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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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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
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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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Bunnahabhain 12 Year Old
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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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Independently bottled Bunnahabhain single malt Scotch whisky, handsomely presented as part of Hunter Laing's fantastic Old & Rare range. This Islay single malt was distilled in November 1991 and...  More info
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From the Bunnahabhain distillery on the island of Islay comes a 23 year old single malt Scotch whisky, released as a joint bottling between La Maison du Whisky and The Nectar in Belgium. It was...  More info
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Bunnahabhain 25 Year Old
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In what will be seen as a positive move to whisky connoisseurs, Bunnahabhain have decided to bottle the 25 year old without chill-filtration and without colouring. Presented in smoked oak glass bottle...  More info
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Douglas Laing's Directors' Cut range is reserved for some very special, well aged whiskies, and this 25 year old Bunnahabhain fits into those categories rather splendidly! The single hogshead was...  More info
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Independently bottled single malt Scotch whisky from the Bunnahabhain distillery on the island of Islay, matured in a single cask for 26 long years! For over a quarter of a century, from 1987 to 2014...  More info
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Single cask Bunnahabhain, presented by the brilliant Berry Brothers & Rudd. This is a 26 year old Islay whisky, distilled in 1987 and left to age in cask 2464. In 2014, the cask was cracked open an...  More info
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Released as part of the Duncan Taylor Single range, this is a 34 year old Bunnahabhain single malt Scotch whisky, drawn from a single Sherry oak cask. It was distilled in September 1979 and bottled in...  More info
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An independent bottling of Bunnahabhain single malt Scotch whisky, which was matured in a refill hogshead for 35 long years! This Islay expression was distilled in December 1978 and bottled in June...  More info
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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
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The Tantalus range from Duncan Taylor is one for the collectors out there. All the whiskies in the range are extraordinarily rare, most of them having matured for over 40 years. Once Duncan Taylor...  More info
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One of the stupendously well presented & well aged Duncan Taylor Tantalus collection, this time featuring a 44 year old Bunnahabhain single malt Scotch whisky. Yes, that's right, this whisky matured...  More info
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Bunnahabhain Ceòbanach
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For the Ceòbanach (pronounced 'kyaw-bin-och'), the Bunnahabhain distillers have taken inspiration from the days when the distillery used to produced heavily peated spirit. Meaning 'Smoky mist' in...  More info
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An independently bottled, heavily peated Bunnahabhain! This 7 year old single malt from the Bunnahabhain distillery on Islay was distilled in 2006 and matured in a single cask until 2014, when it was...  More info
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A 6 year old single cask Bunnahabhain distilled in 2006 and bottled in early 2013 by Berry Brothers & Rudd. It will come as no surprise that no artificial colouring was added to this one.  More info
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This is a youthful, small-batch bottling of Caol Ila from the Provenance range, bottled in Winter 2012 without an age statement. It was described by the bottlers as "Young and Feisty".  More info
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An indie bottling of 10 year old Caol Ila single malt. It was distilled on Islay in 2003 and matured until 2014, when it was bottled with an outturn of 738 bottles. We have WM Cadenhead to thank for...  More info
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Caol Ila 12 Year Old
(70cl, 43%)
This 12 year old is the entry level bottling from the Caol Ila distillery, launched in June of 2002 this expression is light and fresh with that distinctive Caol Ila smoke.  More info
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It's not every day you see unpeated Caol Ila, but it's part of Diageo's Special Releases for a reason - it's a bit special, it is. Released for the 2014 collection of Special Releases, this edition...  More info
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Caol Ila 18 Year Old
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A wonderfully balanced expression from the core Caol Ila range, this 18 year old is malty and thick with notes of Caol Ila smoke and phenols, a lovely Islay single malt without extreme levels of peat...  More info
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"Young & feisty" single malt from the Caol Ila distillery, presented as part of Douglas Laing's Provenance range. This Islay whisky was distilled in the autumn of 2008 and matured in two refill...  More info
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Islay whiskies are very popular these days, and with bottles like this 23 year old Caol Ila being incredibly tasty, we're not surprised! This bottling comes from Montgomerie's Rare Select collection.  More info
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