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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.

Beach Bonfires 1998 - Wemyss Malts (Laphroaig)

70cl, 46%
Laphroaig

This is a superb whisky from Wemyss Malts and it was distilled at the Laphroaig distillery in 1998. It was aged in a single hogshead before bottling in 2012. With the apt moniker "Beach Bonfires",…  More info

Beach Bonfires 1998 - Wemyss Malts (Laphroaig)
$91.89

Billowing Embers 1997 - Wemyss Malts (Bunnahabhain)

70cl, 46%
Bunnahabhain

Smoky, fleeting, and somewhat ethereal. Delicious single cask Bunnahabhain from Wemyss.  More info

Billowing Embers 1997 - Wemyss Malts (Bunnahabhain)
$80.12

Blowing on a Sea Breeze 1990 (bottled 2015) - Wemyss Malts (Bunnahabhain)

70cl, 46%
Bunnahabhain

'Blowing on a Sea Breeze' is that name of this Wemyss Malts independent bottling of Bunnahabhain single malt, matured in a single hogshead from 1990 to 2015. It was bottled with an outturn of 209…  More info

Blowing on a Sea Breeze 1990 (bottled 2015) - Wemyss Malts (Bunnahabhain)
$125.92

Bn1 - Elements of Islay (Bunnahabhain)

50cl, 56.10%
Bunnahabhain

A supremely good little whisky, bottled by Speciality Drinks. Bn1 is the first ever Elements of Islay release from this secret "unnamed" distillery at the north of Islay whose name rhymes with…  More info

Bn1 - Elements of Islay (Bunnahabhain)
$42.83

Bn4 - Elements of Islay (Bunnahabhain)

50cl, 54.50%
Bunnahabhain

This Bunnahabhain is the fourth release from this distillery from independent bottler Speciality drinks.  More info

Bn4 - Elements of Islay (Bunnahabhain)
$43.49

Bn6 - Elements of Islay (Bunnahabhain)

50cl, 56.90%
Bunnahabhain

An Elements of Islay bottling of single malt from the mysterious "Bn" distillery. Well, not too mysterious, we're sure you can figure out which one it came from. This is the sixth bottling of Bn…  More info

Bn6 - Elements of Islay (Bunnahabhain)
$54.93

Boisdale 1998 Islay (Berry Bros. & Rudd)

70cl, 46%
Laphroaig

Bottled for the Boisdale Bar and Restaurant, this was distilled at Laphroaig in 1998, and aged in hogshead number 700218 before bottling in 2011. Selected by Doug McIvor.  More info

Boisdale 1998 Islay (Berry Bros. & Rudd)
$58.23

Bonfire Embers 1997 - Wemyss Malts (Bunnahabhain)

70cl, 46%
Bunnahabhain

This is a single malt whisky bottled by Wemyss Malts. Wemyss originally dealt in wine, as such they are taking a vintner's approach to selecting whisky. Wemyss name their single malt whiskies…  More info

Bonfire Embers 1997 - Wemyss Malts (Bunnahabhain)
$78.38

Bonfires on the Beach 1997 (Wemyss Malts)

70cl, 46%
Bunnahabhain

A delicious single cask Bunnahabhain distilled in 1997 and bottled by Wemyss Malts in August of 2008. This is a release of just 360 bottles.  More info

Bonfires on the Beach 1997 (Wemyss Malts)
$91.89

Bowmore - Batch 1 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)

50cl, 48.70%
Bowmore

This is the first batch of That Boutique-y Whisky Company’s Bowmore. This offering is a peaty style with a sherried streak running right through the middle of it. ‘That Boutique-y Whisky Company’…  More info

Bowmore - Batch 1 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)

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)

Bowmore 10 Year Old (Adelphi)

70cl, 58.80%
Bowmore

One of 306 bottles yielded at 54.7% ABV. The younger bowmores from Adelphi are a stark contrast to the distillery's own younger releases, and stand up well to the (very impressive) Tempest releases.  More info

Bowmore 10 Year Old (Adelphi)

Bowmore 10 Year Old 1997 Advance Sample - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)

20cl, 50%
Bowmore

This was distilled in March of 1997, and it was aged in refill hogshead 3538 for 10 years before bottling in May 2008 by Douglas Laing.  More info

