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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.

Laphroaig 15 Year Old 2001 (cask 12787) - The First Editions (Hunter Laing)

70cl, 59.8%
Laphroaig

From the Hunter Laing First Editions range (which was given a redesign in the latter half of 2016) comes a 15 year old single malt distilled by Laphroaig on the Isle of Islay. This was distilled in…  More info

Laphroaig 15 Year Old 2001 (cask 12787) - The First Editions (Hunter Laing)

Bunnahabhain 24 Year Old 1990 - Highland Laird (Bartels Whisky)

70cl, 47.2%
Bunnahabhain

A Highland Laird bottling of Bunnahabhain single malt Scotch whisky, aged in a single bourbon hogshead cask for 24 years. This was distilled on the Isle of Islay in 1990 and bottled nearly a quarter…  More info

Bunnahabhain 24 Year Old 1990 - Highland Laird (Bartels Whisky)

Octomore 6 Year Old 2009 (cask 4319) (Rest & Be Thankful) (La Maison du Whisky 60th Anniversary)

70cl, 65.6%
Bruichladdich

A Rest & Be Thankful independent bottling of 7 year old Octomore heavily peated single malt from the Bruichladdich distillery, finished in a cask that previously held Pauillac wine from the Bordeaux…  More info

Octomore 6 Year Old 2009 (cask 4319) (Rest & Be Thankful) (La Maison du Whisky 60th Anniversary)
$295.27

Caol Ila 11 Year Old 2005 (casks 301521, 301523, 301524 & 301527) - Cask Strength (Gordon & MacPhail)

70cl, 57.3%
Caol Ila

Matured in four first fill Sherry butts, this is a treat of an independently bottled Islay single malt. Distilled at Caol Ila in February 2005, it was bottled by Gordon & MacPhail for their Cask…  More info

Caol Ila 11 Year Old 2005 (casks 301521, 301523, 301524 & 301527) - Cask Strength (Gordon & MacPhail)

Caol Ila 8 Year Old 2008 - Strictly Limited (Càrn Mòr)

70cl, 46%
Caol Ila

An indie bottling of Islay single malt Scotch whisky from the Coal Ila distillery, drawn fro a pair of hogshead casks which were filled in 2008 and cracked open in 2016. This is a Strictly Limited…  More info

Caol Ila 8 Year Old 2008 - Strictly Limited (Càrn Mòr)

Laphroaig 25 Year Old

70cl, 48.6%
Laphroaig

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 malt from Islay. Laphroaig aged…  More info

Laphroaig 25 Year Old
3
$319.42

Laphroaig 10 Year Old Cask Strength - Batch 008 Mar 16

70cl, 59.2%
Laphroaig

The eighth batch of Laphroaig 10 Year Old Cask Strength, bottled in March 2016 at a generous 59.2% ABV. These releases are well-loved among Islay whisky enthusiasts for packing a hearty punch of…  More info

Laphroaig 10 Year Old Cask Strength - Batch 008 Mar 16
$138.36

Bruichladdich 21 Year Old 1989 - Black Art 2

70cl, 49.7%
Bruichladdich

The second release of Bruichladdich's Black Art whisky 'Matured in the Stygian* darkness of Warehouse number 12'. *relating to the river Styx. (no? us neither. We reckon someone's been at an online…  More info

Bruichladdich 21 Year Old 1989 - Black Art 2
9

Bunnahabhain 29 Year Old 1987 - A Rare Find (Gleann Mór)

70cl, 47.1%
Bunnahabhain

A Rare Find bottling from Gleann Mór here - 29 year old single malt from the Bunnahabhain distillery on the Isle of Islay, drawn from a single cask which housed the whisky from February 1987 to March…  More info

Bunnahabhain 29 Year Old 1987 - A Rare Find (Gleann Mór)

Port Charlotte PC10

70cl, 59.8%
Bruichladdich

It's the PC10 expression from Bruichladdich powerfully peaty Port Charlotte series of releases. This release also marked 10 years of Allan Logan, who became the youngest distillery manager in…  More info

Port Charlotte PC10
$212.89

Port Charlotte PC7

70cl, 61%
Bruichladdich

PC7 is a heavily peated release from the Bruichladdich distillery from the limited release Port Charlotte range. This bottle was part of a private collection - if you'd like more detailed info…  More info

Port Charlotte PC7
3
$234.19

Caol Ila 5 Year Old 2008 (cask 311913) - Artist #6 (La Maison du Whisky)

70cl, 61.5%
Caol Ila

"Aged over 5 years", the exact age of these releases is never immediately obvious, rounded down to the nearest 5 years as they always are. The distillation date of 2008 and bottling date in 2016…  More info

Caol Ila 5 Year Old 2008 (cask 311913) - Artist #6 (La Maison du Whisky)
$110.62

Octomore 6 Year Old 2009 (cask 2009004314) - Tempranillo Cask (Rest & Be Thankful)

