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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.

Islay Whisky

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Bw3 is the third instalment of Bowmore single malt Scotch whisky for Speciality Drinks' Elements of Islay range. It doesn't take a scientist to know that this should be some tasty independently...  More info
$89.17
From one of the excellent distilleries on the Island of Islay comes this edition of Mackillop's Choice. Give a warm welcome to the Bowmore 1990, which was distilled in April 1990 and bottled in July...  More info
$246.17
Ooh, an indie Bruichladdich! And bottled at cask strength, no less. Very exciting stuff from Gordon & MacPahil. This Islay single malt was distilled in October 1991 and matured in refill Sherry...  More info
$143.92
A Hunter Laing bottling of single malt Scotch whisky from one of the most renowned closed distilleries in Scotland - Port Ellen. Distilled at the Islay distillery in September 1978 and aged in a...  More info
$1922.25
Released as part of the Tantalus collection, this is an incredible 31 year old Bowmore single malt Scotch whisky which has been bottled by Duncan Taylor. As with all Tantalus releases, it comes with a...  More info
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Distilled in 1974 and bottled in November 1997, just after the Ardbeg distillery was bought by Glenmorangie, the Ardbeg Provenance is a legendary bottling of 23 year old single malt Scotch whisky...  More info
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From one of Islay's most inventive distilleries, Bruichladdich, comes this 21 year old single malt - by way of Douglas Laing's Old Particular range. It was matured in a single refill hogshead from May...  More info
$150.49
This is a youthful, small-batch bottling of Caol Ila from the Provenance range, bottled in Winter 2012 without an age statement. It was described by the bottlers as "Young and Feisty".  More info
$89.52
A single cask bottling of single malt Scotch whisky from one of Islay's most respected and loved distilleries - Ardbeg. This Duncan Taylor Single bottling contains whisky distilled in May 1994 and...  More info
$700.34
Unveiled in 2014, Octomore 06.3 Islay Barley was made with barley grown on Islay. In fact, the crop was grown in the field known as Lorgba on Octomore farm! As ever with Bruichladdich's Octomore...  More info
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$215.24
25 year old malt from Islay's most prolific distillery - Caol Ila. Sweet Smooth, and very 'sherbet-lemony'. Only a hint of Smoke, and just superb.  More info
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$214.11
The fifth bottling of single malt Scotch whisky from the "Lp" distillery, bottled by Speciality Drinks for their Elements of Islay range, which explores many Islay distilleries and presents the...  More info
$104.04
Hold the phone, is this an independently bottled, single cask 23 year old Ardbeg single malt Scotch whisky?! By Jove it is! A very exciting dram from one of the most renowned distilleries on Islay...  More info
$699.06
An indie bottling of 10 year old Caol Ila single malt. It was distilled on Islay in 2003 and matured until 2014, when it was bottled with an outturn of 738 bottles. We have WM Cadenhead to thank for...  More info
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A Douglas Laing bottling of Bunnahabhain single malt Scotch whisky, drawn from a single cask and bottled in Winter 2014 for their Provenance series. Douglas Laing have described it as "young &...  More info
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Hunter Laing?! What happened to that Douglas fellow who used to have his name on my Old Malt Cask bottles? Well, the Laing brothers have gone their separate ways, with Stewart retaining the popular...  More info
$121.04
This single malt Scotch whisky from the Bruichladdich distillery, released under the Port Charlotte name, as they do for all of their peated releases (minus the super-peated Octomore bottlings), is a...  More info
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$81.73
One of the best Unpeated Caol Ila's so far (as of 2011), this is a stunning whisky, distilled in 1999 and aged in first fill ex bourbon American oak casks. Really very good indeed! A release of 6,000...  More info
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$100.87
A 21 year old Ardbeg distilled in 1974 and bottled in 1996 (only full years are counted) by the renowned Italian independent bottlers Sestante at 40% abv. This is a rare and valuable single malt...  More info
$1236.00
Few distilleries are as sought after as Islay's Ardbeg. Sestante meanwhile, are a celebrated independent bottling brand of real note who are no longer operating. What then, would it take to top a rare...  More info
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A very well-aged Bruichladdich from Berry Brothers & Rudd dating to the Whyte & Mackay era.  More info
$137.60
A 6 year old single cask Bunnahabhain distilled in 2006 and bottled in early 2013 by Berry Brothers & Rudd. It will come as no surprise that no artificial colouring was added to this one.  More info
$81.52
Lagavulin 21 Year Old
(70cl, 56.50%)
A cask strength 21 year old release from Lagavulin, just 6,642 bottles were released, distilled in 1985 and bottled in 2007.  More info
$1747.66
A 23 year old single malt from the Bowmore distillery, aged completely in port casks to compliment the floral and peaty flavours the Islay distillery is known for. Because it's such a special release...  More info
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$516.56
The Tantalus range from Duncan Taylor is one for the collectors out there. All the whiskies in the range are extraordinarily rare, most of them having matured for over 40 years. Once Duncan Taylor...  More info
$2022.61
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