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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.

Bunnahabhain 15 Year Old 1997 (casks 5578+5579) - Un-Chillfiltered (Signatory)

70cl, 46%
Bunnahabhain

A 15 year old Bunnahabhain single malt taken from two consecutive casks (hogsheads), yielding 798 bottles. Bottled by Signatory in July 2013 by Signatory without the use of chill filtration.  More info

Bunnahabhain 15 Year Old 1997 (casks 5578+5579) - Un-Chillfiltered (Signatory)

Caol Ila 22 Year Old 1990 (cask 1483) - Mackillop's Choice

70cl, 43%
Caol Ila

This is a Caol Ila distilled in 1990 and bottled by independent bottler Mackillops in 2012. The philosophy behind Mackillops is to take the appreciation of wine to whisky, so the whiskies selected…  More info

Caol Ila 22 Year Old 1990 (cask 1483) - Mackillop's Choice

Bunnahabhain 15 Year Old 1997 (casks 5573+5574) - Un-Chillfiltered (Signatory)

70cl, 46%
Bunnahabhain

Since December 1991, two casks of single malt Bunnahabhain whisky sat waiting for the day when it would become part of the Signatory Un-Chillfiltered Collection. 15 years later... that day has come!  More info

Bunnahabhain 15 Year Old 1997 (casks 5573+5574) - Un-Chillfiltered (Signatory)

Bowmore 15 Year Old 1996 (cask 8034) - Directors' Cut (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 52.20%
Bowmore

This was distilled at the Bowmore distillery in April of 1996 and aged in refill hogshead 8034 before bottling for the Director's Cut range in January of 2012. A release of 290 single cask, cask…  More info

Bowmore 15 Year Old 1996 (cask 8034)  - Directors' Cut (Douglas Laing)

Bowmore 10 Year Old 2002 (cask 9325) - Provenance (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 46%
Bowmore

This was distilled at the Bowmore distillery in Autumn 2002 before a 10 year maturation in a single refill hogshead. It was bottled for the Provenance range in Winter 2012.  More info

Bowmore 10 Year Old 2002 (cask 9325) - Provenance (Douglas Laing)

Bunnahabhain 20 Year Old 1991 (Berry Bros. & Rudd)

70cl, 46.10%
Bunnahabhain

This is a stunning twenty year old Bunnahabhain from London-based retailers Berry Brothers and Rudd.  More info

Bunnahabhain 20 Year Old 1991 (Berry Bros. & Rudd)
$82.41

Driftwood 1997 - Wemyss Malts (Bunnahabhain)

70cl, 46%
Bunnahabhain

This is a 1997 vintage Bunnahabhain from Wemyss Malts - a range of whiskies named after their flavours. Driftwood is a 15 year old whisky and each cask in the range is specially selected under the…  More info

Driftwood 1997 - Wemyss Malts (Bunnahabhain)
2
$77.33

Port Ellen 35 Years Old 1977 - Old & Rare Collection (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 49.30%
Port Ellen

This single malt from the closed distillery of Port Ellen distilled in 1997 and bottled in 2012 for Douglas Laing's Old & Rare collection.  More info

Port Ellen 35 Years Old 1977 - Old & Rare Collection (Douglas Laing)

Caol Ila 23 Year Old 1990 (cask 1477) - Rare Select (Montgomerie's)

70cl, 46%
Caol Ila

A 23 year old Caol Ila distilled on 8th February 1990 and matured in a single cask before bottling by Montgomerie's in March 2013.  More info

Caol Ila 23 Year Old 1990 (cask 1477) - Rare Select (Montgomerie's)

Caol Ila 27 Year Old 1984 - Old and Rare (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 52.20%
Caol Ila

This is a 27 year old, cask-strength Caol Ila from Douglas Laing's Old and Rare Platinum Selection. It was distilled in March 1987 before a single cask maturation (in a sherry hogshead). It was…  More info

Caol Ila 27 Year Old 1984 - Old and Rare (Douglas Laing)

Laphroaig 21 Year Old 1990 (cask 8905) - Directors' Cut (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 53.70%
Laphroaig

This is a smouldering, intense Laphroaig from the Directors Cut range. It was distilled in October 1990 before a 21 year maturation in a single cask (a refill hogshead). It was then bottled in August…  More info

Laphroaig 21 Year Old 1990 (cask 8905) - Directors' Cut (Douglas Laing)

Bruichladdich The Organic Multi Vintage

70cl, 46%
Bruichladdich

A new addition of Bruichladdich Organic. This follows on from the 2003 edition, and there are only a couple of current production single malts that are certified organic. It is made with organic…  More info

Bruichladdich The Organic Multi Vintage
5

Bn4 - Elements of Islay (Bunnahabhain)

