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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.

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)
$769.65

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)
$2,071.86

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)
$721.78

Bruichladdich 21 Year Old 1992 (cask 978074) - The Octave (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 50.8%
Bruichladdich

Independently bottled 21 year old Bruichladdich single malt Scotch whisky, distilled in 1992 and bottled in 2014 following a finishing period in a tiny Sherry Octave cask. Just 87 bottles of this…  More info

Bruichladdich 21 Year Old 1992 (cask 978074) - The Octave (Duncan Taylor)
$151.64

Port Charlotte PC7

70cl, 61%
Bruichladdich

PC7 is a heavily peated release from the Bruichladdich distillery from the limited release Port Charlotte range. This bottle was part of a private collection - if you'd like more detailed info…  More info

Port Charlotte PC7
3
$228.42

Bunnahabhain 45 Year Old 1968 (cask 3107) - Tantalus (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 41.2%
Bunnahabhain

Very old Bunnahabhain, independently bottled by Duncan Taylor. This was distilled in 1968 and allowed to mature for 45 years(!) before being bottled at 41.2% ABV. This comes presented as part of…  More info

Bunnahabhain 45 Year Old 1968 (cask 3107) - Tantalus (Duncan Taylor)
$1,357.06

Bruichladdich 34 Year Old 1975 (casks 3733 & 3734) - Private Cellar

70cl, 47.1%
Bruichladdich

A rare bottling of Bruichladdich single malt Scotch whisky aged for 34 years in a pair of casks! It was distilled in 1975 and bottled back in 2010 at 47.1% ABV. Only 196 bottles were produced. Very…  More info

Bruichladdich 34 Year Old 1975 (casks 3733 & 3734) - Private Cellar
$623.07

Bunnahabhain 21 Year Old - Adelphi's Liddesdale (Batch 10)

70cl, 46%
Bunnahabhain

A 21 year old Bunnhabhain bottled by Adelphi for their Liddesdale series. Previously, the Liddesdale bottling were released without disclosing the distillery, though it now seems that they are more…  More info

Bunnahabhain 21 Year Old - Adelphi's Liddesdale (Batch 10)
$137.98

Bruichladdich Islay Barley 2004

70cl, 50%
Bruichladdich

A 2004 vintage single malt from the Bruichladdich distillery, made using barley from one farm on the Isle of Islay - Kentraw Farm, only a mile away from the distillery! This bottle was part of a…  More info

Bruichladdich Islay Barley 2004
$103.80

Bruichladdich Islay Grown Futures 6 Year Old 2004

70cl, 46%
Bruichladdich

A 6 year old single malt Scotch whisky released as part of Bruichladdich's Futures series. This particular expression is their Islay Grown Futures, which was made with Optic, Publican and Oxbridge…  More info

Bruichladdich Islay Grown Futures 6 Year Old 2004
$129.76

Bruichladdich Trestarig Futures 5 Year Old 2005

70cl, 46%
Bruichladdich

A rare bottling from bruichladdich's Futures series, distilled in August 2005 and matured in bourbon casks for 5 years until April 2011. This bottle was part of a private collection - if you'd…  More info

Bruichladdich Trestarig Futures 5 Year Old 2005
$207.65

Bruichladdich 11 Year Old 2005 (cask 11509) - Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 48.4%
Bruichladdich

Well-Sherried 11 year old single malt from the Bruichladdich distillery on the Isle of Islay, independently bottled by Douglas Laing. It was distilled in June 2005 and set aside to mature in a Sherry…  More info

Bruichladdich 11 Year Old 2005 (cask 11509) - Old Particular (Douglas Laing)
$95.69

Bunnahabhain 27 Year Old 1989 (cask 5750) - Celebration Of The Cask (Càrn Mòr)

70cl, 43.9%
Bunnahabhain

Tasty 27 year old Bunnahabhain single malt Scotch whisky, drawn from a single cask by Càrn Mòr. This was distilled in October 1989 and left to age in a hogshead cask until January 2017, when the…  More info

Bunnahabhain 27 Year Old 1989 (cask 5750) - Celebration Of The Cask (Càrn Mòr)
$178.04

Port Charlotte PC10

70cl, 59.8%
Bruichladdich

It's the PC10 expression from Bruichladdich powerfully peaty Port Charlotte series of releases. This release also marked 10 years of Allan Logan, who became the youngest distillery manager in…  More info

