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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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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
User Rating: 
$102.65
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
$313.72
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
$123.25
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
$163.01
Bunnahabhain 25 Year Old
(70cl, 46.30%)
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
User Rating: 
$323.79
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
$311.90
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
$223.62
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
$562.91
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
$433.70
Part of La Maison du Whisky's Tartan range of independently bottled whiskies, this is a 4 year old Bunnahabhain single malt Scotch whisky from the island of Islay.  More info
$48.94
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
$2019.75
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
$2063.03
An 8 year old Bunnahabhain, an Islay single malt from the smart-looking, newly packaged MacPhail's Collection.  More info
User Rating: 
$44.93
Bunnahabhain Ceòbanach
(70cl, 46.30%)
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
$68.25
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
$83.17
Bunnahabhain Toiteach
(70cl, 46%)
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
User Rating: 
$88.86
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
$81.41
Bw3 is the third instalment of Bowmore single malt Scotch whisky for Speciality Drinks' Elements of Islay range. It doesn't take a scientist to know that this should be some tasty independently...  More info
$89.04
From Speciality Drinks' Elements of Islay range comes Bw4, an independently bottled single malt Scotch whisky from a famous Islay distillery. You might have heard of them, in fact. You might even be...  More info
$103.89
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
$89.40
Fancy some cask strength Caol Ila single malt? Well lucky you, we've got some right here, bottled by the one and only Gordon & MacPhail! This is a 12 year old Caol Ila, distilled in September 2003 and...  More info
$78.70
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
$114.23
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
User Rating: 
$60.35
One of the best Unpeated Caol Ila's so far (as of 2011), this is a stunning whisky, distilled in 1999 and aged in first fill ex bourbon American oak casks. Really very good indeed! A release of 6,000...  More info
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$100.73
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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$109.85
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