70cl, 65.7%
Bruichladdich

Very well-peated single malt from Bruichladdich, bottled under their Octomore name by Rest & Be Thankful! This was distilled in November 2009 and aged for 6 years in a cask that previously held…  More info

Octomore 6 Year Old 2009 (cask 2009004314) - Tempranillo Cask (Rest & Be Thankful)
$224.82

Port Charlotte PC9

70cl, 59.2%
Bruichladdich

An incredibly limited release from Bruichladdich, this edition of the ferociously peaty Port Charlotte was aged for 9 years in American oak, and there are just 6,000 bottles This bottle was part…  More info

Port Charlotte PC9
1

Laphroaig Cairdeas (2008 Edition)

70cl, 55%
Laphroaig

Cairdeas derives from the Gaelic for 'Friendship', this is a rare cask strength edition from the Laphroaig distillery. This bottle was part of a private collection - if you'd like more detailed…  More info

Laphroaig Cairdeas (2008 Edition)
3

Bowmore 12 Year Old 2003 (cask 20142) - Cask Collection (A. D. Rattray)

70cl, 59.5%
Bowmore

Indie Islay whisky here, distilled by Bowmore and bottled by A.D. Rattray! It was distilled back in October 2003 and set aside to age in a bourbon cask for 12 years, before being bottled in July 2016…  More info

Bowmore 12 Year Old 2003 (cask 20142) - Cask Collection (A. D. Rattray)

Caol Ila 7 Year Old 2008 - Strictly Limited (Càrn Mòr)

70cl, 46%
Caol Ila

Single malt from Islay distilled in 2008 and matured in two hogshead casks and bottled in 2016 by Càrn Mòr. The outturn was 760 bottles of peaty whisky.  More info

Caol Ila 7 Year Old 2008 - Strictly Limited (Càrn Mòr)
2

Bunnahabhain Toiteach

70cl, 46%
Bunnahabhain

Toiteach is Gaelic for "Smoky", a hint of what's to come. That's right, a heavily peated Bunnahabhain! A great chance to try a smoky malt from a distiller of gentle, fruity Islay whisky.  More info

Bunnahabhain Toiteach
13
$63.83

Laphroaig Cairdeas 200th Anniversary Edition (2015)

70cl, 51.5%
Laphroaig

Released during Fèis Ìle 2015 and marking the distillery's 200th anniversary, for this special edition of Laphroaig Cairdeas Master Distiller John Campbell used 100% floor malted barley (from the…  More info

Laphroaig Cairdeas 200th Anniversary Edition (2015)
11

Bunnahabhain 26 Year Old 1987 - Highland Laird (Bartels Whisky)

70cl, 51.1%
Bunnahabhain

A Highland Laird bottling of some rather well-aged Bunnahabhain single malt Scotch whisky! This was distilled in 1987, matured in a bourbon hogshead and bottled 26 years later by Bartels Whisky. The…  More info

Bunnahabhain 26 Year Old 1987 - Highland Laird (Bartels Whisky)

Caol Ila 5 Year Old 2010 (cask 11321) - Provenance (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 46%
Caol Ila

An indie bottling of 5 year old Caol Ila single malt, drawn from a refill hogshead which was filled on the Isle of Islay in December 2010 and emptied in August 2016. This is yet another tasty…  More info

Caol Ila 5 Year Old 2010 (cask 11321) - Provenance (Douglas Laing)

Bruichladdich Islay Barley 2004

70cl, 50%
Bruichladdich

A 2004 vintage single malt from the Bruichladdich distillery, made using barley from one farm on the Isle of Islay - Kentraw Farm, only a mile away from the distillery! This bottle was part of a…  More info

Bruichladdich Islay Barley 2004

Kilchoman Machir Bay 2014 Release

70cl, 46%
Kilchoman

The 2014 release of Kilchoman's Machir Bay single malt Scotch whisky is here! For the third release in the series, Kilchoman have produced a vatting of 5 and 6 year old ex-bourbon barrels and Oloroso…  More info

Kilchoman Machir Bay 2014 Release
28

Ardbeg Perpetuum - Bicentenary Committee Release

70cl, 49.2%
Ardbeg

The Ardbeg Committee edition of the distillery's bicentennial release - Perpetuum. Originally only available from the distillery itself! An accomplished blend of both young and old stock. This…  More info

Ardbeg Perpetuum - Bicentenary Committee Release

Bunnahabhain 21 Year Old - Adelphi's Liddesdale (Batch 10)

70cl, 46%
Bunnahabhain

A 21 year old Bunnhabhain bottled by Adelphi for their Liddesdale series. Previously, the Liddesdale bottling were released without disclosing the distillery, though it now seems that they are more…  More info

Bunnahabhain 21 Year Old - Adelphi's Liddesdale (Batch 10)

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