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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.

Laphroaig Vintage 1977 (bottled 1995)

75cl, 43%
Laphroaig

This right here is a very rare bottle of 1977 vintage Laphroaig, which was bottled in the spring of 1995. Just saying those words will make the ears of every Laphroaig enthusiast in a 25-mile-radius…  More info

Laphroaig Vintage 1977 (bottled 1995)
$1630.93

Lg5 - Elements of Islay (Lagavulin)

50cl, 54.80%
Lagavulin

Independently bottled Lagavulin single malt Scotch whisky, bottled as part of the Speciality Drinks Elements of Islay range. Rich and smoky, as we've come to expect from Lagavulin.  More info

Lg5 - Elements of Islay (Lagavulin)
$72.48

Loch Indaal Catch 1982 (bottled 2014) - Wemyss Malts (Bowmore)

70cl, 46%
Bowmore

Cor - a single cask Bowmore distilled in 1982!!! A very exciting bottling from the Wemyss Malts folks, who have bestowed this Islay single malt the name of "Loch Indaal Catch", so expect a good whack…  More info

Loch Indaal Catch 1982 (bottled 2014) - Wemyss Malts (Bowmore)
$895.98

Lp6 - Elements of Islay (Laphroaig)

50cl, 51.30%
Laphroaig

Another entry in Speciality Drinks' Elements of Islay series from the "Lp" distillery. The sixth edition is plenty peaty, with good helpings of vanilla and vibrant fruit flesh notes. This has been…  More info

Lp6 - Elements of Islay (Laphroaig)
$96.48

Octomore 07.3 5 Year Old

70cl, 63%
Bruichladdich

Bruichladdich distillery's range of insanely peated single malts continues with this 63% abv 07.3 release, made with 169 phenolic parts per million. That's an awful lot, more than any normal 'heavily…  More info

Octomore 07.3 5 Year Old
$204.18

Octomore 7 Year Old 2008 (cask 2008000908) - French Oak Cask (Rest & Be Thankful)

70cl, 63.90%
Bruichladdich

An independent bottling of the insanely peated Octomore single malt from Bruichladdich distillery. Distilled on 19th March 2008 and matured in a single French oak cask, just 316 bottles were produced…  More info

Octomore 7 Year Old 2008 (cask 2008000908) - French Oak Cask (Rest & Be Thankful)
$259.55

Port Charlotte 2008 - Islay Barley

70cl, 50%
Bruichladdich

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

Port Charlotte 2008 - Islay Barley
4
$66.43

Port Charlotte 6 Year Old 2009 - Single Cask (Master of Malt)

70cl, 58.10%
Bruichladdich

This is the first Port Charlotte single malt Scotch whisky which we've bottled as part of our Single Cask Series! It was distilled in April 2009, allowed to age in a first fill bourbon hogshead for 6…  More info

Port Charlotte 6 Year Old 2009 - Single Cask (Master of Malt)
$108.75

Port Charlotte Scottish Barley - Heavily Peated

70cl, 50%
Bruichladdich

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

Port Charlotte Scottish Barley - Heavily Peated
16
$54.56

Port Ellen 22 Year Old 1979 - 1st Release (2001 Special Release)

70cl, 56.20%
Port Ellen

Today Port Ellen is a whisky legend, thanks to a myriad of reasons in the early 1980s the distillery was closed. However, this was no judgement on its character or of it's quality, and when the…  More info

Port Ellen 22 Year Old 1979 - 1st Release (2001 Special Release)
1
$3625.77

Port Ellen 32 Year Old 1983 - 15th Release (2015 Special Release)

70cl, 53.90%
Port Ellen

32 year old single malt Scotch whisky from an Islay distillery that was mothballed in 1983 and never reopened. The whisky comes from the final year of production. Matured in refill European oak butts…  More info

Port Ellen 32 Year Old 1983 - 15th Release (2015 Special Release)
$2901.58

Port Ellen 34 Year Old 1978 - 13th Release (2013 Special Release)

