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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.

Ardbeg 12 Year Old - Batch 7 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)

50cl, 52%
Ardbeg

That's right folks - a Boutique-y whisky with an age statement! With more and more no age statement whiskies being released these days, That Boutique-y Whisky Company have chosen to go the other way.…  More info

Ardbeg 12 Year Old -  Batch 7 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)

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
13
$64.87

Laphroaig Lore

70cl, 48%
Laphroaig

Created by Distillery Manager John Campbell, Laphroaig Lore is said to be the richest ever Laphroaig! Named after the skills passed down over the generations, this permanent addition to the range is…  More info

Laphroaig Lore
5
$95.49

Port Charlotte 13 Year Old - Batch 2 (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 - Batch 2 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)

Laphroaig 15 Year Old (200th Anniversary Edition)

70cl, 43%
Laphroaig

In 1815, the Laphroaig distillery was founded on Islay. In 2015, the distillery celebrates its 200th anniversary. To mark the occasion, they've brought back their 15 Year Old single malt Scotch…  More info

Laphroaig 15 Year Old (200th Anniversary Edition)
12
$122.44

Caol Ila Moch

70cl, 43%
Caol Ila

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

Caol Ila Moch
9
$50.70

Bunnahabhain 40 Year Old 1975 (cask 10704) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 51%
Bunnahabhain

Extraordinarily aged Bunnahabhain from top bottler Douglas Laing's Xtra Old Particular range. Just 258 bottles of this historic whisky, distilled back in January 1975, were produced.  More info

Bunnahabhain 40 Year Old 1975 (cask 10704) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)
$610.07

Bowmore - Batch 2 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)

50cl, 49%
Bowmore

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

Bowmore - Batch 2 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)

Bunnahabhain Cruach Mhòna

100cl, 50%
Bunnahabhain

Cruach Mhóna is gaelic for a pile of drying peat bricks and follows on from Toiteach (gaelic for smoky) as a peaty offering from Bunnahabhain. Although Islay is famed for its peat, Bunnahabhain's…  More info

Bunnahabhain Cruach Mhòna
2
$97.76

Smokehead 18 Year Old Extra Black

70cl, 46%
Smokehead

A release of 6,000 bottles of 18 year old Smokehead, packaged smartly in an "extra black" bottle. Full bodied and rich.  More info

Smokehead 18 Year Old Extra Black
9
$120.04

Laphroaig 18 Year Old 1997 (cask 3371) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 55.20%
Laphroaig

Ooh, a single cask Laphroaig single malt, bottled by Signatory for their Cask Strength Collection! This was distilled in April 1997, aged in a hogshead for 18 years and bottled in January 2016 at…  More info

Laphroaig 18 Year Old 1997 (cask 3371) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)
$195.30

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

Caol Ila 19 Year Old 1996 (cask 10971) - Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 51.50%
Caol Ila

An Islay Old Particular here, distilled at Caol Ila in September 1996 and matured in a single refill hogshead cask until December 2015. The outturn was 313 bottles at 51.5% abv.  More info

Caol Ila 19 Year Old 1996 (cask 10971) - Old Particular (Douglas Laing)
$119.93

Laphroaig 18 Year Old 1997 (cask 10951) - Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 48.40%
Laphroaig

Independently bottled Laphroaig matured in a single cask, quite a treat! Distilled in October 1997, this single malt spent 18 years in a refill hogshead beofre being bottled in December 2015 by…  More info

Laphroaig 18 Year Old 1997 (cask 10951) - Old Particular (Douglas Laing)
$135.13

Ardbeg - Batch 4 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)

50cl, 52.40%
Ardbeg

What many of you have been waiting for - a new batch of Ardbeg from That Boutique-y Whisky Company!!! Geert Bero, the world's most famous Ardbeg collector and proprietor of the legendary Ardbeg…  More info

Ardbeg - Batch 4 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)
4

Laphroaig PX Cask Triple Matured

100cl, 48%
Laphroaig

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

Laphroaig PX Cask Triple Matured
6
$97.95

Laphroaig 24 Year Old 1990 - Old & Rare Platinum (Hunter Laing)

70cl, 51.90%
Laphroaig

An independent bottling of 24 year old Laphroaig single malt Scotch whisky, bottled for the fantastic Old & rare Platinum range. This Islay whisky was distilled in March 1990, matured in a refill…  More info

Laphroaig 24 Year Old 1990 - Old & Rare Platinum (Hunter Laing)
1
$439.97

Bruichladdich 7 Year Old Quadruple-Distilled Octomore - Feis Ile 2014

70cl, 69.50%
Bruichladdich

A quadruple (!) distilled Octomore, this dangerous, perilous 'usquebaugh-baul' came off the still at 89% abv but has retained an extraordinary amount of flavour. Just 1,695 bottles have been…  More info

Bruichladdich 7 Year Old Quadruple-Distilled Octomore - Feis Ile 2014
1
$612.45

Bunnahabhain 2008 (Bottled 2014) - The Ten #09 (La Maison du Whisky)

70cl, 50.10%
Bunnahabhain

An intense, peaty dram from the Bunnahabhain distillery, bottled for La Maison du Whisky's The Ten series. This is #09 in the series, the most powerful, intense expression out of all 10 releases - a…  More info

Bunnahabhain 2008 (Bottled 2014) - The Ten #09 (La Maison du Whisky)
$73.63

Caol Ila - Batch 2 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)

50cl, 55%
Caol Ila

Hold the phone, the Paps of Jura? Prince Vuntan?! I know that view! It's the view from the still room at Caol Ila! I recognise this label too, except this one says "Batch 2" on it... [Jake has…  More info

Caol Ila - Batch 2 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)
$58.74

Lagavulin Distillery Only

70cl, 52.50%
Lagavulin

A very special Lagavulin, this "distillery only" bottling is made with the remnant of whisky from a previous bottling run of Distiller's Edition. It is then re-casked and left for a few extra years.  More info

Lagavulin Distillery Only
2
$459.39

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)
$851.41

Caol Ila 34 Year Old 1980 (cask 4962) - Mackillop's Choice

70cl, 53%
Caol Ila

34 year old single malt Scotch whisky from the Caol Ila distillery, bottled as part of the Mackillop's Choice range - an excellent choice, chaps! This Islay single malt was distilled in May 1980 and…  More info

Caol Ila 34 Year Old 1980 (cask 4962) - Mackillop's Choice
$294.01

Laphroaig 10 Year Old 2005 (cask 80080) - Dimensions (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 55.90%
Laphroaig

An independent bottling of single malt Scotch whisky from one of Islay's most famous distilleries, Laphroaig. This was distilled in May 2005 and set aside to age for 10 years, until Duncan Taylor…  More info

Laphroaig 10 Year Old 2005 (cask 80080) - Dimensions (Duncan Taylor)
$95.88

Bowmore 16 Year Old 1989

70cl, 51.80%
Bowmore

A cask strength 16 year old, a rare edition from a vatting of 134 casks of 1989 vintage Bowmore, most of the casks were ex-bourbon. The resultant single malt is thick and exudes fruit and floral…  More info

Bowmore 16 Year Old 1989

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