Port Charlotte PC10
$207.65

Bunnahabhain 24 Year Old 1990 - Highland Laird (Bartels Whisky)

70cl, 47.2%
Bunnahabhain

A Highland Laird bottling of Bunnahabhain single malt Scotch whisky, aged in a single bourbon hogshead cask for 24 years. This was distilled on the Isle of Islay in 1990 and bottled nearly a quarter…  More info

Bunnahabhain 24 Year Old 1990 - Highland Laird (Bartels Whisky)
$116.53

Laphroaig 18 Year Old 1998 - Old Particular Consortium of Cards (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 50%
Laphroaig

The first bottling in Douglas Laing's Consortium of Cards series released under their Old Particular livery. It's an 18 year old Laphroaig, drawn from a single refill butt! The Consortium of Cards…  More info

Laphroaig 18 Year Old 1998 - Old Particular Consortium of Cards (Douglas Laing)
$143.27

Bruichladdich 10 Year Old - The Laddie Ten Second Limited Edition

70cl, 50%
Bruichladdich

A second limited edition release of 10 year old unpeated single malt whisky from the Bruichladdich distillery on the Isle of Islay, released in the latter half of 2016. This expression was drawn from…  More info

Bruichladdich 10 Year Old - The Laddie Ten Second Limited Edition
$53.94

Bunnahabhain 26 Year Old 1990 - North Star Spirits

70cl, 51.1%
Bunnahabhain

26 year old single malt from Islay's Bunnahabhain distillery, independently bottled by the Glasgow-based North Star Spirits. This was distilled in November 1990 and bottled 26 years later in November…  More info

Bunnahabhain 26 Year Old 1990 - North Star Spirits
$153.65

Bunnahabhain 42 Year Old 1973 (cask 12145) - Cask Strength Collection Rare Reserve (Signatory)

70cl, 47.9%
Bunnahabhain

An independently bottled Bunnahabhain single malt Scotch whisky, aged for 42 years in a refill Sherry butt, from December 1973 to January 2016. This was bottled by the chaps at Signatory for their…  More info

Bunnahabhain 42 Year Old 1973 (cask 12145) - Cask Strength Collection Rare Reserve (Signatory)
$884.10

Caol Ila 25 Year Old (43%)

70cl, 43%
Caol Ila

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

Caol Ila 25 Year Old (43%)
8
$163.77

Port Charlotte 10 Year Old - Second Limited Edition

70cl, 50%
Bruichladdich

A peaty 10 year old single malt from Bruichladdich, released under their Port Charlotte name. This was unveiled in late 2016, with 18,000 bottles released.  More info

Port Charlotte 10 Year Old - Second Limited Edition
$59.16

Lagavulin 1999 (bottled 2015) Pedro Ximénez Cask Finish - Distillers Edition

70cl, 43%
Lagavulin

It's not surprising that people love this particular Distillers Edition. Heavily peated Lagavulin single malt from Islay + a finishing period in casks that previously held sweet, dark, rich Pedro…  More info

Lagavulin 1999 (bottled 2015) Pedro Ximénez Cask Finish - Distillers Edition
12
$76.81

Laphroaig Brodir

70cl, 48%
Laphroaig

Laphroaig's Brodir single malt Scotch whisky was originally released to the Travel Retail market. You can probably guess what 'Brodir' means in ancient Norse - of course, it's 'Brother'. For this…  More info

Laphroaig Brodir
3
$97.89

Kilchoman 6 Year Old 2010 Original Cask Strength

70cl, 56.9%
Kilchoman

This is the second edition of Kilchoman's Original Cask Strength expression. The first one was drawn from ex-bourbon barrels, while this second edition was aged for over 6 years in quarter casks and…  More info

Kilchoman 6 Year Old 2010 Original Cask Strength
1
$75.76

Caol Ila 11 Year Old 2005 (casks 301521, 301523, 301524 & 301527) - Cask Strength (Gordon & MacPhail)

70cl, 57.3%
Caol Ila

Matured in four first fill Sherry butts, this is a treat of an independently bottled Islay single malt. Distilled at Caol Ila in February 2005, it was bottled by Gordon & MacPhail for their Cask…  More info

Caol Ila 11 Year Old 2005 (casks 301521, 301523, 301524 & 301527) - Cask Strength (Gordon & MacPhail)
$49.03

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