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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.

Bunnahabhain Moine Oloroso

70cl, 60.1%
Bunnahabhain

Ooh, a limited edition Bunnahabhain - very exciting stuff indeed! Their Moine Oloroso expression was drawn from seven Oloroso Sherry casks and has been bottled at cask strength without any…  More info

Bunnahabhain Moine Oloroso
4
$82.83

Bunnahabhain Samaroli 45th Anniversary (cask 4)

70cl, 40%
Bunnahabhain

A special 45th anniversary release bottled in October 2013 - only 112 bottles were produced!  More info

Bunnahabhain Samaroli 45th Anniversary (cask 4)
$849.29

Caol Ila 10 Year Old 2006 (cask 303014) - Pearls of Scotland (Gordon & Company)

70cl, 57.2%
Caol Ila

An independently bottled Caol Ila single malt, aged in a single cask for 10 years. It was distilled in April 2006 and bottled a decade later in June 2016 by the chaps from Gordon & Company for the…  More info

Caol Ila 10 Year Old 2006 (cask 303014) - Pearls of Scotland (Gordon & Company)
1
$86.53

Caol Ila 12 Year Old

70cl, 43%
Caol Ila

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

Caol Ila 12 Year Old
94
$46.21

Caol Ila 15 Year Old 2000 Unpeated (Special Release 2016)

70cl, 61.5%
Caol Ila

Another year and another excellent unpeated Caol Ila for the Special Releases. This is the first of these unusual Islay malts to have been distilled this millennium, being filled into refill American…  More info

Caol Ila 15 Year Old 2000 Unpeated (Special Release 2016)
$95.73

Caol Ila 18 Year Old

70cl, 43%
Caol Ila

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

Caol Ila 18 Year Old
13
$88.48

Caol Ila 2003 (bottled 2015) Moscatel Cask Finish - Distillers Edition

70cl, 43%
Caol Ila

It's the 2003 vintage Caol Ila Distillers Edition single malt Scotch whisky, which has been finished in casks which previously held Moscatel wine. It was distilled in 2003 and bottled in 2015 at 43%…  More info

Caol Ila 2003 (bottled 2015) Moscatel Cask Finish - Distillers Edition
3
$77.64

Caol Ila 2004 (bottled 2016) - Connoisseurs Choice (Gordon & MacPhail)

70cl, 46%
Caol Ila

An indie Islay from Gordon & MacPhail's Connoisseurs Choice range here - it's a 2004 vintage single malt from the Caol Ila distillery, bottled in 2016 at 46% ABV.  More info

Caol Ila 2004 (bottled 2016) - Connoisseurs Choice (Gordon & MacPhail)
$45.35

Caol Ila 2008 (Bottled 2015) - The Ten #07 (La Maison du Whisky)

70cl, 40.1%
Caol Ila

A 2008 vintage Caol Ila single malt Scotch whisky, bottled in 2015 for La Maison du Whisky's The Ten range. The series traverses whisky flavour profiles and organises them by number, from the…  More info

Caol Ila 2008 (Bottled 2015) - The Ten #07 (La Maison du Whisky)
$64.47

Caol Ila 23 Year Old 1993 (cask 631) - Rare Select (Montgomerie's)

70cl, 46%
Caol Ila

Indie Islay whisky from the excellent Caol Ila distillery, aged in a single cask for 23 years from January 1993 to February 2016. This was bottled by Montgomerie's for their Rare Select range.  More info

Caol Ila 23 Year Old 1993 (cask 631) -  Rare Select (Montgomerie's)
$228.23

Caol Ila 25 Year Old 1990 (cask 1478) - Mackillop's Choice

70cl, 54.4%
Caol Ila

25 year old Caol Ila single malt, drawn from a single cask which aged the whisky from February 1990 to February 2015. After quarter of a century of maturation, the whisky was bottled for the…  More info

Caol Ila 25 Year Old 1990 (cask 1478) - Mackillop's Choice
$231.40

Caol Ila 25 Year Old 1991 - Old & Rare Platinum (Hunter Laing)

70cl, 53.3%
Caol Ila

A single cask whisky from the much-adored Caol Ila distillery, aged for 25 years! It was distilled on the Isle of Islay in March 1991 and matured in a refill hogshead for quarter of a century until…  More info

Caol Ila 25 Year Old 1991 - Old & Rare Platinum (Hunter Laing)
$349.85

Caol Ila 30 Year Old 1983 - A Rare Find (Gleann Mór)