Bowmore 10 Year Old 1997 Advance Sample - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)

Bowmore 10 Year Old 2000 - Provenance (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 46%
Bowmore

This was distilled at Bowmore in Autumn of 2000 and aged for 10 years in a single refill hogshead before bottling for the Provenance range from Douglas Laing in Autumn of 2010. Deliciously malty,…  More info

Bowmore 10 Year Old 2000 - Provenance (Douglas Laing)
$53.70

Bowmore 10 Year Old 2002 (cask 9325) - Provenance (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 46%
Bowmore

This was distilled at the Bowmore distillery in Autumn 2002 before a 10 year maturation in a single refill hogshead. It was bottled for the Provenance range in Winter 2012.  More info

Bowmore 10 Year Old 2002 (cask 9325) - Provenance (Douglas Laing)
$67.21

Bowmore 10 Year Old 2002 (cask 9574) - Provenance (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 46%
Bowmore

A winter distillation of Bowmore from indie bottlers Douglas Laing. Part of their Provenance range, this Islay single cask whisky was bottled in spring 2013 after 10 years in a refill hogshead.  More info

Bowmore 10 Year Old 2002 (cask 9574) - Provenance (Douglas Laing)
$67.21

Bowmore 10 Year Old Devil's Casks I

70cl, 56.90%
Bowmore

If the chaps at Bowmore are to be believed, the Devil himself once visited the Islay town and hid in a church. But, because the Devil is silly, he hid in a round church which had "no corner for the…  More info

Bowmore 10 Year Old Devil's Casks I
5

Bowmore 10 Year Old Devil's Casks II

70cl, 56.30%
Bowmore

"What in the Devil's name is this?" Well, good friends, this is the second release of Bowmore's Devil's Casks single malt Scotch whisky, the first of which was released in 2013 (and proved very…  More info

Bowmore 10 Year Old Devil's Casks II
1
$241.84

Bowmore 10 Year Old Tempest Feis Ile 2010

70cl, 55.30%
Bowmore

Bowmore Tempest arrived amidst masses of anticipation. It was a limited release. This is the even more limited, and rather rare, 2010 Feis Ile edition.  More info

Bowmore 10 Year Old Tempest Feis Ile 2010
$142.79

Bowmore 100 Degrees Proof

100cl, 57.10%
Bowmore

Produced for the travel market, Bowmore 100 degrees Proof is a cask-strength, non chill-filtered Bowmore that packs a hefty maritime punch.  More info

Bowmore 100 Degrees Proof
3
$87.90

Bowmore 11 Year Old 2000 (Boisdale Collection)

70cl, 46%
Bowmore

This Bowmore was bottled by Berry Brothers and Rudd for the Boisdale chain of Scottish bars and restaurants. It is bottled at 46%abv without chill filtration.  More info

Bowmore 11 Year Old 2000 (Boisdale Collection)
$47.82

Bowmore 11 Year Old 2000 (Cask 7858) - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 50%
Bowmore

An 11 year old Bowmore, distilled in September 2000 and aged in a sherry butt before bottling in November 2011. A rich, muscular malt, and part of a release of just 439 bottles.  More info

Bowmore 11 Year Old 2000 (Cask 7858) - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)
$60.14

Bowmore 11 Year Old 2001 - Strictly Limited (Càrn Mòr)

70cl, 46%
Bowmore

Distilled in 2001, this 11 year old Bowmore came from two casks and was subsequently finished in a Pedro Ximinez cask. Bottled by Carn Mor as part of their Strictly Limited range this is a release of…  More info

Bowmore 11 Year Old 2001 - Strictly Limited (Càrn Mòr)

Bowmore 12 Year Old (Alchemist)

70cl, 46%
Bowmore

A very rich, charactered 12 year old Bowmore, bottled by top bottlers, Alchemist. Very distinct, and uniquely Bowmore.  More info

Bowmore 12 Year Old (Alchemist)
$42.83

Bowmore 12 Year Old - Jewels of Scotland (Lombard)

70cl, 50%
Bowmore

This twelve year old Bowmore distilled in 1989 was bottled by Lombard for their Jewels of Scotland range. Bowmore is the oldest distillery on the island of Islay and is a peated style of single malt…  More info

Bowmore 12 Year Old - Jewels of Scotland (Lombard)
$70.51

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