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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.

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
18
$58.37

Octomore 7 Year Old 2008 (cask 2008000908) - French Oak Cask (Rest & Be Thankful)

70cl, 63.90%
Bruichladdich

An independent bottling of the insanely peated Octomore single malt from Bruichladdich distillery. Distilled on 19th March 2008 and matured in a single French oak cask, just 316 bottles were produced…  More info

Octomore 7 Year Old 2008 (cask 2008000908) - French Oak Cask (Rest & Be Thankful)
$203.92

Bruichladdich Islay Barley 2007

70cl, 50%
Bruichladdich

Made from barley harvested at Rockside Farm, Islay, in 2006 and distilled in 2007. The specially selected grain, the slow distillation and carefully considered casks were vital in creating this…  More info

Bruichladdich Islay Barley 2007
7
$50.87

Ardbeg Supernova 2014 (SN2014) - Committee Release

70cl, 55%
Ardbeg

The 2014 're-entry' Committee Release of Ardbeg's celebrated Supernova, sought-after super-peaty whisky from this famous Islay distillery. This bottle was part of a private collection. More…  More info

Ardbeg Supernova 2014 (SN2014) - Committee Release
$380.28

Bunnahabhain 36 Year Old 1978 (cask 1) - Mission Gold (Murray McDavid)

70cl, 50.40%
Bunnahabhain

An very interesting indie bottling from Murray McDavid's Mission Gold - 36 year old Bunnahabhain! Distilled in 1978, this was initially matured in a bourbon barrel before being transferred over to a…  More info

Bunnahabhain 36 Year Old 1978 (cask 1) - Mission Gold (Murray McDavid)
$332.82

Bruichladdich 25 Year Old 1990 (cask 141) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 58%
Bruichladdich

Cask strength Bruichladdich! This 25 year old Islay single malt was distilled back in September 1990 and left to age in a single refill butt until November 2015, when it was bottled with an outturn…  More info

Bruichladdich 25 Year Old 1990 (cask 141) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)
$165.01

Caol Ila 28 Year Old 1981 (casks 5671 & 5672) - The Coopers Choice (The Vintage Malt Whisky Co.)

70cl, 46%
Caol Ila

A 28 year old Caol Ila, drawn from a pair of casks and bottled by The Vintage Malt Whisky Co. for The Coopers Choice range. This was distilled in 1981 and bottled in 2010 - a release of 600 bottles.  More info

Caol Ila 28 Year Old 1981 (casks 5671 & 5672) - The Coopers Choice (The Vintage Malt Whisky Co.)

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

70cl, 47.90%
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)
$938.35

Shellfish Platter 1997 (bottled 2015) - Wemyss Malts (Bowmore)

70cl, 46%
Bowmore

A single cask Bowmore, bottled by the folks at Wemyss Malts! This was distilled on Islay in 1997 and left to age in a single hgshead cask until 2015, when it was bottled at 46% ABV and bestowed the…  More info

Shellfish Platter 1997 (bottled 2015) - Wemyss Malts (Bowmore)
$94.90

Bunnahabhain 8 Year Old 2007 (outturn: 374 bottles) - Hepburn's Choice (Langside)

70cl, 46%
Bunnahabhain

From the Hepburn's Choice range of independently bottled Scotch whiskies comes an 8 year old Bunnahabhain, distilled on the island of Islay in 2007 and matured in a single hogshead. It was bottled by…  More info

Bunnahabhain 8 Year Old 2007 (outturn: 374 bottles) - Hepburn's Choice (Langside)
$49.05

Laphroaig 15 Year Old 2000 (cask 10972) - Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 48.40%
Laphroaig

A superbly smoky single malt from Laphroaig here, bottled by those daring Douglas Laing chaps. It was distilled on the Isle of Islay in September 2000 and aged in a refill hogshead for 15 years until…  More info

Laphroaig 15 Year Old 2000 (cask 10972) - Old Particular (Douglas Laing)
$112.95

Bowmore Virgin Oak - Feis Ile 2015

70cl, 55.70%
Bowmore

A festival release from Fèis Ìle 2015 of 1,000 bottles matured in selected virgin oak casks and bottled at natural strength! This bottle was part of a private collection. More detailed…  More info

Bowmore Virgin Oak - Feis Ile 2015
$198.35

Caol Ila 2000 (bottled 2015) (cask 15061) - Malts of Scotland

70cl, 54.80%
Caol Ila

This bottling of Caol Ila single malt Scotch whisky comes to us via German indie bottler Malts of Scotland. It was allowed to age in a single bourbon hogshead from 2000 to 2015, before being bottled…  More info

