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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.

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

70cl, 54.8%
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)
$138.11

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

70cl, 46.0%
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)
$79.71

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

70cl, 54.8%
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)
$1078.45

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

70cl, 55.5%
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
$84.50

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

70cl, 46.0%
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)
$111.64

Briny Tangle 1990 (bottled 2015) - Wemyss Malts (Bowmore)

70cl, 46.0%
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)
$271.75

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

70cl, 40.1%
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)
$60.25

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)
$186.81

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
$867.51

Laphroaig 30 Year Old

70cl, 53.50%
Laphroaig

Estimated despatch 3rd October Laphroaig single malt from Islay aged for three decades! Twice matured in bourbon casks, expect this peated whisky to be complex, rounded and absolutely full of…  More info

Laphroaig 30 Year Old
$758.03

Laphroaig 25 Year Old

70cl, 48.60%
Laphroaig

Estimated despatch 3rd October Matured in second-fill Oloroso Sherry casks and American oak ex-bourbon barrels for 25 years(!), a well-aged release of this incredibly popular heavily-peated single…  More info

Laphroaig 25 Year Old
$325.34

Lagavulin 8 Year Old - 200th Anniversary Edition

70cl, 48%
Lagavulin

Back in the 1880s Alfred Barnard, author of The Whisky Distilleries of the United Kingdom, enjoyed an 8 year old Lagavulin he described as "exceptionally fine". As part of their 200th anniversary…  More info

Lagavulin 8 Year Old - 200th Anniversary Edition
21
$57.43

Kilchoman 2011 Sauternes Cask Matured (bottled 2016)

70cl, 50.0%
Kilchoman

The first ever Kilchoman single malt Scotch whisky which was matured in casks that previously held intensely sweet Sauternes wine! Distilled in 2011 and bottled in 2016, this intriguing Islay should…  More info

Kilchoman 2011 Sauternes Cask Matured (bottled 2016)
$81.26

Kilchoman 5 Year Old 2009 Original Cask Strength

70cl, 59.20%
Kilchoman

Oh yes, cask strength Kilchoman! Exciting stuff. This 5 year old single malt Scotch whisky from Islay's farm distillery came from 35 ex-bourbon barrels which were filled in 2009 and opened in 2014,…  More info

Kilchoman 5 Year Old 2009 Original Cask Strength
3
$89.21

Port Charlotte 13 Year Old (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)

50cl, 54.70%
Bruichladdich

As second batch of Port Charlotte peated single malt from Bruichladdich distillery bottled by That Boutique-y Whisky Company. Again, the label features Phenol, O-Cresol, M-Cresol, P-Cresol and…  More info

Port Charlotte 13 Year Old (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)
1

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

70cl, 53.90%
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)
$2602.68

Bruichladdich Octomore 06.1 5 Year Old Scottish Barley

70cl, 57%
Bruichladdich

The sixth edition of experimental Octomore, famous for being made with the most heavily peated barley on the planet. Bruichladdich are still able to impart a delicate, graceful emphasis within this…  More info

Bruichladdich Octomore 06.1 5 Year Old Scottish Barley
23
$110.39

Caol Ila 35 Year Old 1979 (cask 10594) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 47.10%
Caol Ila

An Xtra Old Particular bottling of single malt Scotch whisky from the Caol Ila distillery on the Isle of Islay. It was distilled by Caol Ila in February 1979 and matured in a single refill hogshead…  More info

Caol Ila 35 Year Old 1979 (cask 10594) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)
$355.14

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)
$1366.25

Kilchoman 4 Year Old 2011 - Sherry Cask Release (cask 666/2011) (Bresser & Timmer)

70cl, 57.8%
Kilchoman

Originally bottled for Bresser & Timmer of the Netherlands, this Kilchoman was matured in a single Oloroso Sherry hogshead from 3rd November 2011 to 21st March 2016. The outturn was 342 bottles.  More info

Kilchoman 4 Year Old 2011 - Sherry Cask Release (cask 666/2011) (Bresser & Timmer)
$99.18

Bruichladdich 10 Year Old - The Laddie Ten

70cl, 46.0%
Bruichladdich

The very first 10 year old whisky to be wholly distilled, aged and bottled following Bruichladdich's resurrection in 2001. In many ways this marks the beginning of the new era, and this will be…  More info

Bruichladdich 10 Year Old - The Laddie Ten
47
$75.70

Lagavulin 1991 - Feis Ile 2015

70cl, 59.9%
Lagavulin

A 'triple matured' single malt distilled in 1991, matured in bourbon casks with a short period in PX Sherry buts and finally a long, gentle third maturation in old puncheons. Bottled at 59.9% abv in…  More info

Lagavulin 1991 - Feis Ile 2015
1
$699.47

Bruichladdich Octomore 06.3 5 Year Old - Islay Barley

70cl, 64.0%
Bruichladdich

Unveiled in 2014, Octomore 06.3 Islay Barley was made with barley grown on Islay. In fact, the crop was grown in the field known as Lorgba on Octomore farm! As ever with Bruichladdich's Octomore…  More info

Bruichladdich Octomore 06.3 5 Year Old - Islay Barley
9
$156.92

Bowmore 23 Year Old 1990 (cask 185082) - Mackillop's Choice

70cl, 52.2%
Bowmore

From one of the excellent distilleries on the Island of Islay comes this edition of Mackillop's Choice. Give a warm welcome to the Bowmore 1990, which was distilled in April 1990 and bottled in July…  More info

Bowmore 23 Year Old 1990 (cask 185082) - Mackillop's Choice
$179.49

Bowmore Gold Reef 1l

100cl, 43.0%
Bowmore

From Bowmore's travel retail selection, unveiled in 2014, the Gold Reef is a gorgeous coastal dram, matured mostly in first-fill ex-bourbon casks. A fantastic Islay single malt.  More info

Bowmore Gold Reef 1l
2
$64.88

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