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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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An independent bottling of Bunnahabhain single malt Scotch whisky, which was matured in a refill hogshead for 35 long years! This Islay expression was distilled in December 1978 and bottled in June...  More info
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Released as part of the Duncan Taylor Single range, this is a 34 year old Bunnahabhain single malt Scotch whisky, drawn from a single Sherry oak cask. It was distilled in September 1979 and bottled in...  More info
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This is a classic Rare Malts bottling of single malt Scotch whisky from the infamous, though sadly closed, Port Ellen distillery on Islay. Matured for 20 years after being distilled in 1978, it was...  More info
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An independently bottled Bowmore single malt Scotch whisky, aged in a single cask for 16 years! This lovely little Islay whisky was distilled in June 1998 and left to age until September 2014, when it...  More info
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An independent bottling of 24 year old Laphroaig single malt Scotch whisky, bottled for the fantastic Old & rare Platinum range. This Islay whisky was distilled in March 1990, matured in a refill...  More info
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From Speciality Drinks' Elements of Islay range comes Bw4, an independently bottled single malt Scotch whisky from a famous Islay distillery. You might have heard of them, in fact. You might even be...  More info
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34 year old single malt Scotch whisky from the Caol Ila distillery, bottled as part of the Mackillop's Choice range - an excellent choice, chaps! This Islay single malt was distilled in May 1980 and...  More info
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Independently bottles Islay single malt Scotch whisky, distilled by the chaps at the Bowmore distillery. Cask #10919, a refill hogshead, was filled in December 2001 and left to age the whisky for 12...  More info
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An indie Islay single malt! This is a 17 year old Bunnahabhain single malt Scotch whisky, which was distilled in August 1997 and left to age in a refill hogshead until December 2014, when it was...  More info
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A Cooper's Choice bottling of Port Charlotte single malt Scotch whisky, which was distilled by Bruichladdich using peated barley in 2004. It was left to age in a single cask for 9 years, before it was...  More info
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