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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.

The John Milroy 19 Year Old Islay (Berry Bros. & Rudd)

70cl, 54.6%
Bruichladdich

This Bruichladdich is part of the John Milroy Selection bottled by Berry Brothers and Rudd. John Milroy led the Scotch Single Malt movement in London from the early 60’s with his brother Wallace.  More info

The John Milroy 19 Year Old Islay (Berry Bros. & Rudd)
$101.43

Bowmore 15 Year Old 1998 (cask 10228) - Old Malt Cask (Hunter Laing)

70cl, 50%
Bowmore

15 year old Bowmore single malt, what a treat! This Islay whisky was distilled in January 1998 and left to mature in a single refill hogshead. Many years later, in December 2013, the chaps at Hunter…  More info

Bowmore 15 Year Old 1998 (cask 10228) - Old Malt Cask (Hunter Laing)

Bunnahabhain 24 Year Old 1989 (cask 5753) - Cask Collection (A. D. Rattray)

70cl, 45.3%
Bunnahabhain

24 year old single malt from Islay's Bunnahabhain distillery, bottled by A. D. Rattray in Kirkoswald. This delicious dram was distilled in October 1989, matured in a bourbon hogshead and bottled in…  More info

Bunnahabhain 24 Year Old 1989 (cask 5753) - Cask Collection (A. D. Rattray)

Bunnahabhain 18 Year Old 1995 (cask 2535) - Celebration of the Cask Black Gold (Càrn Mòr)

70cl, 47.1%
Bunnahabhain

This Bunnahabhain looks to be a properly Sherried beast! It was distilled on Islay in October 1995 and matured in a Sherry hogshead for 18 years, until it was bottled in August 2014 with a tiny…  More info

Bunnahabhain 18 Year Old 1995 (cask 2535) - Celebration of the Cask Black Gold (Càrn Mòr)

Bunnahabhain 34 Year Old 1979 (cask 386831) - The Duncan Taylor Single

70cl, 45.7%
Bunnahabhain

Goodness gracious, look at this 34 year old Bunnahabhain! Obviously it spent all those years in Sherry oak, so expect a flavour profile brimming with Sherried goodness. The Islay distillery put the…  More info

Bunnahabhain 34 Year Old 1979 (cask 386831) - The Duncan Taylor Single
2

Kilchoman 2008 Single Cask Release (cask 455/2008)

70cl, 60.5%
Kilchoman

An exciting single cask release of Islay Scotch whisky from Anthony Wills' farm distillery, Kilchoman. They grow a portion of the barley used in their whiskies themselves and are one of the small…  More info

Kilchoman 2008 Single Cask Release (cask 455/2008)
3
$89.05

Laphroaig 25 Year Old 1989 (cask 10351) - Directors' Cut (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 52.3%
Laphroaig

A lovely, sooty Laphroaig single malt, bottled by the fine folks at Douglas Laing as part of their Directors' Cut selection. The renowned Islay distillery filled the refill hogshead (#10351) in March…  More info

Laphroaig 25 Year Old 1989 (cask 10351) - Directors' Cut (Douglas Laing)

Kilchoman Machir Bay 2013 Release Gift Pack with 2x Glasses

70cl, 46%
Kilchoman

You know that a distillery is getting popular when they release a gift pack, and we're happy beyond belief that Kilchoman have got to that point so quickly. This set comes with a bottle of their…  More info

Kilchoman Machir Bay 2013 Release Gift Pack with 2x Glasses
$47.20

Kilchoman Loch Gorm 2014 Release

70cl, 46%
Kilchoman

The 2014 release of Kilchoman's Loch Gorm single malt, which has been fully matured in Oloroso Sherry butts from 2009 to 2014. The previous Loch Gorm release won the Islay distillery a Gold Medal in…  More info

Kilchoman Loch Gorm 2014 Release
3
$56.65

Bowmore 13 Year Old 2000 (cask 65) - Cask Collection (A.D. Rattray)

70cl, 57.3%
Bowmore

Single malt Scotch whisky from the Bowmore distillery, an Islay favourite. This was matured in a bourbon hogshead (#65, if you were wondering) from May 2000 to April 2014, bottled just shy of 14…  More info

Bowmore 13 Year Old 2000 (cask 65) - Cask Collection (A.D. Rattray)

Laphroaig 16 Year Old 1998 (cask 10343) - Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 48.4%
Laphroaig

A classic Laphroaig, bottled for the award-winning Old Particular series by Douglas Laing. Distilled in April 1998 and bottled in May 2014 after maturing in a refill hogshead, this 16 year old single…  More info

Laphroaig 16 Year Old 1998 (cask 10343) - Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

Bunnahabhain 16 Year Old 1997 (cask 10128) - Old Malt Cask (Hunter Laing)

70cl, 50%
Bunnahabhain

Produced by the ever-reliable Bunnahabhain distillery, this single cask single malt Scotch whisky has been matured for 16 years before it was bottled by Hunter Laing for their also ever-reliable Old…  More info

Bunnahabhain 16 Year Old 1997 (cask 10128) - Old Malt Cask (Hunter Laing)

Bowmore 18 Year Old 1996 (cask 10285) - Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 48.4%
Bowmore

