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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.

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
92
$36.84

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)
$93.47

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

70cl, 55.9%
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)
4
$93.42

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
$85.67

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
2
$63.73

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)
$43.02

Caol Ila 34 Year Old 1981 (cask 5682) - Celebration Of The Cask (Càrn Mòr)

70cl, 53.6%
Caol Ila

This is a single cask bottling of some very well-aged Caol Ila single malt - exciting stuff! It was distilled in November 1981 and allowed to mature in a single hogshead cask for 34 years, before it…  More info

Caol Ila 34 Year Old 1981 (cask 5682) - Celebration Of The Cask (Càrn Mòr)
$364.16

Caol Ila 5 Year Old 2008 (cask 311913) - Artist #6 (La Maison du Whisky)

70cl, 61.5%
Caol Ila

"Aged over 5 years", the exact age of these releases is never immediately obvious, rounded down to the nearest 5 years as they always are. The distillation date of 2008 and bottling date in 2016…  More info

Caol Ila 5 Year Old 2008 (cask 311913) - Artist #6 (La Maison du Whisky)
$107.90

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)
$60.08

Caol Ila 8 Year Old 2008 - Strictly Limited (Càrn Mòr)

70cl, 46%
Caol Ila

An indie bottling of Islay single malt Scotch whisky from the Coal Ila distillery, drawn fro a pair of hogshead casks which were filled in 2008 and cracked open in 2016. This is a Strictly Limited…  More info

Caol Ila 8 Year Old 2008 - Strictly Limited (Càrn Mòr)
$41.81

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)
$122.42

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
$43.22

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)
$106.91

Haven Trail 1990 (bottled 2016) - Wemyss Malts (Bunnahabhain)

70cl, 46%
Bunnahabhain

A single cask bottling of Bunnahabhain single malt Scotch whisky, distilled in 1990, aged in a hogshead and bottled in 2016 by Wemyss Malts. As Wemyss often do, they've given it an evocative name to…  More info

Haven Trail 1990 (bottled 2016) - Wemyss Malts (Bunnahabhain)
1
$135.88

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
20
$25.91

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
$71.47

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
$73.54

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
19
$44.75

Kilchoman Machir Bay 2014 Release

70cl, 46%
Kilchoman

The 2014 release of Kilchoman's Machir Bay single malt Scotch whisky is here! For the third release in the series, Kilchoman have produced a vatting of 5 and 6 year old ex-bourbon barrels and Oloroso…  More info

Kilchoman Machir Bay 2014 Release
28
$40.98

Kilchoman Machir Bay Gift Pack with 2x Glasses

70cl, 46%
Kilchoman

A gift pack from the Kilchoman distillery on the west coast of Islay! This pack includes a 70cl bottle of their Machir Bay single malt (which is aged in a combination of ex-bourbon barrels and…  More info

Kilchoman Machir Bay Gift Pack with 2x Glasses
$51.76

Kilchoman Sanaig

70cl, 46%
Kilchoman

A handsome release from Islay's newest distillery, Kilchoman Sanaig is an enjoyably peaty single malt which has been vatted from both bourbon and Sherry casks. It's named after a small, rocky creek…  More info

Kilchoman Sanaig
5
$51.76

Lagavulin 16 Year Old

70cl, 43%
Lagavulin

A much sought-after single malt with the massive peat-smoke that's typical of southern Islay - but also offering richness and a dryness that turns it into a truly interesting dram. The 16 year old…  More info

Lagavulin 16 Year Old
385
$49.80

Lagavulin 18 Year Old - Fèis Ìle 2016

70cl, 49.5%
Lagavulin

This is the Lagavulin Fèis Ìle 2016 release - an 18 year old single malt drawn from European oak ex-bodega Sherry butts and refill American oak hogsheads selected by Iain McArthur. 2016 saw the…  More info

Lagavulin 18 Year Old - Fèis Ìle 2016
$514.07

Lagavulin 2000 (bottled 2016) Distillers Edition - Classic Malts & Food Gift Set with 2x Glasses

70cl, 43%
Lagavulin

This Malts & Food Gift Set contains a bottle of the excellent Lagavulin Distillers Edition (which was distilled in 2000 and bottled in 2016 after enjoying a finishing period in Pedro Ximénez casks)…  More info

Lagavulin 2000 (bottled 2016) Distillers Edition - Classic Malts & Food Gift Set with 2x Glasses
$80.28

Lagavulin 2000 (bottled 2016) Pedro Ximénez Cask Finish - Distillers Edition

70cl, 43%
Lagavulin

Here's the 2016 release of Lagavulin's Distillers Edition expression, which was distilled in 2000 and finished in Pedro Ximenéz casks before being bottled in 2016. 2016 was a big year for the…  More info

Lagavulin 2000 (bottled 2016) Pedro Ximénez Cask Finish - Distillers Edition
$76.81

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