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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.

Lp5 - Elements of Islay (Laphroaig)

50cl, 52.40%
Laphroaig

The fifth bottling of single malt Scotch whisky from the "Lp" distillery, bottled by Speciality Drinks for their Elements of Islay range, which explores many Islay distilleries and presents the…  More info

Lp5 - Elements of Islay (Laphroaig)
$77.10

Caol Ila 12 Year Old Unpeated (2011 Release)

70cl, 64%
Caol Ila

One of the best Unpeated Caol Ila's so far (as of 2011), this is a stunning whisky, distilled in 1999 and aged in first fill ex bourbon American oak casks. Really very good indeed! A release of 6,000…  More info

Caol Ila 12 Year Old Unpeated (2011 Release)
2
$74.76

Bunnahabhain 8 Year Old - The MacPhail's Collection (Gordon & MacPhail)

70cl, 43%
Bunnahabhain

An 8 year old Bunnahabhain, an Islay single malt from the smart-looking, newly packaged MacPhail's Collection.  More info

Bunnahabhain 8 Year Old - The MacPhail's Collection (Gordon & MacPhail)
3
$33.35

The Rockpool 1995 (bottled 2014) - Wemyss Malts (Bowmore)

70cl, 57.20%
Bowmore

This is a Wemyss Malts bottling of single malt Scotch whisky from the Bowmore distillery, matured in a single hogshead from 1995 to 2014. Excitingly, this one was bottled at cask strength - a robust…  More info

The Rockpool 1995 (bottled 2014) - Wemyss Malts (Bowmore)
1
$122.39

Lagavulin 1995 (bottled 2011) Pedro Ximénez Cask Finish - Distillers Edition

70cl, 43%
Lagavulin

The 1995 vintage of Lagavulin's delicious Distillers Edition. This stuff is finished in sweet Pedro Ximenez dessert sherry casks, and it's bloomin' marvelous. Very smoky and very thick, sweet and…  More info

Lagavulin 1995 (bottled 2011) Pedro Ximénez Cask Finish - Distillers Edition
10
$91.98

Bowmore 21 Year Old 1990 - Lady of the Glen (Hannah Whisky Merchants)

75cl, 50%
Bowmore

A very special release from the Lady of the Glen independent bottling range of some very Sherried Bowmore single malt Scotch whisky. It was distilled back in November 1990, left to mature in a…  More info

Bowmore 21 Year Old 1990 - Lady of the Glen (Hannah Whisky Merchants)
2
$343.56

Bowmore 18 Year Old 1996 (cask 10454) - Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 60.10%
Bowmore

18 year old single malt from Islay's Bowmore distillery, distilled back in March 1996. After spending 18 years in a single refill hogshead, Douglas Laing deemed this whisky good enough to join their…  More info

Bowmore 18 Year Old 1996 (cask 10454) - Old Particular (Douglas Laing)
$125.37

Caol Ila 17 Year Old 1996 (cask 10229) - Old Malt Cask (Hunter Laing)

70cl, 50%
Caol Ila

Hunter Laing?! What happened to that Douglas fellow who used to have his name on my Old Malt Cask bottles? Well, the Laing brothers have gone their separate ways, with Stewart retaining the popular…  More info

Caol Ila 17 Year Old 1996 (cask 10229) - Old Malt Cask (Hunter Laing)
$89.71

Bunnahabhain 4 Year Old - Tartan (La Maison Du Whisky)

70cl, 40%
Bunnahabhain

Part of La Maison du Whisky's Tartan range of independently bottled whiskies, this is a 4 year old Bunnahabhain single malt Scotch whisky from the island of Islay.  More info

Bunnahabhain 4 Year Old - Tartan (La Maison Du Whisky)
$36.32

Port Ellen 35 Year Old 1979 (cask 10355) - Directors' Cut (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 51.10%
Port Ellen

A Directors' Cut bottling from Douglas Laing of Port Ellen single malt. Yes, that Port Ellen, the one on Islay that was closed in the '80s and has remained closed ever since. Their stocks of superbly…  More info

Port Ellen 35 Year Old 1979 (cask 10355) - Directors' Cut (Douglas Laing)
$892.82

Kilchoman Machir Bay 2013 Release

70cl, 46%
Kilchoman

Produced at the artisan farm distillery Kilchoman, Machir Bay 2013 is a delicious vatting of five year old bourbon-matured whisky, and four year old bourbon-matured and Oloroso-finished malt. The…  More info

Kilchoman Machir Bay 2013 Release
12

Bunnahabhain 23 Year Old 1990 (cask 8944) - The Coopers Choice (The Vintage Malt Whisky Co.)

