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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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Tasting Sets
Laphroaig 10 Year Old
(70cl, 40%)
Really smoky and iodine rich. This has to be one of Scotland's most characterful drams. Laphroaig are known for their medicinal malts, and the classic 10 year old is no exception.  More info
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$52.57
A half bottle of the iconic, medicinal 10 year Islay's bestselling distillery, Laphroaig. This is a massive, punchy dram, it is said the medicinal character is from the high moss content in the peat.  More info
User Rating: 
$28.87
Independently bottled Laphroaig single malt Scotch whisky, presented as part of the Duncan Taylor Single collection (and what a collection it is!). This Islay delight was distilled in April 1997 and...  More info
$422.04
Laphroaig 18 Year Old
(70cl, 48%)
The hotly anticipated Laphroaig eighteen year-old. This expression replaced the fifteen year-old and comes at a higher strength. This is a much more exclusive affair with a powerful punch. Awesome...  More info
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$109.67
An independent bottling of 24 year old Laphroaig single malt Scotch whisky, bottled for the fantastic Old & rare Platinum range. This Islay whisky was distilled in March 1990, matured in a refill...  More info
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$517.98
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An exceptional 2014 release from Laphroaig, this superb Islay single malt has been matured for 25 years in a combination of first-fill Oloroso Sherry casks and ex-American...  More info
$590.50
A Douglas Laing bottling of Laphroaig single malt Scotch whisky, matured in a single cask for 8 years. It was distilled in autumn 2005, aged in a refill hogshead for 8 years and bottled in summer 2014...  More info
$87.96
The Laphroaig PX Cask is made with whisky matured in three types of cask - American oak casks, Quarter casks and the titular Pedro Ximénez casks. This leads to a flavour profile which ties together...  More info
$118.56
Released in 2004, this bottling was aged for around five years before being finished in a quarter cask for several months, the size of the cask is quite small, thus does not require such a long...  More info
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$56.73
Laphroaig Select
(70cl, 40%)
For the Laphroaig Select, the Islay distillery has taken whisky from a number of different types of cask, including Oloroso Sherry butts, white American oak, Pedro Ximenez seasoned hoggies, Quarter...  More info
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$51.66
Laphroaig Triple Wood
(70cl, 48%)
An incredible new release from Laphroaig. This was originally launched for the duty free market, and it is a tour de force from the Islay distillery. First off, they mature this in bourbon barrels...  More info
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$68.70
The fifth bottling of single malt Scotch whisky from the "Lp" distillery, bottled by Speciality Drinks for their Elements of Islay range, which explores many Islay distilleries and presents the...  More info
$103.73
This single malt Scotch whisky from the Bruichladdich distillery, released under the Port Charlotte name, as they do for all of their peated releases (minus the super-peated Octomore bottlings), is a...  More info
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$81.48
Master distiller Jim McEwan specially chose the casks that create the Port Charlotte Scottish Barley, which highlight the elegance within this heavily peated single malt. Made with 100% Scottish...  More info
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$64.85
This is a classic Rare Malts bottling of single malt Scotch whisky from the infamous, though sadly closed, Port Ellen distillery on Islay. Matured for 20 years after being distilled in 1978, it was...  More info
$1305.88
An independently bottled single malt Scotch whisky from the legendary Port Ellen distillery on the Island of Islay. It was distilled in June 1982 and bottled in March 2014 for the Mackillop's Choice...  More info
$882.24
An independently bottled single malt from one of the most famous closed Scottish distilleries - the Port Ellen distillery on the island of Islay. It was distilled in October 1982 and matured in a...  More info
$1308.15
A Hunter Laing bottling of single malt Scotch whisky from one of the most renowned closed distilleries in Scotland - Port Ellen. Distilled at the Islay distillery in September 1978 and aged in a...  More info
$1916.44
Smokey Joe Islay Malt
(70cl, 46%)
A blended malt made up of different Islay single malt whiskies. We're not sure which ones, exactly, but we do know that it tastes delicious!  More info
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$52.36
A great Islay single malt from an unnamed distillery. The Ileach always scores well with the critics, this cask strength edition was awarded a mindblowingly high 97 points by Jim Murray in his Whisky...  More info
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$57.45
The Ileach Peaty
(70cl, 40%)
The Ileach is a peaty single malt from a secret Islay distillery, this has received rave reviews from whisky critics and has a solid core of peat and malt.  More info
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$37.43
This 1991 vintage Bunnahabhain was matured in a single hogshead, from 1991 to 2014, before it was bottled by Wemyss. It was bottled with an outturn of 302 bottles and given the rather poetic name A...  More info
$136.74
This is the second batch of Elements of Islay bottled Ar (who knows which Islay distillery Ar could refer to?!) Serge from WhiskyFun.com awarded this 90 points! This is a cask strength single malt...  More info
This whisky hails from the illustrious Islay distillery of Ardbeg - that sits on the island’s Southern coast and produces its highly peated malt whisky. Ardbeg closed in July 1996, thankfully the...  More info
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Ardbeg sits on the island’s Southern coast and produces its highly peated malt whisky. Ardbeg closed in July 1996, thankfully the distillery was bought by Glenmorangie plc in 1997 and the distillery...  More info
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