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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.

Port Ellen 30 Year Old 1983 (cask 671) Tantalus (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 52%
Port Ellen

Saying that Port Ellen whisky is sought-after is like saying jam is pretty good on toast - a massive understatement! The distillery on Islay closed in 1983, to the disappointment of many who loved…  More info

Port Ellen 30 Year Old 1983 (cask 671) Tantalus (Duncan Taylor)
2
$2,149.90

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)
$502.17

Bunnahabhain 7 Year Old 2008 (cask 604) - Dimensions (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 54.1%
Bunnahabhain

339 bottles were filled from cask 604 by Duncan Taylor in October 2015. The whisky was distilled at Bunnahabhain on Islay in May 2008.  More info

Bunnahabhain 7 Year Old 2008 (cask 604) - Dimensions (Duncan Taylor)
$47.87

Bunnahabhain 30 Year Old 1980 (Rest & Be Thankful)

70cl, 40.2%
Bunnahabhain

Bunnahabhain single malt matured for three decades in a pair of ex-Sherry casks! The outturn was of 510 bottles in January 2016, having been filled back in May 1980.  More info

Bunnahabhain 30 Year Old 1980 (Rest & Be Thankful)
$381.94

Kilchoman Machir Bay 2014 Release

70cl, 46%
Kilchoman

The 2014 release of Kilchoman's Machir Bay single malt Scotch whisky is here! For the third release in the series, Kilchoman have produced a vatting of 5 and 6 year old ex-bourbon barrels and Oloroso…  More info

Kilchoman Machir Bay 2014 Release
28
$41.28

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)
$60.52

Bunnahabhain 14 Year Old 2002 - Claxton's

70cl, 51.6%
Bunnahabhain

This is an independently bottled Bunnahabhain single malt, aged in a single hogshead cask for 14 years before being bottled by Claxton's. A release of 305 bottles.  More info

Bunnahabhain 14 Year Old 2002 - Claxton's
$84.55

Smokey Joe Islay Malt

70cl, 46%
The Leading Scotch Whisky Co. Ltd

A blended malt made up of different Islay single malt whiskies. We're not sure which ones, exactly, but we do know that it tastes delicious!  More info

Smokey Joe Islay Malt
15
$36.95

Caol Ila 9 Year Old 2007 (The Whisky Agency / La Maison du Whisky)

70cl, 52.9%
Caol Ila

This is a 9 year old Caol Ila single malt Scotch whisky, aged in a refill hogshead from 2007 to 2016 before being bottled by The Whisky Agency and La Maison du Whisky.  More info

Caol Ila 9 Year Old 2007 (The Whisky Agency / La Maison du Whisky)
$123.32

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)
$196.75

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)
$340.13

Octomore 7 Year Old 2008 (cask 2008000911) (Rest & Be Thankful)

70cl, 64.4%
Bruichladdich

Ooh - a French oak cask-matured, independently bottled Octomore! This was distilled by Bruichladdich (using heavily peated malt) in 2008 and matured in a French oak cask for 7 years before being…  More info

Octomore 7 Year Old 2008 (cask 2008000911) (Rest & Be Thankful)
$246.87

Port Ellen 37 Year Old 1978 - 16th Release (Special Release 2016)

70cl, 55.2%
Port Ellen

Like most of this year's Special Releases, this is a natural cask strength single malt whisky matured in refill American oak hogshead and refill European oak butts. Unlike most of this year's Special…  More info

Port Ellen 37 Year Old 1978 - 16th Release (Special Release 2016)
1
$2,615.47

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)
$117.61

Bowmore 14 Year Old 2001 (cask 31932) - The Single Cask

70cl, 50%
Bowmore

A 14 year old Bowmore single malt, drawn from a single cask and bottled by The Single Cask! It was distilled in October 2001 and set aside to age until August 2016. Only 90 bottles were produced.  More info

Bowmore 14 Year Old 2001 (cask 31932) - The Single Cask
$100.03

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)
$262.16

Bunnahabhain 6 Year Old 2006 (cask 800098) (Berry Bros. & Rudd)

70cl, 46%
Bunnahabhain

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

Bunnahabhain 6 Year Old 2006 (cask 800098) (Berry Bros. & Rudd)
$57.35

Lagavulin Distillery Only

70cl, 52.5%
Lagavulin

A very special Lagavulin, this "distillery only" bottling is made with the remnant of whisky from a previous bottling run of Distiller's Edition. It is then re-casked and left for a few extra years.  More info

Lagavulin Distillery Only
3
$413.25

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)
$107.70

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)
$171.73

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)
$2,510.86

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)
$1,203.07

Bunnahabhain 31 Year Old 1976 - Mission Gold (Murray McDavid)

70cl, 48.1%
Bunnahabhain

31 year old Bunnahabhain single malt Scotch whisky, matured in Fino Sherry oak - a delightful combination... A release of 216 bottles from Murray McDavid's Mission Gold range.  More info

Bunnahabhain 31 Year Old 1976 - Mission Gold (Murray McDavid)
$465.50

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)
$775.33

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)
$2,087.15

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