70cl, 46%
Bunnahabhain

A Coopers Choice bottling of Bunnahabhain single malt Scotch whisky, distilled all the way back in the glorious year 1990. The single hogshead lovingly matured the whisky until it was cracked open in…  More info

Bunnahabhain 23 Year Old 1990 (cask 8944) - The Coopers Choice (The Vintage Malt Whisky Co.)
$78.05

Laphroaig 16 Year Old 1997 (cask 10260) - Old Malt Cask (Hunter Laing)

70cl, 50%
Laphroaig

Classic peaty Islay goodness here, matured in a single refil hogshead for 16 years before being bottled by Hunter Laing in December 2013. 322 bottles of this Laphroaig were produced at 50% abv.  More info

Laphroaig 16 Year Old 1997 (cask 10260) - Old Malt Cask (Hunter Laing)
$91.43

Caol Ila 6 Year Old 2008 - Hepburn's Choice (Langside)

70cl, 46%
Caol Ila

An independent bottling of single malt from the Caol Ila distillery on the island of Islay. This 6 year old whisky was distilled in 2008 and set aside to age in a refill Sherry butt until 2015, when…  More info

Caol Ila 6 Year Old 2008 - Hepburn's Choice (Langside)
$48.85

Caol Ila Unpeated Stitchell Reserve (2013 Special Release)

70cl, 59.60%
Caol Ila

Named after distillery manager Billy Stitchell who retires this year, this bottling honours his 39 years at Caol Ila, following in the footsteps of four previous generations of his family! The eighth…  More info

Caol Ila Unpeated Stitchell Reserve (2013 Special Release)
4
$80.20

Cacao Geyser 1998 (bottled 2014) - Wemyss Malts (Bowmore)

70cl, 46%
Bowmore

An independently bottled Bowmore single malt Scotch whisky, which has been given the bold, expressive title 'Cacao Geyser' by the bottler, Wemyss. It's a 1998 vintage from the distillery on Islay,…  More info

Cacao Geyser 1998 (bottled 2014) - Wemyss Malts (Bowmore)
$77.93

Bowmore 17 Year Old 1997 (cask 2421) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 52.30%
Bowmore

From the Bowmore distillery on Islay comes a single cask single malt Scotch whisky, bottled by the wonderful chaps at Signatory. This Cask Strength Collection bottling features 17 year old whisky…  More info

Bowmore 17 Year Old 1997 (cask 2421) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)
$92.43

Bunnahabhain 23 Year Old 1979 - Lost Bottlings Series (Master of Malt)

70cl, 49.70%
Bunnahabhain

A rich and beautifully dark Bunnahabhain which we presume was aged in a very good sherry cask. This stuff was distilled in 1979 and aged for 23 long years before bottling in October 2002. This superb…  More info

Bunnahabhain 23 Year Old 1979 - Lost Bottlings Series (Master of Malt)
3

Bowmore 15 Year Old Darkest No.1 Vaults Gift Set

70cl, 43%
Bowmore

A fantastic gift set from the Islay distillery, Bowmore. It includes a 70cl bottle of Bowmore 15 Year Old Darkest single malt Scotch whisky, which has been matured in American bourbon barrels and…  More info

Bowmore 15 Year Old Darkest No.1 Vaults Gift Set
1
$93.30

Bowmore Tempest 10 Year Old - Batch 4

70cl, 55.10%
Bowmore

Bowmore's 4th release of the 10 year old, bourbon matured Tempest. Decribed on the box as being "as fresh as the sea-air with wisps of peat smoke and sweet citrus", this matches this batch…  More info

Bowmore Tempest 10 Year Old - Batch 4
1
$55.47

Caol Ila 35 Year Old 1979 (cask 10291) - Directors' Cut (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 47.10%
Caol Ila

35 year old Caol Ila single malt, good gosh! Taken from hogshead cask #10291, which lovingly matured the whisky for 35 years, from February 1979 to March 2014. After this, it was bottled by Douglas…  More info

Caol Ila 35 Year Old 1979 (cask 10291) - Directors' Cut (Douglas Laing)
$392.84

Lp4 - Elements Of Islay (Laphroaig)

50cl, 54.80%
Laphroaig

A lovely Sherried single malt, bottled for the Elements of Islay range of independent bottlings from Speciality Drinks. This is the fourth release of whisky from the distillery simply known as "Lp".…  More info

Lp4 - Elements Of Islay (Laphroaig)
$70.88

Bunnahabhain 21 Year Old 1991 (cask 5369) - Dimensions (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 48.80%
Bunnahabhain

Bunnahabhain around 20-21 years old seems good at the moment. Hard to miss to be honest.  More info

Bunnahabhain 21 Year Old 1991 (cask 5369) - Dimensions (Duncan Taylor)
$123.91

CI7 - Elements of Islay (Caol Ila)

50cl, 58.50%
Caol Ila

An Elements of Islay bottling of single malt Scotch whisky from an Islay distillery which you might be able to identify from its "chemical symbol" - Cl. Figured it out yet? Yes, that's that one.…  More info

CI7 - Elements of Islay (Caol Ila)
1
$77.10

Ardbeg 10 Year Old & Uigeadail Mini Gift Pack

75cl, 46%
Ardbeg

An ace Ardbeg gift pack, containing a full bottle of the classic Ardbeg 10 Year Old single malt Scotch whisky, as well as a 5cl miniature of Ardbeg Uigeadail. Both are excellent expressions from the…  More info

Ardbeg 10 Year Old & Uigeadail Mini Gift Pack
$49.55

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