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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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Bowmore Gold Reef 1l
(100cl, 43%)
From Bowmore's travel retail selection, unveiled in 2014, the Gold Reef is a gorgeous coastal dram, matured mostly in first-fill ex-bourbon casks. A fantastic Islay single malt.  More info
$91.51
Bowmore Small Batch is an elegant Islay single malt, when gets matured in both first-fill and second-fill bourbon barrels. A great introduction to Bowmore's lovely smoky flavour profile - the Small...  More info
$56.40
Bowmore's 4th release of the 10 year old, bourbon matured Tempest. Decribed on the box as being "as fresh as the sea-air with wisps of peat smoke and sweet citrus", this matches this batch...  More info
User Rating: 
$76.82
From the oldest distillery on Islay comes the fifth release of Bowmore's 10 year old Tempest single malt Scotch whisky. This annual release is matured in first-fill bourbon casks and presented at cask...  More info
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$76.82
Released in a trio of travel retail bottlings, Bowmore's White Sands 17 Year Old single malt Scotch whisky gets matured in ex-bourbon casks, bringing creamy vanilla and thick treacle notes to the...  More info
$122.03
Nice to see you, to see you... Anyway, the second batch of Bruichladdich single malt Scotch whisky bottled by That Boutique-y Whisky Company has arrived, and with it we revisit the pinnacle of TV game...  More info
$97.61
The first of two special releases to mark the acquisition and rebirth of Bruichladdich distillery, distilled in 1998 under the previous ownership. 2,500 bottles were produced, matured in bourbon casks...  More info
$124.34
A very well-aged Bruichladdich from Berry Brothers & Rudd dating to the Whyte & Mackay era.  More info
$138.15
An independent bottling of 21 year old single malt Scotch whisky from the Bruichladdich distillery on the island of Islay. It was distilled in December 1992 and left to mature in a single cask until...  More info
$185.29
From one of Islay's most inventive distilleries, Bruichladdich, comes this 21 year old single malt - by way of Douglas Laing's Old Particular range. It was matured in a single refill hogshead from May...  More info
$154.44
Ooh, an indie Bruichladdich! And bottled at cask strength, no less. Very exciting stuff from Gordon & MacPahil. This Islay single malt was distilled in October 1991 and matured in refill Sherry...  More info
$161.16
The fourth release of the legendary Bruichladdich Black Art whisky. With the recipe a mystery to everyone apart from the creator, it's still a cryptic enigma.  More info
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$274.20
A second of two special releases to mark the acquisition and rebirth of the Islay distillery, originally founded in 1881. Distilled in 2001 and matured in bourbon casks, 2,500 unpeated bottles were...  More info
$103.41
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 iconic...  More info
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$66.93
The sixth edition of experimental Octomore, famous for being made with the most heavily peated barley on the planet. Bruichladdich are still able to impart a delicate, graceful emphasis within this...  More info
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$143.88
Unveiled in 2014, Octomore 06.3 Islay Barley was made with barley grown on Islay. In fact, the crop was grown in the field known as Lorgba on Octomore farm! As ever with Bruichladdich's Octomore...  More info
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$220.88
Well, this is rather exciting - Octomore single malt Scotch whisky from the Bruichladdich distillery, independently bottled by the Rest & Be Thankful Whisky Company. This heavily peated, Sauternes...  More info
$282.38
An independent bottling from the Rest & Be Thankful Whisky Company of 6 year old Octomore single malt Scotch whisky from the Bruichladdich distillery. This heavily peated dram was distilled in March...  More info
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$282.38
A travel retail release of Bruichladdich organic single malt Scotch whisky, made with barley sourced from Mid Coul Farm, Mains of Tullibardine Farm and Coulmore farm. It's an unpeted expression, light...  More info
$98.09
Created by Jim McEwan from whisky matured in American oak casks alongside Lochindaal, and chosen to represent the classic, unpeated distillery style. Bruichladdich's new signature bottling is made...  More info
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$63.54
Bunnahabhain 12 Year Old
(70cl, 46.30%)
This entry level Bunnahabhain bottling comes in a redesigned bottle. This 12 year old is lightly peated for an Islay single malt and consequently is a light, fresh dram. Now at the higher strength of...  More info
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$56.22
We all have to celebrate the seasons, even if some of those seasons bring mind-numbing heat and others bring ridiculous freezing winds. Why should we celebrate them? Because they don't only bring us...  More info
$83.63
Bunnahabhain 18 Year Old
(70cl, 46.30%)
In what will be seen as a positive move to whisky connoisseurs, Bunnahabhain have decided to bottle the 18 year old without chill-filtration and without colouring.  More info
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$105.49
Love Islay whisky, specifically the brilliant single malts from Bunnahabhain? Then get yourself over here and check out this little stunner. A 23 year old peated single malt Scotch whisky from that...  More info
$126.66
A Coopers Choice bottling of Bunnahabhain single malt Scotch whisky, distilled all the way back in the glorious year 1990. The single hogshead lovingly matured the whisky until it was cracked open in...  More info
$108.08
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