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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.

Laphroaig 17 Year Old 1996 (cask 8518) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 53.70%
Laphroaig

Single cask, independently bottled Islay whisky from the very popular Laphroaig distillery, yippee! This cask strength Signatory release was distilled in November 1996 and bottled in October 2013…  More info

Laphroaig 17 Year Old 1996 (cask 8518) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)
$112.40

Bruichladdich 20 Year Old 1993 - Small Batch (WM Cadenhead)

70cl, 51.60%
Bruichladdich

Here's a great chance to get your hands on a 20 year old Bruichladdich single malt! This Islay expression matured from 1993 to 2013, when it was bottled by WM Cadenhead with an outturn of 738 bottles.  More info

Bruichladdich 20 Year Old 1993 - Small Batch (WM Cadenhead)
$74.23

Bruichladdich 20 Year Old 1992 (Cask 975947) - The Octave (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 50.20%
Bruichladdich

This 20 year old Bruichladdich has been finished in an ex-sherrywood octave cask, which are one-eighth the size of a regular sherry butt. This is done to increase the amount of interaction between…  More info

Bruichladdich 20 Year Old 1992 (Cask 975947) - The Octave (Duncan Taylor)
$141.32

Bruichladdich 21 Year Old 1992 (casks 3651+3654) - Un-Chillfiltered (Signatory)

70cl, 46%
Bruichladdich

One fateful day in October 1992, the Bruichladdich distillery on Islay, filled 2 casks with their spirit and left them to mature. 21 years later, in February 2014, a second fateful date occurred when…  More info

Bruichladdich 21 Year Old 1992 (casks 3651+3654) - Un-Chillfiltered (Signatory)
$75.58

Caol Ila 19 Year Old 1995 (casks 457+458) - Un-Chillfiltered (Signatory)

70cl, 46%
Caol Ila

This 19 year old single malt Caol Ila laughs in the face of chill-filtration! It was drawn from two hogsheads by Signatory, producing 692 bottles of scrumptious Islay whisky.  More info

Caol Ila 19 Year Old 1995 (casks 457+458) - Un-Chillfiltered (Signatory)
$77.93

Bunnahabhain 20 Year Old 1991 (cask 7957) - Directors' Cut (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 49.60%
Bunnahabhain

An astonishing 20 year old single cask Bunnahabhain, bottled for the premium Director's Cut range from Douglas Laing. Expect a big ol' whack of flavour and complexity from this gem…  More info

Bunnahabhain 20 Year Old 1991 (cask 7957) - Directors' Cut (Douglas Laing)
$116.77

Maritime Embrace 1989 - Wemyss Malt (Bunnahabhain)

70cl, 46%
Bunnahabhain

Bottled by Wemyss Malts, this Bunnahabhain whisky was distilled in 1989. With a name like Maritime Embrace, you can expect a nice big Atlantic/Loch Indaal hug. 265 bottles were produced.  More info

Maritime Embrace 1989 - Wemyss Malt (Bunnahabhain)

Bowmore 13 Year Old 2000 (casks 1441+1442) - Un-Chillfiltered (Signatory)

70cl, 46%
Bowmore

Single malt Scotch whisky from that there Bowmore distillery on Islay! Drawn from two consecutive casks, this whisky was bottled by Signatory for the Un-Chillfiltered Collection in December 2013,…  More info

Bowmore 13 Year Old 2000 (casks 1441+1442) - Un-Chillfiltered (Signatory)
$52.86

Bunnahabhain 11 Year Old 2002 (cask 423) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 56.10%
Bunnahabhain

An 11 year old Bunnah, distilled in 2002 and bottled by Signatory for their Cask Strength Collection in 2013. 669 bottles were produced from the butt.  More info

Bunnahabhain 11 Year Old 2002 (cask 423) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)
$61.14

Bruichladdich 21 Year Old 1991 - Authentic Collection (WM Cadenhead)

70cl, 52.10%
Bruichladdich

Distilled by Bruichladdich at their glorious Islay distillery 21 years ago, this WM Cadenhead release of single malt Scotch whisky has been bottled at cask strength out an outturn of 276 bottles.  More info

Bruichladdich 21 Year Old 1991 - Authentic Collection (WM Cadenhead)
1
$71.27

Bowmore 17 Year Old 1996 (cask 10125) - Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 48.40%
Bowmore

A sooty 17 year old Bowmore here from Douglas Laing's particularly good old Particular range. 312 bottles of this Islay whisky were produced from a single hogshead.  More info

Bowmore 17 Year Old 1996 (cask 10125) - Old Particular (Douglas Laing)
$105.13

Bowmore 16 Year Old 1997 (casks 1914+1915) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 54%
Bowmore

A Signatory bottling of 16 year old Bowmore single malt from Islay taken from consecutive hogsheads. 502 bottles were produced at 54% as part of the Cask Strength Collection.  More info

Bowmore 16 Year Old 1997 (casks 1914+1915) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)
$76.32

