, the Paps of Jura? Prince Vuntan?! I know that view! It's the view from the still room at Caol Ila! I recognise this label too, except this one says "Batch 2" on it... [Jake has…  More info

Caol Ila - Batch 2 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)
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$51.34

Bunnahabhain 7 Year Old 2007 (cask 800092) - (Berry Bros. & Rudd)

70cl, 57%
Bunnahabhain

Bottled in 2015, this is a 7 year old single malt distilled at Bunnahbahain distillery in 2007 and matured in a single cask. It was bottled with neither artificial colouring nor chill filtration by…  More info

Bunnahabhain 7 Year Old 2007 (cask 800092) - (Berry Bros. & Rudd)

Laphroaig 10 Year Old 2005 (cask 80080) - Dimensions (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 55.9%
Laphroaig

An independent bottling of single malt Scotch whisky from one of Islay's most famous distilleries, Laphroaig. This was distilled in May 2005 and set aside to age for 10 years, until Duncan Taylor…  More info

Laphroaig 10 Year Old 2005 (cask 80080) - Dimensions (Duncan Taylor)

Bowmore 16 Year Old 1989

70cl, 51.8%
Bowmore

A cask strength 16 year old, a rare edition from a vatting of 134 casks of 1989 vintage Bowmore, most of the casks were ex-bourbon. The resultant single malt is thick and exudes fruit and floral…  More info

Bowmore 16 Year Old 1989

Caol Ila 26 Year Old 1988 (cask 4213) - Celebration of the Cask (Càrn Mòr)

70cl, 57%
Caol Ila

Q. What do you get if you put Coal Ila new make spirit into cask number 4213 (a hogshead) in December 1998 and then get Càrn Mòr to bottle it in August 2015? A. 135 bottles of this whisky!  More info

Caol Ila 26 Year Old 1988 (cask 4213) - Celebration of the Cask (Càrn Mòr)

Caol Ila 8 Year Old 2007 (casks 315331 & 315334) - Un-Chillfiltered (Signatory)

70cl, 46%
Caol Ila

Distilled in September 2007, this Coal Ila single malt spent over 8 years maturing in two ex-bourbon barrels before begin bottled at 46% in March 2016 for Signatory's Un-Chillfiltered Collection.  More info

Caol Ila 8 Year Old 2007 (casks 315331 & 315334) - Un-Chillfiltered (Signatory)

Laphroaig 15 Year Old 2001 (cask 12357) - Old Malt Cask (Hunter Laing)

70cl, 50%
Laphroaig

Sherried Laphroaig - yum yum yum! This single malt Scotch whisky was distilled on the Isle of Islay in February 2001 and aged in a refill butt until April 2016, when the chaps at Hunter Laing bottled…  More info

Laphroaig 15 Year Old 2001 (cask 12357) - Old Malt Cask (Hunter Laing)

Port Ellen 34 Year Old 1978 - 13th Release (2013 Special Release)

70cl, 55%
Port Ellen

Ah, Port Ellen, how we love you. And by 'we' I don't just mean us at MoM towers, whisky fans around the world adore this legendary malt from an Islay distillery that shut down in 1983. Diageo's…  More info

Port Ellen 34 Year Old 1978 - 13th Release (2013 Special Release)

Caol Ila 2003 (bottled 2015) - Connoisseurs Choice (Gordon & MacPhail)

70cl, 46%
Caol Ila

An independent bottling of Caol Ila single malt Scotch whiksy, presented as part of the long-running Connoisseurs Choice range by Gordon & MacPhail. It was distilled on the isle of Islay in 2003 and…  More info

Caol Ila 2003 (bottled 2015) - Connoisseurs Choice (Gordon & MacPhail)

Port Ellen 27 Year Old 1983 (cask 6101) - Provenance (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 46%
Port Ellen

A 27 year old, single cask Port Ellen, need we say more? Well, just in case we'll add that it was distilled in Spring 1983 (just before the legendary distillery closed for good) and was bottled in…  More info

Port Ellen 27 Year Old 1983 (cask 6101) - Provenance (Douglas Laing)
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Caol Ila Feis Ile 2011 - Bodega Sherry

70cl, 64.3%
Caol Ila

A fabulous cask strength release from Caol Ila, this was bottled for the 2011 Feis Ile (Islay Festival). We first tried this in the cold and rain at Caol Ila's blustery distillery day. It was just…  More info

Caol Ila Feis Ile 2011 - Bodega Sherry

Bunnahabhain 26 Year Old 1989 (casks 5811 & 5812) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 45.2%
Bunnahabhain

A Cask Strength Collection bottling of 26 year old Bunnahabhain single malt Scotch whisky, aged in a pair of hogshead casks. The distillery on Islay's north-east coast distilleried this one in…  More info

Bunnahabhain 26 Year Old 1989 (casks 5811 & 5812) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

Bunnahabhain 8 Year Old 2007 (outturn: 364 bottles) - Hepburn's Choice (Langside)

70cl, 46%
Bunnahabhain

An 8 year old independent bottling of Bunnahabhain matured in a single cask for over 8 years. Hunter Laing's Hepburn's Choice range is for their relatively younger, but still excellent, bottlings.  More info

Bunnahabhain 8 Year Old 2007 (outturn: 364 bottles) - Hepburn's Choice (Langside)

Bowmore 23 Year Old 1989 Port Matured

70cl, 50.8%
Bowmore

A 23 year old single malt from the Bowmore distillery, aged completely in port casks to compliment the floral and peaty flavours the Islay distillery is known for. Because it's such a special…  More info

Bowmore 23 Year Old 1989 Port Matured
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Caol Ila 5 Year Old 2009 - Hepburn's Choice (Langside)

70cl, 46%
Caol Ila

A 5 year old, independently bottled, quarter-cask-finish Caol ila single malt here, bottled by the folks at Langside for their Hepburn's Choice series. It was distilled in 2009 and bottled in 2015…  More info

Caol Ila 5 Year Old 2009 - Hepburn's Choice (Langside)

Bunnahabhain 43 Year Old 1969 (cask 6729) - Tantalus (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 40.5%
Bunnahabhain

The Tantalus range from Duncan Taylor is one for the collectors out there. All the whiskies in the range are extraordinarily rare, most of them having matured for over 40 years. Once Duncan Taylor…  More info

Bunnahabhain 43 Year Old 1969 (cask 6729) - Tantalus (Duncan Taylor)

Ardbeg 12 Year Old 2003 - A Rare Find (Gleann Mór) 57.8%

70cl, 57.8%
Ardbeg

214 bottles emerged from a single cask in September 2015, having been maturing since April 2003. The colour, obviously, is natural and this independently bottled Ardbeg single malt is also non…  More info

Ardbeg 12 Year Old 2003 - A Rare Find (Gleann Mór) 57.8%

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