Caol Ila 2000 (bottled 2015) (cask 15061) - Malts of Scotland
$90.94

Lagavulin Islay Jazz Festival 2015

70cl, 55.40%
Lagavulin

A special bottling of Lagavulin for the 2015 Islay Jazz Festival (released a little later that year), matured in refill American oak as well as European oak casks. This bottle was part of a…  More info

Lagavulin Islay Jazz Festival 2015
$468.46

Bruichladdich 26 Year Old 1989 (cask 10859) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 52.10%
Bruichladdich

Distilled in April 1989 at Bruichladdich, this 26 year old independent release from a single refill hogshead filled 225 bottles in September 2015. A well aged Islay malt from Douglas Laing's Extra…  More info

Bruichladdich 26 Year Old 1989 (cask 10859) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)
$184.66

Bruichladdich Wild and Primitive 2002 (cask 561) (bottled 2013) - Samaroli

70cl, 57%
Bruichladdich

A smart looking cask strength independent Bruichladdich from Italian bottler Samaroli. The outturn was 330 numbered bottles.  More info

Bruichladdich Wild and Primitive 2002 (cask 561) (bottled 2013) - Samaroli
$194.95

Bunnahabhain 26 Year Old 1987 (cask 2787) - (Berry Bros. & Rudd)

70cl, 46%
Bunnahabhain

26 year old Bunnhabhain single malt Scotch whisky, bottled by Berry Brothers & Rudd. It was distilled in 1987, then bottled over quarter of century later in 2014, being drawn from a single cask and…  More info

Bunnahabhain 26 Year Old 1987 (cask 2787) - (Berry Bros. & Rudd)
$165.01

Bruichladdich 24 Year Old 1991 - Cask Strength (Gordon & MacPhail)

70cl, 53.30%
Bruichladdich

A cask strength bottling of single malt Scotch whisky from the Bruichladdich distillery on the island of Islay, drawn from three refill American hogshead casks. It was distilled in October 1991 and…  More info

Bruichladdich 24 Year Old 1991 - Cask Strength (Gordon & MacPhail)
$123.91

Bowmore 28 Year Old 1981 Vintage Edition

70cl, 49.50%
Bowmore

A limited edition 1981 vintage Bowmore single malt Scotch whisky, matured for 28 years before being bottled at 49.6% in 2010. Each numbered bottle comes with a certificate of authenticity signed by…  More info

Bowmore 28 Year Old 1981 Vintage Edition
$1074.69

Caol Ila 31 Year Old 1983 (cask 5298) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 49.60%
Caol Ila

A Signatory bottling of cask strength Caol Ila single malt Scotch whisky, matured in a single hogshead for 31 years. It was distilled by the Islay distillery in November 1983 and bottled in February…  More info

Caol Ila 31 Year Old 1983 (cask 5298) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)
$350.52

Bunnahabhain 8 Year Old 2007 (cask 10966) - Provenance (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 46%
Bunnahabhain

A relatively young Bunnah from Douglas Laing's Provenance range, which features whiskies from 7 to around 14 years old. This 8 year old from Islay was distilled in October 2007 and bottled in…  More info

Bunnahabhain 8 Year Old 2007 (cask 10966) - Provenance (Douglas Laing)
$49.05

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)
15
$110.17

Bruichladdich 23 Year Old 1992 (casks 3081 & 3097) - Un-Chillfiltered (Signatory)

70cl, 46%
Bruichladdich

Single malt whisky from Islay matured in a pair of hogsheads and bottled by Signatory without chill-filtration at a strength of 46% in March 2016.  More info

Bruichladdich 23 Year Old 1992 (casks 3081 & 3097) - Un-Chillfiltered (Signatory)
$89.32

Caol Ila 25 Year Old 1989 (cask 10749) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 53.60%
Caol Ila

Well aged Caol Ila, anyone? Oh yes, this is a single cask bottling of 25 year old single malt from the legendary Islay distillery, presented as part of the Xtra Old Particular range by Douglas Laing.…  More info

Caol Ila 25 Year Old 1989 (cask 10749) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)
$286.59

Ardbeg Supernova 2015 (SN2015) - Committee Release

70cl, 54.30%
Ardbeg

Ardbeg, in case you didn't know, sent some maturing spirit into space. Or, more accurately, tubes of "Ardbeg-crafted molecules" that also contained sticks of charred oak. The idea was to compare…  More info

Ardbeg Supernova 2015 (SN2015) - Committee Release
3
$380.28

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