Ardbeg 1980 Kildalton

70cl, 57.60%
Ardbeg

Liquid gold for any fans of Ardbeg, Kildalton is a legendary whisky, which was distilled in 1980 and release in 2004 with an outturn of 1,300, never-to-be-repeated bottles. All at natural cask…  More info

Ardbeg 1980 Kildalton
$1053.20

Bunnahabhain 33 Year Old 1979 (cask 4761) - Dimensions (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 50.60%
Bunnahabhain

A 33 year old Bunnahabhain distilled in April 1979 before being bottled in December 2012. Matured in cask 4761 and released as part of Duncan Taylor's Dimensions range at natural cask strength,…  More info

Bunnahabhain 33 Year Old 1979 (cask 4761) - Dimensions (Duncan Taylor)
4
$244.21

Bruichladdich 20 Year Old 1992 - Un-Chillfiltered (Signatory)

70cl, 46%
Bruichladdich

This is a 20 year old Bruichladdich from Signatory's Un-Chillfiltered Collection, distilled on the 25th November 1992 and aged in two hogsheads before bottling on the 11th December 2012. A release of…  More info

Bruichladdich 20 Year Old 1992  - Un-Chillfiltered (Signatory)
1
$73.38

Laphroaig 16 Year Old 1996 (cask 8517) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 51.30%
Laphroaig

Lovely, luscious Laphroaig single malt, bottled by Signatory at cask strength. It matured for 16 years in a single cask, from November 1996 to October 2013. A release of 271 bottled.  More info

Laphroaig 16 Year Old 1996 (cask 8517) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)
$107.84

Bowmore 10 Year Old 2002 (cask 9574) - Provenance (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 46%
Bowmore

A winter distillation of Bowmore from indie bottlers Douglas Laing. Part of their Provenance range, this Islay single cask whisky was bottled in spring 2013 after 10 years in a refill hogshead.  More info

Bowmore 10 Year Old 2002 (cask 9574) - Provenance (Douglas Laing)
$67.38

Ardbeg - Batch 2 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)

50cl, 50.90%
Ardbeg

Ardbeg sits on the island’s Southern coast and produces its highly peated malt whisky. Ardbeg closed in July 1996, thankfully the distillery was bought by Glenmorangie plc in 1997 and the distillery…  More info

Ardbeg - Batch 2 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)
3

Caol Ila 30 Year Old 1982 (cask 6493) - (Cask Strength Collection) Signatory

70cl, 54.30%
Caol Ila

A 30 year old Caol Ila from Signatory? How delicious! Thank you. What do you mean I only get to write the bottling note, and that I don't get to take all of these home with me? Hmph. Well, I guess I…  More info

Caol Ila 30 Year Old 1982 (cask 6493) - (Cask Strength Collection) Signatory
1
$169.86

Bowmore 26 Year Old 1985 - The Single Malts of Scotland (Speciality Drinks)

70cl, 54.90%
Bowmore

This is a superb little single cask Bowmore from Speciality Drinks' Single Malts of Scotland range. It was distilled in 1985 before a 26 year maturation.  More info

Bowmore 26 Year Old 1985 - The Single Malts of Scotland (Speciality Drinks)
$135.87

Bowmore 46 Year Old 1964

70cl, 42.90%
Bowmore

This is a forty-six year old Bowmore presented in a beautiful glass bottle and wooden box. The whisky has been gently maturing in ex-Bourbon cask for almost half a century and was then finished in…  More info

Bowmore 46 Year Old 1964
10
$11021.40

Bowmore 16 Year Old 1997 - Wine Cask (WM Cadenhead)

70cl, 54.80%
Bowmore

Whisky matured in a wine cask is almost always an interesting and worthwhile experiment, for distillers and connoisseurs alike. If you're feeling adventurous, why not take a chance on this 16 year…  More info

Bowmore 16 Year Old 1997 - Wine Cask (WM Cadenhead)
$64.39

Laphroaig 15 Year Old 1998 (cask 700351) - Un-Chillfiltered (Signatory)

70cl, 46%
Laphroaig

An independent bottling of 15 year old Laphroaig single malt Scotch whisky. Part of Signatory's Un-Chillfiltered Collection, meaning it has all those lovely oils intact. 810 bottles were produced.  More info

Laphroaig 15 Year Old 1998 (cask 700351) - Un-Chillfiltered (Signatory)
$66.56

Caol Ila 17 Year Old 1996 (casks 12569+12571) - Unchillfiltered (Signatory)

70cl, 46%
Caol Ila

Un-chillfiltered Islay whisky from the Caol Ila distillery. This single malt spent 17 years maturing in two casks before it was bottled with an outturn of 782 bottles by Signatory in October 2013.  More info

Caol Ila 17 Year Old 1996 (casks 12569+12571) - Unchillfiltered (Signatory)
$65.58

Ardbeg 1974 Provenance

70cl, 55.60%
Ardbeg

An incredibly rare, highly collectible and rather legendary bottle of vintage Ardbeg, bottled at natural cask strength. Distilled in 1974, Serge from WhiskyFun.com awarded this an astonishing 95…  More info

Ardbeg 1974 Provenance
$1773.37

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