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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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Spirit of Hven Distillery
Released in 2004, this bottling was aged for around five years before being finished in a quarter cask for several months, the size of the cask is quite small, thus does not require such a long...  More info
User Rating:  (122 Reviews)
$49.22
Caol Ila Moch
(70cl, 43%)
Moch is Gaelic for dawn, and this release from Caol Ila is an altogether lighter prospect than the distillery's excellent 12 year old standard expression.  More info
User Rating:  (6 Reviews)
$53.07
A Distillers Edition bottling of Caol Ila single malt Scotch whisky, distilled in 2002 and bottled in 2014. Before it was bottled, it was given a finishing period in Moscatel casks to impart more rich...  More info
$66.61
A 15 year old released in January of 2007 from the legendary Bowmore distillery in Islay. This single malt has enjoyed maturation in Oloroso sherry casks.  More info
User Rating:  (23 Reviews)
$65.49
From the oldest distillery on Islay comes the fifth release of Bowmore's 10 year old Tempest single malt Scotch whisky. This annual release is matured in first-fill bourbon casks and presented at cask...  More info
User Rating:  (2 Reviews)
$58.35
This is the 2015 release of Kilchoman's fantastic Loch Gorm well-Sherried single malt Scotch whisky. For the 2015 release, along with whisky which was matured in Oloroso Sherry butts (as the previous...  More info
$82.00
This is the 5th edition of Kilchoman's very popular 100% Islay series, released in 2015 - the year of Kilchoman's 10th anniversary, we'll have you know! A lightly peated single malt Scotch whisky...  More info
$88.25
An Xtra Old Particular bottling of single malt Scotch whisky from the Caol Ila distillery on the Isle of Islay. It was distilled by Caol Ila in February 1979 and matured in a single refill hogshead...  More info
$493.66
A second of two special releases to mark the acquisition and rebirth of the Islay distillery, originally founded in 1881. Distilled in 2001 and matured in bourbon casks, 2,500 unpeated bottles were...  More info
$90.80
The Laphroaig PX Cask is made with whisky matured in three types of cask - American oak casks, Quarter casks and the titular Pedro Ximénez casks. This leads to a flavour profile which ties together...  More info
User Rating:  (1 Review)
$102.51
A gorgeous gift pack of single malt Scotch whisky from the Islay farm distillery Kilchoman, presented with two branded glasses. The whisky is the 2014 release Machir Bay, which is a vatting of 5 and 6...  More info
$58.13
26 year old Bunnahabhain, presented as part of Signatory's excellent Cask Strength Collection. This Islay single malt Scotch whisky was distilled back in October 1988 and matured in a single refill...  More info
$166.35
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
$408.00
Made from barley harvested at Rockside Farm, Islay, in 2006 and distilled in 2007. The specially selected grain, the slow distillation and carefully considered casks were vital in creating this iconic...  More info
User Rating:  (4 Reviews)
$54.49
Unveiled in 2014, Octomore 06.3 Islay Barley was made with barley grown on Islay. In fact, the crop was grown in the field known as Lorgba on Octomore farm! As ever with Bruichladdich's Octomore...  More info
User Rating:  (5 Reviews)
$185.55
Bowmore Black Rock 1l
(100cl, 40%)
A travel retail release from Bowmore, Black Rock is matured predominantly in Spanish ex-Sherry casks for a sweet-but smoky dram. Plenty of rich fruit, chewy vanilla and peat smoke, all well balanced...  More info
$63.90
Lorne Mackillop chooses the expressions that become part of the Mackillop's Choice range, and they're all absolutely top notch drams. Distilled at the Islay distillery in 1990, this Caol Ila has been...  More info
$201.91
Bunnahabhain Toiteach
(70cl, 46%)
Toiteach is Gaelic for "Smoky", a hint of what's to come. That's right, a heavily peated Bunnahabhain! A great chance to try a smoky malt from a distiller of gentle, fruity Islay whisky.  More info
User Rating:  (11 Reviews)
$76.87
A 23 year old Bunnahabhain single malt Scotch whisky, matured in a single cask from 1990 to 2014. It comes to us presented by the Vintage Malt Whisky Company's Coopers Choice range, with an outturn of...  More info
$90.80
A half bottle of the iconic, medicinal 10 year Islay's bestselling distillery, Laphroaig. This is a massive, punchy dram, it is said the medicinal character is from the high moss content in the peat.  More info
User Rating:  (6 Reviews)
$29.33
Bowmore 18 Year Old
(70cl, 43%)
A comparatively recent release from Bowmore, the 18 year old was launched in January of 2007 to replace the 17 year old. A perfumed, fruity offering from the Islay distillery.  More info
User Rating:  (11 Reviews)
$97.06
Extraordinarily aged Bunnahabhain from top bottler Douglas Laing's Xtra Old Particular range. Just 258 bottles of this historic whisky, distilled back in January 1975, were produced.  More info
$638.56
Fan's of Bowmore's wonderful peaty Islay whisky will be rather excited about this - an independent bottling of 23 year old Bowmore single malt, bottled by Montgomerie's for their Rare Select range. It...  More info
$179.98
This single malt Scotch whisky from the Bruichladdich distillery, released under the Port Charlotte name, as they do for all of their peated releases (minus the super-peated Octomore bottlings), is a...  More info
User Rating:  (3 Reviews)
$70.46
"Young & feisty" single malt from the Caol Ila distillery, presented as part of Douglas Laing's Provenance range. This Islay whisky was distilled in the autumn of 2008 and matured in two refill...  More info
$59.42
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