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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 43 Year Old 1969 (cask 6729) - Tantalus (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 40.50%
Bunnahabhain

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

Bunnahabhain 43 Year Old 1969 (cask 6729) - Tantalus (Duncan Taylor)
$1531.59

Bunnahabhain 44 Year Old 1968 (cask 701) - Tantalus (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 41%
Bunnahabhain

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

Bunnahabhain 44 Year Old 1968 (cask 701) - Tantalus (Duncan Taylor)
$1653.25

Bunnahabhain 7 Year Old 2007 (cask 800092) - (Berry Bros. & Rudd)

70cl, 57%
Bunnahabhain

Bottled in 2015, this is a 7 year old single malt distilled at Bunnahbahain distillery in 2007 and matured in a single cask. It was bottled with neither artificial colouring nor chill filtration by…  More info

Bunnahabhain 7 Year Old 2007 (cask 800092) - (Berry Bros. & Rudd)
$68.79

Bunnahabhain 8 Year Old 2007 (outturn: 364 bottles) - Hepburn's Choice (Langside)

70cl, 46%
Bunnahabhain

An 8 year old independent bottling of Bunnahabhain matured in a single cask for over 8 years. Hunter Laing's Hepburn's Choice range is for their relatively younger, but still excellent, bottlings.  More info

Bunnahabhain 8 Year Old 2007 (outturn: 364 bottles) - Hepburn's Choice (Langside)
$53.63

Bunnahabhain 8 Year Old 2007 (outturn: 374 bottles) - Hepburn's Choice (Langside)

70cl, 46%
Bunnahabhain

From the Hepburn's Choice range of independently bottled Scotch whiskies comes an 8 year old Bunnahabhain, distilled on the island of Islay in 2007 and matured in a single hogshead. It was bottled by…  More info

Bunnahabhain 8 Year Old 2007 (outturn: 374 bottles) - Hepburn's Choice (Langside)
$53.63

Bunnahabhain Ceòbanach

70cl, 46.30%
Bunnahabhain

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

Bunnahabhain Ceòbanach
10
$55.23

Bunnahabhain Cruach Mhòna

100cl, 50%
Bunnahabhain

Cruach Mhóna is gaelic for a pile of drying peat bricks and follows on from Toiteach (gaelic for smoky) as a peaty offering from Bunnahabhain. Although Islay is famed for its peat, Bunnahabhain's…  More info

Bunnahabhain Cruach Mhòna
$96.35

Bunnahabhain Heavily Peated 7 Year Old 2006 (cask 800092) (Berry Bros & Rudd)

70cl, 56.10%
Bunnahabhain

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

Bunnahabhain Heavily Peated 7 Year Old 2006 (cask 800092) (Berry Bros & Rudd)
$72.11

Bunnahabhain Toiteach

70cl, 46%
Bunnahabhain

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

Bunnahabhain Toiteach
12
$72.26

Bunnahahain 6 Year Old 2006 (cask 800098) (Berry Bros. & Rudd)

70cl, 46%
Bunnahabhain

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

Bunnahahain 6 Year Old 2006 (cask 800098) (Berry Bros. & Rudd)
$66.07

Caol Ila - Batch 2 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)

50cl, 55%
Caol Ila

Hold the phone, the Paps of Jura? Prince Vuntan?! I know that view! It's the view from the still room at Caol Ila! I recognise this label too, except this one says "Batch 2" on it... [Jake has…  More info

Caol Ila - Batch 2 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)
$57.79

Caol Ila 10 Year Old 2004 - Cask Strength (Gordon & MacPhail)

70cl, 60.10%
Caol Ila

Cask strength Caol Ila, bottled by Gordon & MacPhail! This 10 year old Islay single malt was distilled in December 2004 and bottled at 60.1% ABV in February 2015. It was drawn from four casks, which…  More info

Caol Ila 10 Year Old 2004 - Cask Strength (Gordon & MacPhail)
1
$71.24

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
82
$47.55

Caol Ila 12 Year Old 2003 - A Rare Find (Gleann Mór)