Distilled in March 1996 and bottled in March 2014, this 18 year old Bowmore single malt Scotch whisky features plenty of ash and smoke alongside rich barley - all excellent things, we must say. It…  More info

Bowmore 18 Year Old 1996 (cask 10285) - Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

Laphroaig 11 Year Old 2002 - Hepburn's Choice (Langside)

70cl, 46%
Laphroaig

Single cask Laphroaig! Awesome! This single malt Scotch whisky was distilled in 2002 and left to mature in a refill hoggie for 11 years, until 2014, when it was bottled with no added colouring or…  More info

Laphroaig 11 Year Old 2002 - Hepburn's Choice (Langside)
$74.95

Port Ellen 1981 (bottled 2000) - Connoisseurs Choice (Gordon & MacPhail)

70cl, 40%
Port Ellen

To say bottlings of Port Ellen are sought after is just a bit of an understatement. While the distillery remains silent, and has done since 1983, releases like this rare Gordon & MacPahil…  More info

Port Ellen 1981 (bottled 2000) - Connoisseurs Choice (Gordon & MacPhail)

Port Ellen 27 Year Old 1983 (cask 02 - bottled 2010) - Single Malts of Scotland (Speciality Drinks)

70cl, 46%
Port Ellen

This is a single cask bottling of Port Ellen single malt Scotch whisky, matured in a refill butt from February 1983 until September 2010. Part of the Single Malts of Scotland range of independent…  More info

Port Ellen 27 Year Old 1983 (cask 02 - bottled 2010) - Single Malts of Scotland (Speciality Drinks)
$492.35

Caol Ila 30 Year Old 1982 (cask 6507) - Mackillop's Choice

70cl, 56.1%
Caol Ila

A wonderful single cask release of Caol Ila single malt Scotch whisky, distilled in 1982, from the Mackillop's Choice range. 292 bottles of this delicious Islay whisky were produced from cask 6507 at…  More info

Caol Ila 30 Year Old 1982 (cask 6507) - Mackillop's Choice

Darkness! Ardbeg 21 Year Old Pedro Ximénez Cask Finish

50cl, 40.1%
Ardbeg

This gorgeous Ardbeg may not have taken on quite the same hue as some of its Darkness! siblings, but it has still spent 3 months in a tiny, specially rebuilt 50 litre first-fill Sherry cask (a fresh…  More info

Darkness! Ardbeg 21 Year Old Pedro Ximénez Cask Finish
1

Bunnahabhain 1997 14 Year Old - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 50%
Bunnahabhain

This is a fourteen year old Bunnahabhain from Douglas Laing's Old Malt Cask range. The Old Malt Cask range began as a release of fifty bottlings in 1998 to commemorate Douglas Laing's fiftieth…  More info

Bunnahabhain 1997 14 Year Old - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)

Wemyss The Malt Barn 1997 (Bunnahabhain)

70cl, 46%
Bunnahabhain

This Bunnahabhain, bottled by Wemyss Malts, is pale and golden in colour, and as the name suggests, it's a malty and full bodied dram. Bottled at 46% abv.  More info

Wemyss The Malt Barn 1997 (Bunnahabhain)
1
$71.02

Bowmore 13 Year Old 2001 - Small Batch (WM Cadenhead)

70cl, 46%
Bowmore

WM Cadenhead know their stuff when it comes to brilliant independent bottlings, so we're sure the Islay whisky fans out there will be excited about this 13 year old Bowmore single malt, distilled in…  More info

Bowmore 13 Year Old 2001 - Small Batch (WM Cadenhead)
1

Caol Ila 13 Year Old 2000 (cask 10340) - Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 48.4%
Caol Ila

An Islay favourite, Caol Ila make a glorious peated single malt. if you're looking for proof, look no further than this independent bottling of 13 year old Caol Ila, taken from a refill hogshead.…  More info

Caol Ila 13 Year Old 2000 (cask 10340) - Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

Caol Ila 5 Year Old 2008 - Hepburn's Choice (Langside)

70cl, 46%
Caol Ila

Single cask 5 year old Caol Ila single malt Scotch whisky, distilled on Islay in 2008 and bottled without colouring or chill-filtering for the Hepburn's Choice range in 2014 with an outturn of 414…  More info

Caol Ila 5 Year Old 2008 - Hepburn's Choice (Langside)
1
$45.98

Laphroaig 14 Year Old 2000 (cask 10432) - Old Malt Cask (Hunter Laing)

70cl, 50%
Laphroaig

Sherry butt-matured Laphroaig, bottled as part of Hunter Laing's Old Malt Cask range. From April 2000 to April 2014, this single malt aged in Sherry butt #10432. Afterwards, the whisky was placed…  More info

Laphroaig 14 Year Old 2000 (cask 10432) - Old Malt Cask (Hunter Laing)

Ardbeg 21 Year Old 1992 - Old Malt Cask 15th Anniversary (Hunter Laing)

70cl, 50.2%
Ardbeg

I don't want to alarm anyone, but Hunter Laing have bottled a cask of 21 year old Ardbeg single malt Scotch whisky for the 15th anniversary of their Old Malt Cask range. There were just 136 bottles…  More info

Ardbeg 21 Year Old 1992 - Old Malt Cask 15th Anniversary (Hunter Laing)
1

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