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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.

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

70cl, 64.40%
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)
$258.34

Port Charlotte 13 Year Old 2001 (cask R091600007) (Rest & Be Thankful)

70cl, 64.60%
Bruichladdich

A 13 year old Sherry cask-matured single malt here from Bruichladdich, released under their Port Charlotte name - meaning those of you that love a good peated expression will want a piece of this.…  More info

Port Charlotte 13 Year Old 2001 (cask R091600007) (Rest & Be Thankful)
$210.03

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

70cl, 58.30%
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)
$2021.32

Port Ellen 24 Year Old 1978 - 2nd Release (2002 Special Release)

70cl, 59.40%
Port Ellen

The second bottling in Diageo's series of Port Ellens for their annual Special Releases. A rare and sought after whisky from a legendary distillery that stopped producing back in 1983. This bottle…  More info

Port Ellen 24 Year Old 1978 - 2nd Release (2002 Special Release)
$1746.20

Lagavulin 11 Year Old Manager's Dram

70cl, 57.10%
Lagavulin

Bottled exclusively for Diageo staff in 2013, this is a rare natural cask strength Lagavulin single malt Scotch whisky. This bottle was part of a private collection. More detailed information…  More info

Lagavulin 11 Year Old Manager's Dram
$612.05

Bruichladdich Heavily Peated 10 Year Old 2002 (cask 391) - Dimensions (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 54.80%
Bruichladdich

Single cask heavily peated single malt from the excellent Bruichladdich distillery, bottled by Duncan Taylor. This was distilled in June 2002 and set aside to age for 10 years before being bottled…  More info

Bruichladdich Heavily Peated 10 Year Old 2002 (cask 391) - Dimensions (Duncan Taylor)
$139.43

Bowmore 2001 (bottled 2015) (cask 15049) - 46 Range (Malts of Scotland)

70cl, 46%
Bowmore

A 2001 vintage Bowmore single malt, aged in a single bourbon hogshead until 2015. It was bottled by Malts of Scotland with an outturn of 330 bottles.  More info

Bowmore 2001 (bottled 2015) (cask 15049) - 46 Range (Malts of Scotland)
$80.47

Port Ellen 27 Year Old 1978 - Old & Rare Platinum (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 54.80%
Port Ellen

An independent bottling of single malt from the closed and now legendary Port Ellen distillery on Islay. It was bottled in 2006, when the Old & Rare Platinum range was still part of the Douglas Laing…  More info

Port Ellen 27 Year Old 1978 - Old & Rare Platinum (Douglas Laing)
$1088.73

The Admiral's Beacon 1980 (bottled 2015) - Wemyss Malts (Caol Ila)

70cl, 46%
Caol Ila

Ooh, a Wemyss Malts bottling of 1980 vintage Caol Ila single malt Scotch whisky! As ever, they've given this independent bottling a rather descriptive title - 'The Admiral's Beacon'. This is a…  More info

The Admiral's Beacon 1980 (bottled 2015) - Wemyss Malts (Caol Ila)
$298.46

Bruichladdich 2004 (bottled 2015) (cask 15010) - Malts of Scotland

70cl, 55.50%
Bruichladdich

This is a Malts of Scotland bottling of 11 year old Bruichladdich single malt Scotch whisky (it's a peated Bruichladdich at that!), aged in a bourbon barrel from 2004 until 2015. 312 bottles were…  More info

Bruichladdich 2004 (bottled 2015) (cask 15010) - Malts of Scotland
$85.30

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)
$112.71

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)
$274.34

Bunnahabhain Eirigh Na Greine

100cl, 46.30%
Bunnahabhain

Bunnahabhain's Eirigh Na Greine was originally released for the Travel Retail market, with its name meaning 'Morning Sky' in Gaelic. A portion of this single malt was matured in red wine casks,…  More info

Bunnahabhain Eirigh Na Greine
$68.59

Caol Ila 2008 (Bottled 2015) - The Ten #07 (La Maison du Whisky)

70cl, 40.10%
Caol Ila

A 2008 vintage Caol Ila single malt Scotch whisky, bottled in 2015 for La Maison du Whisky's The Ten range. The series traverses whisky flavour profiles and organises them by number, from the…  More info

Caol Ila 2008 (Bottled 2015) - The Ten #07 (La Maison du Whisky)
$60.83

Caol Ila 6 Year Old 2009 - Hepburn's Choice (Langside)

70cl, 46%
Caol Ila

6 year old Caol Ila single malt Scotch whisky, drawn from a wine cask (a 'Tonnellerie wine finished hogshead', according to the label). This was distilled in 2009 and bottled in 2016 by Langside as…  More info

Caol Ila 6 Year Old 2009 - Hepburn's Choice (Langside)
$59.85

Bunnahabhain 26 Year Old 1989 (casks 5794 & 5796) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 47.70%
Bunnahabhain

A 26 year old single malt from Bunnahabhain distillery on Islay. Bottled in June 2016, 428 natural cask strength bottles were produced from a pair of almost consecutive hogsheads.  More info

Bunnahabhain 26 Year Old 1989 (casks 5794 & 5796) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)
$151.57

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
$172.64

Bunnahabhain 18 Year Old

70cl, 46.30%
Bunnahabhain

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

Bunnahabhain 18 Year Old
28
$76.46

Bunnahabhain 25 Year Old

70cl, 46.30%
Bunnahabhain

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…  More info

Bunnahabhain 25 Year Old
15
$255.67

Caol Ila - Batch 1 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)

50cl, 45.80%
Caol Ila

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

Caol Ila - Batch 1 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)
3

Kilchoman Loch Gorm 2015 Release

70cl, 46%
Kilchoman

This is the 2015 release of Kilchoman's fantastic Loch Gorm well-Sherried single malt Scotch whisky. For the 2015 release, along with whisky which was matured in Oloroso Sherry butts (as the previous…  More info

Kilchoman Loch Gorm 2015 Release
2
$70.01

Lagavulin 10 Year Old (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)

50cl, 53.70%
Lagavulin

Yarr! It be time for a 'smokey cokey' wit' the ol' shipmates in Lagavulin Bay! That's a Lagavulin single malt and cola to you or me - the sort of thing you might be offered by Diageo whisky…  More info

Lagavulin 10 Year Old (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)
$109.42

Lagavulin 12 Year Old (Special Release 2015)

70cl, 56.80%
Lagavulin

The least expensive of the 2015 Diageo Special Releases (as the unpeated Caol Ila was a 17 year old), the 12 year old is now a staple and a firm whisky fan favourite, this being the thirteenth…  More info

Lagavulin 12 Year Old (Special Release 2015)
6
$87.54

Bowmore Tempest 10 Year Old - Batch 6

70cl, 54.90%
Bowmore

The sixth batch of Bowmore's popular Tempest single malt has arrived. After maturing for 10 years in first-fill ex-bourbon barrels, this has been blended by Bowmore's Master Distiller and bottled at…  More info

Bowmore Tempest 10 Year Old - Batch 6
$49.21

Caol Ila 19 Year Old 1996 (cask 11208) - Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 50.70%
Caol Ila

A single cask bottling of 19 year old Caol Ila, distilled in September 1996 and bottled in June 2016. This was aged in a refill hogshead, which was cracked open and drained of the delicious whisky it…  More info

Caol Ila 19 Year Old 1996 (cask 11208) - Old Particular (Douglas Laing)
$112.76

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