70cl, 54.8%
Caol Ila

Fancy some well-aged Caol Ila? Well Gleann Mór have just the thing for that hankering with this independently bottled Caol Ila single malt Scotch whisky, matured in a single cask for 30 years! It was…  More info

Caol Ila 30 Year Old 1983 - A Rare Find (Gleann Mór)
$374.08

Caol Ila 33 Year Old 1984 (cask 11620) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 49.8%
Caol Ila

Cor, a 33 year old Caol Ila single malt drawn from a single cask! This impressive whisky was distilled on the Isle of Islay in January 1984 and matured in a refill hogshead until February 2017 before…  More info

Caol Ila 33 Year Old 1984 (cask 11620) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)
$349.85

Caol Ila 7 Year Old 2009 - Hepburn's Choice (Langside)

70cl, 46%
Caol Ila

An independent bottling of 7 year old Caol Ila, distilled in 2009 and bottled in 2016 after a finishing period in a wine cask - which ought to be very interesting indeed. It was bottled by Langside…  More info

Caol Ila 7 Year Old 2009 - Hepburn's Choice (Langside)
$61.83

Caol Ila 9 Year Old 2007 (The Whisky Agency / La Maison du Whisky)

70cl, 52.9%
Caol Ila

This is a 9 year old Caol Ila single malt Scotch whisky, aged in a refill hogshead from 2007 to 2016 before being bottled by The Whisky Agency and La Maison du Whisky.  More info

Caol Ila 9 Year Old 2007 (The Whisky Agency / La Maison du Whisky)
$132.81

Caol Ila Moch

70cl, 43%
Caol Ila

Moch is Gaelic for dawn, and this release from Caol Ila is an altogether lighter prospect than the distillery's excellent 12 year old standard expression.  More info

Caol Ila Moch
9
$46.31

Fields of Barley 1990 (bottled 2015) - Wemyss Malts (Bunnahabhain)

70cl, 46%
Bunnahabhain

Another aptly named Wemyss single cask bottling of Scotch malt whisky. This one's from Bunnahabhain distillery on Islay and was distilled in 1990.  More info

Fields of Barley 1990 (bottled 2015) - Wemyss Malts (Bunnahabhain)
$110.03

Headland Breeze 1991 (bottled 2016) - Wemyss Malts (Bunnahabhain)

70cl, 46%
Bunnahabhain

Single cask Bunnahabhain single malt, distilled on the Isle of Islay in 1991 and matured in a hogshead until 2016, when Wemyss Malts bottled it up. 198 bottles were produced and given the name…  More info

Headland Breeze 1991 (bottled 2016)  - Wemyss Malts (Bunnahabhain)
$140.34

Islay Storm

70cl, 40%
C.S. James and Sons Ltd.

An Islay single malt from a secret distillery, Islay Storm has loads of peaty character.  More info

Islay Storm
21
$26.66

Kilchoman 100% Islay - 5th Edition

70cl, 50%
Kilchoman

This is the 5th edition of Kilchoman's very popular 100% Islay series, released in 2015 - the year of Kilchoman's 10th anniversary, we'll have you know! A lightly peated single malt Scotch whisky,…  More info

Kilchoman 100% Islay - 5th Edition
2
$74.18

Kilchoman 100% Islay - 6th Edition

70cl, 50%
Kilchoman

An extraordinary Islay single malt that in this day and age is uniquely made using barley that's grown, harvested, malted, distilled and matured all at a single farm distillery! Lightly peated in…  More info

Kilchoman 100% Islay - 6th Edition
$76.32

Kilchoman 6 Year Old 2010 Original Cask Strength

70cl, 56.9%
Kilchoman

This is the second edition of Kilchoman's Original Cask Strength expression. The first one was drawn from ex-bourbon barrels, while this second edition was aged for over 6 years in quarter casks and…  More info

Kilchoman 6 Year Old 2010 Original Cask Strength
2
$82.98

Kilchoman Loch Gorm 2017 Release

70cl, 46%
Kilchoman

The 2017 release of Kilchoman's Loch Gorm, the Islay distillery's yearly Sherry-cask-matured single malt. Ageing exclusively in Oloroso Sherry butts, this expression blends peat smoke and rich,…  More info

Kilchoman Loch Gorm 2017 Release
$75.75

Kilchoman Machir Bay

70cl, 46%
Kilchoman

Kilchoman's Machir Bay is an excellent single malt Scotch whisky from the isle of Islay. The distillers use whisky which has been matured in ex-bourbon barrels and Oloroso Sherry butts, resulting in…  More info

Kilchoman Machir Bay
22
$46.06

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