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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 14 Year Old 2001 (cask 372) - Benchmark (Murray McDavid)

70cl, 46%
Laphroaig

An excellent indie Islay here from Murray McDavid's ace Benchmark range. One of a trio of 14 year old Laphroaig bottling, this one was drawn from cask #372, a first fill bourbon barrel that held the…  More info

Laphroaig 14 Year Old 2001 (cask 372) - Benchmark (Murray McDavid)
$122.74

Bowmore 15 Year Old Darkest

70cl, 43%
Bowmore

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

Bowmore 15 Year Old Darkest
32
$62.39

Bowmore 1987 (bottled 2017) (cask 17014) - Malts of Scotland

70cl, 51.3%
Bowmore

Single cask Bowmore, aged in a refill Sherry butt from 1987 to 2017. This incredible Islay whisky is an independent bottling from German bottler Malts of Scotland, with 253 bottles produced.  More info

Bowmore 1987 (bottled 2017) (cask 17014) - Malts of Scotland
$615.72

Bruichladdich Islay Barley 2009

70cl, 50%
Bruichladdich

It's the 2009 vintage of Bruichladdich's popular Islay Barley single malt Scotch whisky! We love that Bruichladdich specify which farms the barley came from for these releases - this time, the barley…  More info

Bruichladdich Islay Barley 2009
1
$48.51

Laphroaig QA Cask 1l

100cl, 40%
Laphroaig

A litre bottling of Laphroaig's QA Cask single malt Scotch whisky, which is initially matured in ex-bourbon barrels before ensuring a finishing period in charred American white oak casks. With this…  More info

Laphroaig QA Cask 1l
8
$62.08

Bruichladdich 10 Year Old - The Laddie Ten Second Limited Edition

70cl, 50%
Bruichladdich

A second limited edition release of 10 year old unpeated single malt whisky from the Bruichladdich distillery on the Isle of Islay, released in the latter half of 2016. This expression was drawn from…  More info

Bruichladdich 10 Year Old - The Laddie Ten Second Limited Edition
$57.06

Caol Ila 33 Year Old 1984 (cask 11620) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 49.8%
Caol Ila

Cor, a 33 year old Caol Ila single malt drawn from a single cask! This impressive whisky was distilled on the Isle of Islay in January 1984 and matured in a refill hogshead until February 2017 before…  More info

Caol Ila 33 Year Old 1984 (cask 11620) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)
$349.53

Bowmore Legend

70cl, 40%
Bowmore

A young, rather gentle Bowmore. Whilst not massively complex or full-bodied, Legend is still a great value for money malt.  More info

Bowmore Legend
19
$27.70

Bowmore Small Batch - Bourbon Cask Matured

70cl, 40%
Bowmore

Bowmore Small Batch is an elegant Islay single malt, when gets matured in both first-fill and second-fill bourbon barrels. A great introduction to Bowmore's lovely smoky flavour profile - the Small…  More info

Bowmore Small Batch - Bourbon Cask Matured
14
$39.86

Bowmore 25 Year Old 1989 (cask 10581) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 55.1%
Bowmore

A Douglas Laing bottling of 25 year old Bowmore single malt Scotch whisky, matured in a single refill hogshead cask. Back in the November 1989, this whisky was distillery on the isle of Islay and…  More info

Bowmore 25 Year Old 1989 (cask 10581) -  Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)
$314.37

Kilchoman Machir Bay Gift Pack with 2x Glasses

70cl, 46%
Kilchoman

A gift pack from the Kilchoman distillery on the west coast of Islay! This pack includes a 70cl bottle of their Machir Bay single malt (which is aged in a combination of ex-bourbon barrels and…  More info

Kilchoman Machir Bay Gift Pack with 2x Glasses
$55.34

Bruichladdich 21 Year Old 1994 (casks 776 & 777) - Cask Strength (Gordon & MacPhail)

70cl, 56.2%
Bruichladdich

A Gordon & MacPhail Cask Strength bottling of 21 year old Bruichladdich single malt, aged in a pair of refill Sherry butts. This was distilled on Islay in October 1994 and left to mature until May…  More info

Bruichladdich 21 Year Old 1994 (casks 776 & 777) - Cask Strength (Gordon & MacPhail)
$117.46

Bowmore 18 Year Old

70cl, 43%
Bowmore

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

Bowmore 18 Year Old
18
$91.17

Bruichladdich 8 Year Old - The Laddie Eight

70cl, 50%
Bruichladdich

An 8 year old single malt from Islay's Bruichladdich distillery, originally released for the Travel Retail Market. The Laddie Eight was created by Head Distiller Adam Hannett, with an aim to…  More info