50cl, 54.50%
Bunnahabhain

This Bunnahabhain is the fourth release from this distillery from independent bottler Speciality drinks.  More info

Bn4 - Elements of Islay (Bunnahabhain)
$42.78

Port Ellen 35 Year Old 1977 - Old and Rare Platinum (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 50.40%
Port Ellen

This is a fabulous old Port Ellen from Douglas Laing's stellar Old and Rare Platinum Selection. It was distilled in August 1977, some six years before the distillery shut its doors for good, and the…  More info

Port Ellen 35 Year Old 1977 - Old and Rare Platinum (Douglas Laing)
1

Bw1 - Elements of Islay (Bowmore)

50cl, 52.90%
Bowmore

This is the first Bowmore bottled by Speciality Drinks for their Elements of Islay range. The range is modelled on the periodic table with each Islay distillery being reduced to a couple of letters,…  More info

Bw1 - Elements of Islay (Bowmore)
$58.84

Bunnahabhain 24 Year Old 1988 (cask 4111) (Berry Bros. & Rudd)

70cl, 49.80%
Bunnahabhain

Bunnahabhain distilled in 1988 and matured in a single sherry cask for 24 years? Erm, yes. Yes please.  More info

Bunnahabhain 24 Year Old 1988 (cask 4111) (Berry Bros. & Rudd)
1
$116.14

Port Ellen - Batch 4 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)

50cl, 50.70%
Port Ellen

STRICTLY 1 PER CUSTOMER Boom! Batch 4 of That Boutique-y Whisky Company's Port Ellen has landed! After closing its doors in 1983 Port Ellen has become perhaps the most legendary whisky…  More info

Port Ellen - Batch 4 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)

Laphroaig 12 Year Old 2000 (cask 9656) - Provenance (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 46%
Laphroaig

A 12 year old single cask from popular Islay distillery of Laphroaig, bottled by Douglas Laing as part of the Provenance range. It is an autumn distillation and was aged in a refill hogshead.  More info

Laphroaig 12 Year Old 2000 (cask 9656) - Provenance (Douglas Laing)

Ardbeg 1974 (Spirit of Scotland)

70cl, 40%
Ardbeg

This was distilled at the Ardbeg distillery in 1974 and it was bottled especially for Speymalt Whisky's Spirit of Scotland range. A very rare and collectible bottling from the legendary Islay…  More info

Ardbeg 1974 (Spirit of Scotland)
$675.95

Caol Ila 16 Year Old 1996 (casks 12567+12575) - Un-Chillfiltered Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 46%
Caol Ila

Punchy Islay smoke from Caol Ila distillery. Bottled from two sherry hogsheads after 16 years, with an outturn of 778 bottles.  More info

Caol Ila 16 Year Old 1996 (casks 12567+12575) - Un-Chillfiltered Collection (Signatory)

Bunnahabhain 15 Year Old 1997 Heavily Peated - Un-Chillfiltered (Signatory)

70cl, 46%
Bunnahabhain

Made with heavily peated malt, this Bunnahabhain was aged for 15 years before being bottled by Signatory as part of their Un-Chillfiltered range.  More info

Bunnahabhain 15 Year Old 1997 Heavily Peated - Un-Chillfiltered (Signatory)

Chocolate Honeycomb 2001 - Wemyss Malts (Bunnahabhain)

70cl, 46%
Bunnahabhain

Chocolate Honeycomb. Crunchie bars then? #copyrightinfringement A fantastic single cask Bunnahabhain from Wemyss Malts.  More info

Chocolate Honeycomb 2001 - Wemyss Malts (Bunnahabhain)
$63.05

Caol Ila 30 Year Old 1982 (cask 6490) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 51.70%
Caol Ila

A 30 year old single cask Caol Ila from Signatory's excellent Cask Strength Collection. Just 253 bottles of this Islay whisky were produced, distilled in December 1982 and bottled in May 2013.  More info

Caol Ila 30 Year Old 1982 (cask 6490) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

Bunnahabhain 15 Year Old 1997 (casks 5566+5567) - Un-Chillfiltered (Signatory)

70cl, 46%
Bunnahabhain

A rare, peated Bunnahabhain from Signatory - made up of two casks, 5566 and 5567. Bottled at 46%.  More info

Bunnahabhain 15 Year Old 1997 (casks 5566+5567) - Un-Chillfiltered (Signatory)
2

Bruichladdich 19 Year Old 1992 - Un-Chillfiltered (Signatory)

70cl, 46%
Bruichladdich

A 19 year old Bruichladdich bottled by Signatory. Distilled in November 1992 and bottled in March 2012 without the use of chill filtration.  More info

Bruichladdich 19 Year Old 1992 - Un-Chillfiltered (Signatory)
$72.01

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