70cl, 59.30%
Caol Ila

Caol Ila single malt Scotch whisky matured for 12 years in a single refill hogshead. Distilled in April 2003, it was bottled in September 2015 by Gleann Mór at a hearty 59.3% abv!  More info

Caol Ila 12 Year Old 2003 - A Rare Find (Gleann Mór)
$90.39

Caol Ila 17 Year Old 1997 Unpeated (Special Release 2015)

70cl, 55.90%
Caol Ila

Another year and another delicious unpeated Caol Ila at the affordable end of Diageo's Special Releases In fact, this is now the tenth release in the series. At 17 years old, it's the oldest yet too,…  More info

Caol Ila 17 Year Old 1997 Unpeated (Special Release 2015)
1
$108.41

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
15
$99.42

Caol Ila 19 Year Old 1996 (cask 10971) - Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 51.50%
Caol Ila

An Islay Old Particular here, distilled at Caol Ila in September 1996 and matured in a single refill hogshead cask until December 2015. The outturn was 313 bottles at 51.5% abv.  More info

Caol Ila 19 Year Old 1996 (cask 10971) - Old Particular (Douglas Laing)
$110.56

Caol Ila 19 Year Old 1996 (cask 12159) - Old Malt Cask (Hunter Laing)

70cl, 50%
Caol Ila

A 19 year old Caol Ila, presented as part of the long-running Old Malt Cask range of independently bottled whiskies. The whisky was put into its hogshead by the Islay-based distillery in August 1996…  More info

Caol Ila 19 Year Old 1996 (cask 12159) - Old Malt Cask (Hunter Laing)
$96.82

Caol Ila 2002 (bottled 2014) Moscatel Cask Finish - Distillers Edition

70cl, 43%
Caol Ila

A Distillers Edition bottling of Caol Ila single malt Scotch whisky, distilled in 2002 and bottled in 2014. Before it was bottled, it was given a finishing period in Moscatel casks to impart more…  More info

Caol Ila 2002 (bottled 2014) Moscatel Cask Finish - Distillers Edition
$73.96

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
$87.56

Caol Ila 23 Year Old 1990 (cask 1484) - Mackillop's Choice

70cl, 55.90%
Caol Ila

Lorne Mackillop chooses the expressions that become part of the Mackillop's Choice range, and they're all absolutely top notch drams. Distilled at the Islay distillery in 1990, this Caol Ila has been…  More info

Caol Ila 23 Year Old 1990 (cask 1484) - Mackillop's Choice
$133.06

Caol Ila 25 Year Old 1989 (cask 10749) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 53.60%
Caol Ila

Well aged Caol Ila, anyone? Oh yes, this is a single cask bottling of 25 year old single malt from the legendary Islay distillery, presented as part of the Xtra Old Particular range by Douglas Laing.…  More info

Caol Ila 25 Year Old 1989 (cask 10749) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)
$313.37

Caol Ila 26 Year Old 1988 (cask 4213) - Celebration of the Cask (Càrn Mòr)

70cl, 57%
Caol Ila

Q. What do you get if you put Coal Ila new make spirit into cask number 4213 (a hogshead) in December 1998 and then get Càrn Mòr to bottle it in August 2015? A. 135 bottles of this whisky!  More info

Caol Ila 26 Year Old 1988 (cask 4213) - Celebration of the Cask (Càrn Mòr)
$250.98

Caol Ila 30 Year Old 1984 - Old & Rare Platinum (Hunter Laing)

70cl, 53.20%
Caol Ila

A stunning single cask Caol Ila single malt, matured in a refill hogshead from January 1984 to October 2014. It was bottled by Hunter Laing for their Old & Rare Platinum range, with an outturn of 246…  More info

Caol Ila 30 Year Old  1984 - Old & Rare Platinum (Hunter Laing)
$393.83

Caol Ila 31 Year Old 1983 (cask 5291) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 49.40%
Caol Ila

Coal Ila single malt whisky matured in a single hogshead for over three decades! Bottled by Signatory on 3rd November 2015, it was distilled on 8th November 1983 (making it near-as-damn-it a 32 year…  More info

Caol Ila 31 Year Old 1983 (cask 5291) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)
$304.14

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