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

70cl, 51.3%
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)

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)

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

50cl, 50.9%
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)
2

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

70cl, 54.3%
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

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

70cl, 54.9%
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)
$129.92

Bowmore 46 Year Old 1964

70cl, 42.9%
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
4
$10,538.78

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

70cl, 54.8%
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)

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)

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)

Ardbeg 1974 Provenance

70cl, 55.6%
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
$1,695.72

Caol Ila 30 Year Old 1982 (cask 6487) - (Cask Strength Collection) Signatory

70cl, 53%
Caol Ila

Single cask single malt whisky from the talented Caol Ila distillery near Port Askaig on Islay, bottled by Signatory. After maturing in a hogshead for 30 years(!), it was bottled for the Cask…  More info

Caol Ila 30 Year Old 1982 (cask 6487) - (Cask Strength Collection) Signatory

Laphroaig 17 Year Old 1996 (cask 10125) - Old Malt Cask (Hunter Laing)

70cl, 50%
Laphroaig

This lovely Laphroaig was distilled in October 1996. Following that, the cask rested for 17 years until Hunter Laing bottled it up for their Old Malt Cask range in October 2013. Just 347 bottles of…  More info

Laphroaig 17 Year Old 1996 (cask 10125) - Old Malt Cask (Hunter Laing)

Bunnahabhain 11 Year Old 2002 (cask 421) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 56.8%
Bunnahabhain

Ooooh, a Signatory bottling of 11 year old cask strength, single cask Bunnahabhain Islay single malt Scotch whisky that was matured in a sherry butt. Nice. Just 677 of these little beauties were made.  More info

Bunnahabhain 11 Year Old 2002 (cask 421) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

Bowmore 16 Year Old 1997 (cask 1913) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 57%
Bowmore

This single malt Bowmore whisky matured in a single hoggie for 16 years, from June 1997 to November 2013, until it was bottled by Signatory for the Cask Strength Collection. 309 bottles of this fab…  More info

Bowmore 16 Year Old 1997 (cask 1913) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

Ardbeg Supernova 2010 (SN2010) 2nd release

70cl, 60.1%
Ardbeg

Quite possibly the most exciting new whisky release for 2010! This is the brand new Supernova, stronger, more pungent in flavour, and more earthy than last year's Supernova - which Jim Murray rated…  More info

Ardbeg Supernova 2010 (SN2010) 2nd release
5
$184.39

Bowmore 21 Year Old 1974

70cl, 40%
Bowmore

This is a twenty-one year old bottling of Islay's eldest distillery from the 1990's. Bowmore boasts peated and coastal qualities in abundance.  More info

Bowmore 21 Year Old 1974
1
$451.55

Caol Ila 17 Year Old 1996 (cask 10020) - Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 48.4%
Caol Ila

A Douglas Laing bottling of 17 year old single malt from the particularly talented Islay distillery, Caol Ila. Oh, what a coincidence! I used the word "particularly" and this is an Old Particular…  More info

Caol Ila 17 Year Old 1996 (cask 10020) - Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

Bunnahabhain 21 Year Old 1989 (cask 5755) (Berry Bros. & Rudd)

70cl, 51.4%
Bunnahabhain

This was distilled at the Bunnahabhain distillery in 1989 before a 21 year maturation in a single cask (number 5755). It was bottled for Berry Brothers and Rudd in 2012 and it comes at natural cask…  More info

Bunnahabhain 21 Year Old 1989 (cask 5755) (Berry Bros. & Rudd)
$101.87

Caol Ila 30 Year Old 1983 (cask 405009) - The Duncan Taylor Single

70cl, 54.7%
Caol Ila

With a presentation box almost as gorgeous as the whisky itself, you know you're in for a treat with The Duncan Taylor Single range of independently bottled single cask whiskies. This particular…  More info

Caol Ila 30 Year Old 1983 (cask 405009) - The Duncan Taylor Single

Lagavulin 12 Year Old (2012 Special Release)

70cl, 56.1%
Lagavulin

This is the astounding 11th release of one of our favourite cask-strength whiskies - Lagavulin 12 year old. This 2012 edition is a smoky, zesty whisky with masses of character.  More info

Lagavulin 12 Year Old (2012 Special Release)
5
$71.16

Lagavulin 37 Year Old 1976 (2013 Special Release)

70cl, 51%
Lagavulin

STRICTLY 1 PER CUSTOMER The oldest official bottling of Lagavulin ever released. This rare, natural cask strength gem of limited release was distilled back in 1976 before being matured in refill…  More info

Lagavulin 37 Year Old 1976 (2013 Special Release)
$2,055.27

Bunnahabhain 24 Year Old 1989 (Cask 5666) - Dimensions (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 49.2%
Bunnahabhain

Duncan Taylor bottled this 24 year old Bunnahhabhain single malt Scotch whisky for their Dimensions series, which shows off the multitude of dimensions that exist within their vast catalogue of…  More info

Bunnahabhain 24 Year Old 1989 (Cask 5666) - Dimensions (Duncan Taylor)

Caol Ila 29 Year Old 1984 - Old Malt Cask 15th Anniversary (Hunter Laing)

70cl, 50.2%
Caol Ila

Bottled by Hunter Laing as part of their Old Malt Cask selection, which has reached its 15th anniversary! There's obviously no better way to celebrate this milestone that with some 29 year old Caol…  More info

Caol Ila 29 Year Old 1984 - Old Malt Cask 15th Anniversary (Hunter Laing)

Bunnahabhain 11 Year Old 2001 - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 50%
Bunnahabhain

This is a rich, sherry-matured Bunnahabhain from Douglas Laing's Old Malt Cask range. It was distilled in December 2001 and was aged for 11 years before bottling in early 2013. This is a release of…  More info

Bunnahabhain 11 Year Old 2001 - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)

Bunnahabhain 20 Year Old 1991 - Batch 0002 - Dimensions (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 46%
Bunnahabhain

The second batch of sherried Bunnahabhain distilled in December 1991 and bottled by Duncan Taylor. This release was matured for 20 years.  More info

Bunnahabhain 20 Year Old 1991 - Batch 0002 - Dimensions (Duncan Taylor)

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