70cl, 55%
Port Ellen

Ah, Port Ellen, how we love you. And by 'we' I don't just mean us at MoM towers, whisky fans around the world adore this legendary malt from an Islay distillery that shut down in 1983. Diageo's…  More info

Port Ellen 34 Year Old 1978 - 13th Release (2013 Special Release)
$2775.11

Port Ellen 35 Year Old 1978 - Old & Rare Platinum (Hunter Laing)

70cl, 56.50%
Port Ellen

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

Port Ellen 35 Year Old 1978 - Old & Rare Platinum (Hunter Laing)
$1459.77

Port Ellen 36 Year Old 1979 (cask 10914) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 56.60%
Port Ellen

A 36 year old Port Ellen! Need we say more? Well, it was distilled in May 1979 and bottled by Douglas Laing for their Extra Old Particular range in September 2015. 227 bottles were filled from a…  More info

Port Ellen 36 Year Old 1979 (cask 10914) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)
$1351.35

Sea Swept Barnacle 1987 (bottled 2015) - Wemyss Malts (Bunnahabhain)

70cl, 46%
Bunnahabhain

We love the imagery Wemyss conjure with the names of their releases, "Sea Swept Barnacle" giving plenty of indication as to the character of this single cask Bunnahabhain. In fact, it's made us…  More info

Sea Swept Barnacle 1987 (bottled 2015) - Wemyss Malts (Bunnahabhain)
$187.15

Sizzling Charcoal 1997 (bottled 2015) - Wemyss Malts (Bunnahabhain)

70cl, 46%
Bunnahabhain

An independently bottled single malt from the Bunnahabhain distillery on the north-east of Islay. It's a 1997 vintage, matured in a single hogshead until 2015, when it was bottled by the wonderful…  More info

Sizzling Charcoal 1997 (bottled 2015) - Wemyss Malts (Bunnahabhain)
$90.65

Sweet Peat Posy 1987 (bottled 2014) - Wemyss Malts (Bowmore)

70cl, 46%
Bowmore

A Wemyss bottling of Bowmore single malt Scotch whisky, matured in a single hogshead from 1987 to 2014. It was bottled with an outturn of 231 bottles. With a title like "Sweet Peat Posy", you'll want…  More info

Sweet Peat Posy 1987 (bottled 2014) - Wemyss Malts (Bowmore)
3
$229.17

The Ileach Cask Strength

70cl, 58%
Highlands and Islands Whisky Company

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

The Ileach Cask Strength
13
$46.83

The Ileach Peaty

70cl, 40%
Highlands and Islands Whisky Company

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

The Ileach Peaty
41
$30.51

A Thread of Smoke 1991 - Wemyss Malts (Bunnahabhain)

70cl, 46%
Bunnahabhain

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

A Thread of Smoke 1991 - Wemyss Malts (Bunnahabhain)
$111.48

Aniseed Pastille 1996 - Wemyss Malts (Bowmore)

70cl, 46%
Bowmore

Single malt Scotch whisky from the Bowmore distillery, matured in a single hogshead from 1996 to 2014. It was bottled with an outturn of 344 bottles by Wemyss and given the tasty title Aniseed…  More info

Aniseed Pastille 1996 - Wemyss Malts (Bowmore)
$110.13

Ar2 - Elements of Islay (Ardbeg)

50cl, 60.50%
Ardbeg

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

Ar2 - Elements of Islay (Ardbeg)

Ardbeg - Batch 6 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)

50cl, 48.60%
Ardbeg

Whispered about in the halls in only hushed, excited voices, this is a much anticipated release - and it's here. The sixth batch of Ardbeg single malt Scotch whisky bottled by That Boutique-y Whisky…  More info

Ardbeg -  Batch 6 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)

Ardbeg - Batch 1 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)

50cl, 51.90%
Ardbeg

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

Ardbeg - Batch 1 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)
7

Ardbeg - Batch 2 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)

50cl, 50.90%
Ardbeg

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

Ardbeg - Batch 2 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)
3

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