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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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Cask strength Caol Ila! Yum! This is a Signatory bottling of single malt from one of Islay's most well-known and well-loved distilleries, which was matured in a single hogshead for 31 years. It was...  More info
$333.34
A Duncan Taylor Dimensions bottling of single malt Scotch whisky from the Bunnahabhain distillery on the island of Islay. This single cask treat was distilled in February 2008 and set aside to age in...  More info
$57.21
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
$99.80
The Laphroaig PX Cask is made with whisky matured in three types of cask - American oak casks, Quarter casks and the titular Pedro Ximénez casks. This leads to a flavour profile which ties together...  More info
$121.43
A Distillers Edition bottling of Caol Ila single malt Scotch whisky, distilled in 2002 and bottled in 2014. Before it was bottled, it was given a finishing period in Moscatel casks to impart more rich...  More info
$78.90
An independent bottling of single malt from the Caol Ila distillery on the island of Islay. This 6 year old whisky was distilled in 2008 and set aside to age in a refill Sherry butt until 2015, when...  More info
$67.30
So bright... so beautiful... ah Ardbeg Batch 5!

The label once again features famous collector Geert Bero, as well as Peaty, our poochie friend from Fèis Ìle 2013. Is there somebody else up there...  More info
This is a Wemyss Malts bottling of single malt Scotch whisky from the Bowmore distillery, matured in a single hogshead from 1995 to 2014. Excitingly, this one was bottled at cask strength - a robust...  More info
User Rating:  (1 Review)
$168.65
Independently bottled Bruichladdich single malt Scotch whisky, matured in a single cask for 22 years. From October 1991 to January 2014, it sat ageing in cask #2270 until it was bottled by Gleann Mór...  More info
$189.85
Fancy some well-aged Caol Ila? Well Gleann Mór have just the thing for that hankering with this independently bottled Caol Ila single malt Scotch whisky, matured in a single cask for 30 years! It was...  More info
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Bourbon-cask-matured Bruichladdich single malt Scotch whisky, bottled by the Rest & Be Thankful Whisky Company. It was distilled back in July 2002 and filled into a single bourbon cask, in which it...  More info
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From independent bottler Gleann Mór, comes a single cask 10 year old Lagavulin single malt, presented as part of their A Rare Find range. It was distilled in January 2005 and matured for a whole...  More info
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A Douglas Laing bottling of Bruichladdich single malt Scotch whisky, released as part of the Old Particular range. It was distilled all the way back in November 1993 and set aside to mature in a...  More info
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Ah, Fèis Ìle. The Islay festival is something we adore here at Master of Malt. Over at Douglas Laing (who are also the chaps behind Big Peat) it seems they feel the very same way, releasing this...  More info
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This is a delicious 1996 vintage from the Lagavulin distillery, this was given a finish in top-quality Pedro Ximénez dessert sherry casks. The result is a mix of Lagavulin's signature smoky flavour...  More info
User Rating:  (6 Reviews)
$118.16
From the Lagavulin distillery on the island of Islay comes the 1997 Distillers Edition, a fantastic single malt which has been maturing since 1997 and enjoyed a finishing period in Pedro Ximénez cask...  More info
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$106.00
Bunnahabhain 18 Year Old
(70cl, 46.30%)
In what will be seen as a positive move to whisky connoisseurs, Bunnahabhain have decided to bottle the 18 year old without chill-filtration and without colouring.  More info
User Rating:  (14 Reviews)
$100.53
Caol Ila Moch
(70cl, 43%)
Moch is Gaelic for dawn, and this release from Caol Ila is an altogether lighter prospect than the distillery's excellent 12 year old standard expression.  More info
User Rating:  (5 Reviews)
$64.93
An exciting single cask release of Islay Scotch whisky from Anthony Wills' farm distillery, Kilchoman. They grow a portion of the barley used in their whiskies themselves and are one of the small...  More info
User Rating:  (3 Reviews)
$127.50
This gorgeous Ardbeg may not have taken on quite the same hue as some of its Darkness! siblings, but it has still spent 3 months in a tiny, specially rebuilt 50 litre first-fill Sherry cask (a fresh...  More info
User Rating:  (1 Review)
$182.18
This is the eagerly anticipated That Boutique-y Whisky Company bottling of single malt Scotch whisky from the Bruichladdich distillery on Islay. On the graphic-novel-style label, we see a Laddie who’s...  More info
User Rating:  (1 Review)
The 1995 vintage of Lagavulin's delicious Distillers Edition. This stuff is finished in sweet Pedro Ximenez dessert sherry casks, and it's bloomin' marvelous. Very smoky and very thick, sweet and...  More info
User Rating:  (10 Reviews)
$126.74
Batch 1 of That Boutique-y Whisky Company's Caol Ila Single Malt Scotch Whisky has been launched to mark the team's trip to Fèis Ìle 2013! If you catch them while they're out there, they may even...  More info
User Rating:  (3 Reviews)
The third release of the stunningly good Bowmore Tempest, a cask-strength 10 year old from the Islay distillery. This particular expression offers up oodles of fruity flavour and complexity.  More info
User Rating:  (4 Reviews)
$64.76
Bunnahabhain 25 Year Old
(70cl, 46.30%)
In what will be seen as a positive move to whisky connoisseurs, Bunnahabhain have decided to bottle the 25 year old without chill-filtration and without colouring. Presented in smoked oak glass bottle...  More info
User Rating:  (11 Reviews)
$295.40
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