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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 Toiteach

70cl, 46%
Bunnahabhain

Toiteach is Gaelic for "Smoky", a hint of what's to come. That's right, a heavily peated Bunnahabhain! A great chance to try a smoky malt from a distiller of gentle, fruity Islay whisky.  More info

Bunnahabhain Toiteach
13
$62.83

Laphroaig 16 Year Old 1997 (cask 3320) - The Duncan Taylor Single

70cl, 53.7%
Laphroaig

Independently bottled Laphroaig single malt Scotch whisky, presented as part of the Duncan Taylor Single collection (and what a collection it is!). This Islay delight was distilled in April 1997 and…  More info

Laphroaig 16 Year Old 1997 (cask 3320) - The Duncan Taylor Single
$205.36

Bunnahabhain 26 Year Old 1989 (cask 12627) - The First Editions (Hunter Laing)

70cl, 49.8%
Bunnahabhain

An indie bottling of 26 year old Bunnahabhain single malt Scotch whisky, aged in a refill hogshead from 1989 to 2016. Following its maturation, it was bottled by Hunter Laing for their newly…  More info

Bunnahabhain 26 Year Old 1989 (cask 12627) - The First Editions (Hunter Laing)
$188.69

Fields of Barley 1990 (bottled 2015) - Wemyss Malts (Bunnahabhain)

70cl, 46%
Bunnahabhain

Another aptly named Wemyss single cask bottling of Scotch malt whisky. This one's from Bunnahabhain distillery on Islay and was distilled in 1990.  More info

Fields of Barley 1990 (bottled 2015) - Wemyss Malts (Bunnahabhain)
$107.89

Bowmore 12 Year Old 2003 (cask 20142) - Cask Collection (A. D. Rattray)

70cl, 59.5%
Bowmore

Indie Islay whisky here, distilled by Bowmore and bottled by A.D. Rattray! It was distilled back in October 2003 and set aside to age in a bourbon cask for 12 years, before being bottled in July 2016…  More info

Bowmore 12 Year Old 2003 (cask 20142) - Cask Collection (A. D. Rattray)
$88.89

Bruichladdich 25 Year Old 1991 (casks 2490 & 2491) - Dun Bheagan (Ian Macleod)

70cl, 48.1%
Bruichladdich

A 25 year old whisky from the Bruichladdich distillery on the Isle of Islay, drawn from a pair of hogshead casks which were home to the whisky for a quarter of a century. It was distilled in 1991 and…  More info

Bruichladdich 25 Year Old 1991 (casks 2490 & 2491) - Dun Bheagan (Ian Macleod)
$178.85

Bruichladdich 24 Year Old 1991 - Cask Strength (Gordon & MacPhail)

70cl, 53.3%
Bruichladdich

A cask strength bottling of single malt Scotch whisky from the Bruichladdich distillery on the island of Islay, drawn from three refill American hogshead casks. It was distilled in October 1991 and…  More info

Bruichladdich 24 Year Old 1991 - Cask Strength (Gordon & MacPhail)
$117.82

Port Charlotte 12 Year Old 2002 (cask 2002000325) (Rest & Be Thankful)

70cl, 63.8%
Port Charlotte

A 12 year old Port Charlotte single malt here, distilled by Bruichladdich in 2002 and bottled for the Rest & Be Thankful range in 2015. Lovely peated Islay whisky - dig in!  More info

Port Charlotte 12 Year Old 2002 (cask 2002000325) (Rest & Be Thankful)
$172.04

Port Ellen 32 Year Old 1983 - 15th Release (2015 Special Release)

70cl, 53.9%
Port Ellen

32 year old single malt Scotch whisky from an Islay distillery that was mothballed in 1983 and never reopened. The whisky comes from the final year of production. Matured in refill European oak butts…  More info

Port Ellen 32 Year Old 1983 - 15th Release (2015 Special Release)
$2,515.32

Caol Ila 10 Year Old 2006 (cask 303014) - Pearls of Scotland (Gordon & Company)

70cl, 57.2%
Caol Ila

An independently bottled Caol Ila single malt, aged in a single cask for 10 years. It was distilled in April 2006 and bottled a decade later in June 2016 by the chaps from Gordon & Company for the…  More info

Caol Ila 10 Year Old 2006 (cask 303014) - Pearls of Scotland (Gordon & Company)
$84.85

Bruichladdich 21 Year Old 1989 Black Art

70cl, 49.7%
Bruichladdich

The second release of Bruichladdich's Black Art whisky 'Matured in the Stygian* darkness of Warehouse number 12'. *relating to the river Styx. (no? us neither. We reckon someone's been at an online…  More info

Bruichladdich 21 Year Old 1989 Black Art
9
$366.09

Port Ellen 33 Year Old 1982 - Old & Rare Platinum (Hunter Laing)

70cl, 58.3%
Port Ellen

Sherry matured single cask Port Ellen! Hunter Laing have bottled this extremely exciting 33 year old malt from this famous closed Islay distillery. Bottled from the Sherry butt in October 2015, just…  More info