Bruichladdich 8 Year Old - The Laddie Eight
$59.11

Laphroaig Select

70cl, 40%
Laphroaig

For the Laphroaig Select, the Islay distillery has taken whisky from a number of different types of cask, including Oloroso Sherry butts, white American oak, Pedro Ximenez seasoned hoggies, Quarter…  More info

Laphroaig Select
43
$38.80

Caol Ila 15 Year Old 2000 Unpeated (Special Release 2016)

70cl, 61.5%
Caol Ila

Another year and another excellent unpeated Caol Ila for the Special Releases. This is the first of these unusual Islay malts to have been distilled this millennium, being filled into refill American…  More info

Caol Ila 15 Year Old 2000 Unpeated (Special Release 2016)
$95.64

Smokehead 18 Year Old Extra Black

70cl, 46%
Smokehead

A release of 6,000 bottles of 18 year old Smokehead, packaged smartly in an "extra black" bottle. Full bodied and rich.  More info

Smokehead 18 Year Old Extra Black
9
$126.82

Laphroaig 16 Year Old 2000 (cask 11303) - Old Particular (Douglas Laing) (La Maison du Whisky 60th Anniversary)

70cl, 53.9%
Laphroaig

A single cask bottling of 16 year old Laphroaig, distilled in 2000 and bottled in August 2016 by the chaps from Douglas Laing for their Old Particular range. 315 bottles of this tasty Islay whisky…  More info

Laphroaig 16 Year Old 2000 (cask 11303) - Old Particular (Douglas Laing) (La Maison du Whisky 60th Anniversary)
$200.81

Smokehead - The Rock Edition

70cl, 43%
Smokehead

A very special, dramatic-looking edition of Smokehead single malt featuring a debossed "Smokehead Skull". Hugely peaty and very well-packaged!  More info

Smokehead - The Rock Edition
11
$36.76

Caol Ila 7 Year Old 2009 - Hepburn's Choice (Langside)

70cl, 46%
Caol Ila

An independent bottling of 7 year old Caol Ila, distilled in 2009 and bottled in 2016 after a finishing period in a wine cask - which ought to be very interesting indeed. It was bottled by Langside…  More info

Caol Ila 7 Year Old 2009 - Hepburn's Choice (Langside)
$61.77

Briny Tangle 1990 (bottled 2015) - Wemyss Malts (Bowmore)

70cl, 46%
Bowmore

A 1990 vintage Bowmore single malt Scotch whisky, bottled by Wemyss Malts. This was aged in a hogshead cask from 1990 to 2015, before being bottled at 46% ABV with an outturn of 265 bottles and given…  More info

Briny Tangle 1990 (bottled 2015) - Wemyss Malts (Bowmore)
$267.57

Ardbeg 25 Year Old 1991 (cask 11179) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 48.2%
Ardbeg

Ooh, an indie bottling of Ardbeg, and a very handsome one at that! This is a 25 year old Ardbeg, distilled in March 1991 and bottled in June 2016 by the chaps from Douglas Laing for their Xtra Old…  More info

Ardbeg 25 Year Old 1991 (cask 11179) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)
$512.54

Bruichladdich Wee Laddie Gift Pack

60cl, 50%
Bruichladdich

A Gift Pack of three 20cl bottle of single malt Scotch whisky from the Bruichladdich distillery on the Isle of Islay. Excellent for those looking to explore the reange of whiskies from this top…  More info

Bruichladdich Wee Laddie Gift Pack
$64.43

Laphroaig 12 Year Old 2004 (cask 13433) - Old Malt Cask (Hunter Laing)

70cl, 50%
Laphroaig

An indie bottling of Laphroaig single malt, which spent a dozen years maturing in a refill hogshead - from September 2004 to February 2017. Following that, the whisky was bottled by Hunter Laing as…  More info

Laphroaig 12 Year Old 2004 (cask 13433) - Old Malt Cask (Hunter Laing)
$117.46

Laphroaig An Cuan Mòr

70cl, 48%
Laphroaig

An Cuan Mòr is one of the selection of Laphroaig single malt Scotch whiskies released for the Travel Retail market. For the An Cuan Mòr, which means 'Big Ocean' in Gaelic, the whisky is initially…  More info

Laphroaig An Cuan Mòr
5
$86.02

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