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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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Filliers Distillery
Bruichladdich Octomore
Professor Cornelius Ampleforth
Whisky Liqueurs
Spirit of Hven Distillery
Batch 1 of single malt Scotch whisky from the new kid on the Islay block, Kilchoman, bottled by That Boutique-y Whisky Company. But what’s this? It seems that the new kid is schooling us on barley...  More info
$105.92
Not only is Bruichladdich Octomore the world's most heavily peated whisky, at 140 ppm, this astonishingly complex whisky has also been finished (or ACEd (Additional Cask Enhancement) in...  More info
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Distilled on 24th April 1990 at the Bowmore distillery on Islay, this whisky spent nearly 23 years in cask 185078 before bottling by Montgomerie's as part of their Rare Select range in March 2013.  More info
$239.13
9 year old Port Charlotte single malt, which is peated whisky from the Bruichladdich distillery. This is a single cask release from the Coopers Choice range, which was bottled with an outturn of 330...  More info
$100.94
The 2014 release of Kilchoman's Loch Gorm single malt, which has been fully matured in Oloroso Sherry butts from 2009 to 2014. The previous Loch Gorm release won the Islay distillery a Gold Medal in...  More info
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$82.03
The oldest (so far) single malt whisky from the Islay distillery Kilchoman. Distilled in 2007, this whisky enjoyed a maturation in fresh bourbon barrels for 6 years and was subsequently bottled in...  More info
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$82.05
This is the fourth Islay whisky bottled from a distillery on the island whose name begins with Br...  More info
$83.57
Single cask, single malt Scotch whisky from the Laphroaig distillery on Islay, bottled by Signatory for the Cask Strength Collection. This Islay whisky was matured in a refill Sherry hogshead from...  More info
$191.94
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Taken from European oak Sherry butts specially selected by Iain McArthur, this Fèis Ìle 2014 bottling of Lagavulin was distilled back in 1995 and stood out as one of the...  More info
$226.09
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
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$55.72
Ardbog (Ardbeg)
(70cl, 52.10%)
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A limited edition Ardbeg released during the Fèis Ìle whisky festival. Aged in a combination of bourbon as well as some Manzanilla sherry casks, it was produced for...  More info
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$207.36
I don't want to alarm anyone, but Hunter Laing have bottled a cask of 21 year old Ardbeg single malt Scotch whisky for the 15th anniversary of their Old Malt Cask range. There were just 136 bottles...  More info
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$699.08
Ardbeg 17 Year Old
(70cl, 40%)
Increasingly rare, now discontinued whisky from Ardbeg. Incredibly rich and powerful, and all too easy to drink.  More info
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30 year old Caol Ila single malt, bottled for the Duncan Taylor Single collection. This Sherried Islay dram has matured from May 1983 to February 2014, when it was bottled with an outturn of just 66...  More info
$604.59
A lovely, sooty Laphroaig single malt, bottled by the fine folks at Douglas Laing as part of their Directors' Cut selection. The renowned Islay distillery filled the refill hogshead (#10351) in March...  More info
$536.90
Bowmore Dawn
(70cl, 51.50%)
A wonderful port cask finished whisky from Bowmore, this received an incredibly impressive 94 points in the Jim Murray Whisky Bible 2008.  More info
Well aged Islay whisky from the Caol Ila distillery, you say? Now you're talking my language! That's right, this WM Cadenhead bottling of Caol Ila single malt is 33 years old.  More info
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$249.52
Douglas Laing make sure their Director's Cut releases have all the bells and whistles you'd expect; cask strength, un-chill filtered, pretty presentation box. They're obviously very proud, and who can...  More info
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$337.55
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Caol Ila's Fèis Ìle 2014 bottling was selected by new distillery manager David Wood (a truly excellent name for anybody in a position to choose casks) who carries on Billy...  More info
$211.37
That there Caol Ila distillery were the clever minds behind this 30 year old single malt Scotch whisky, while Signatory were the careful hands who popped the whisky into the bottles, at cask strength...  More info
$312.40
Bunnahabhain single malt Scotch whisky, taken from a single cask (which had the rather catchy cask number of #800088) at 7 years old by Berry Bros. & Rudd. It was distilled in 2006 and bottled in...  More info
$80.54
The second batch of That Boutique-y Whisky Company's Bowmore is a smoky, muscular whisky with more than a hint of sherry in the mix. It comes with a rather wonderful comic book illustration of the...  More info
In March 2008 we were sitting down, having a nice sandwich, when suddenly our Spidey-Whisky-Senses tingled! They were alerting us that an awesome first fill bourbon barrel of Kilchoman single malt...  More info
$138.18
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This year's Cairdeas release ("Cairdeas", pronounced 'car-chase', means 'friendship' in Gaelic) was matured in bourbon barrels and Amontillado hogsheads.
Created by...  More info
$135.64
A supremely well-aged Bunnahabhain from Berry Brothers & Rudd, distilled in 1989 and bottled in 2013.  More info
$158.21
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