Port Ellen 33 Year Old 1982 - Old & Rare Platinum (Hunter Laing)
$1,979.76

Lagavulin Islay Jazz Festival 2015

70cl, 55.4%
Lagavulin

A special bottling of Lagavulin for the 2015 Islay Jazz Festival (released a little later that year), matured in refill American oak as well as European oak casks. This bottle was part of a…  More info

Lagavulin Islay Jazz Festival 2015
$366.82

Bruichladdich 25 Year Old 1990 - Old & Rare Platinum (Hunter Laing)

70cl, 48.7%
Bruichladdich

Indie Brucihladdich - a 25 year old indie Bruichladdich, no less! This was distilled in October 1990 and matured in a refill hogshead for quarter of a century until June 2016, when it was bottled by…  More info

Bruichladdich 25 Year Old 1990 - Old & Rare Platinum (Hunter Laing)
$340.74

Bruichladdich 18 Year Old 1989 (Murray McDavid)

70cl, 46%
Bruichladdich

An 18 year old Bruichladdich single malt, distilled in 1989 and matured in a combination of bourbon and Madeira casks! This was bottled by Murray McDavid, who you may know bought the distillery in…  More info

Bruichladdich 18 Year Old 1989 (Murray McDavid)
$376.19

Bunnahabhain 1989 (cask 5784) - Spirit & Cask Range

70cl, 48.3%
Bunnahabhain

A late 1980s single cask Bunnah. Need we say more? Alright, well it's part of the Spirit & Cask Range, initially a series of specialist bottlings for the German market bottled by Whiskymax. The…  More info

Bunnahabhain 1989 (cask 5784) - Spirit & Cask Range
$110.96

Bowmore 31 Year Old 1982 (cask 85023) - Tantalus (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 48.5%
Bowmore

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…  More info

Bowmore 31 Year Old 1982 (cask 85023) - Tantalus (Duncan Taylor)
$1,205.20

Bunnahabhain 33 Year Old (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)

50cl, 47.9%
Bunnahabhain

It's the 3rd batch of That Boutique-y Whisky Company's Bunnahabhain, and their first Bunna bottling with an age statement - this right here is a 33 year old single malt! There's lots going on around…  More info

Bunnahabhain 33 Year Old (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)
$222.13

Loch Indaal Catch 1982 (bottled 2014) - Wemyss Malts (Bowmore)

70cl, 46%
Bowmore

Cor - a single cask Bowmore distilled in 1982!!! A very exciting bottling from the Wemyss Malts folks, who have bestowed this Islay single malt the name of "Loch Indaal Catch", so expect a good whack…  More info

Loch Indaal Catch 1982 (bottled 2014) - Wemyss Malts (Bowmore)
$776.71

Barbecue Mango Salsa 1989 (bottled 2016) - Wemyss Malts (Bowmore)

70cl, 46%
Bowmore

This is an independently bottled single malt from the Bowmore distillery, aged in a single hogshead cask from 1989 to 2016 before being bottled by the brilliant Wemyss Malts. To give you an idea of…  More info

Barbecue Mango Salsa 1989 (bottled 2016) - Wemyss Malts (Bowmore)
$256.84

Port Ellen 25 Year Old 1978 - 4th Release (2004 Special Release)

70cl, 56.2%
Port Ellen

A rare Diageo Special Release of single malt from the legendary closed distillery of Port Ellen, bottled in 2004! We were lucky enough to taste this release at Fèis Ìle 2011. This bottle was part…  More info

Port Ellen 25 Year Old 1978 - 4th Release (2004 Special Release)
$2,090.86

Bowmore 21 Year Old 1991 President's Selection Keizo Saji's Cask

70cl, 55.5%
Bowmore

A rare Bowmore here that was given to employees of Morrison Bowmore in 2012 after the former president of Suntory Mr Keizo Saji's kindly donated the cask to them. The single Sherry cask was…  More info

Bowmore 21 Year Old 1991 President's Selection Keizo Saji's Cask
$1,462.03

Bowmore 26 Year Old 1988 - Feis Ile 2015

70cl, 48.3%
Bowmore

Matured in selected ex-Sherry casks and bottled at cask strength, this is a special Fèis Ìle 2015 release from Bowmore. This bottle was part of a private collection - if you'd like more detailed…  More info

Bowmore 26 Year Old 1988 - Feis Ile 2015
$1,042.81

Bruichladdich Scottish Barley - The Classic Laddie - 4.5l

450cl, 50%
Bruichladdich

It's the Classic Laddie's Big Daddy - and it is very big indeed! This right here is a 4.5 litre bottle of Brucihladdich's unpeated single malt Scotch whisky originally created by the legendary (and…  More info

Bruichladdich Scottish Barley - The Classic Laddie - 4.5l
$356.33

Bunnahabhain Samaroli 45th Anniversary (cask 4)

70cl, 40%
Bunnahabhain

A special 45th anniversary release bottled in October 2013 - only 112 bottles were produced!  More info

Bunnahabhain Samaroli 45th Anniversary (cask 4)
$728.40

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