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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.

Ardbeg 17 Year Old 1994 - Mission (Murray McDavid)

70cl, 56.50%
Ardbeg

A super limited release of independently bottled Ardbeg! There are just 306 bottles of this stuff, bottled at natural cask strength in 2011 at the Bruichladdich distillery after 17 years in a single…  More info

Ardbeg 17 Year Old 1994 - Mission (Murray McDavid)

Ardbeg 18 Year Old - Single Cask (Master of Malt)

70cl, 56.30%
Ardbeg

Ardbeg changed hands between 1996 and 1997, since then the distillery has only released a Ten Year Old with an age statement. So it is pretty darn exciting *massively massively exciting* to get to…  More info

Ardbeg 18 Year Old - Single Cask (Master of Malt)
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Ardbeg 18 Year Old 1991 Cask 5440 - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 50%
Ardbeg

Distilled at Ardbeg in March 1991 and matured for 18 years before bottling in August 2009. A release of 208 bottles, bottled by Douglas Laing.  More info

Ardbeg 18 Year Old 1991 Cask 5440 - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)
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Ardbeg 18 Year Old 1991 Cask 5449 - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 50%
Ardbeg

An 18 year old single cask Ardbeg, this was matured in a refill hogshead, distilled in March 1991 and bottled in September 2009 by Douglas Laing with an outturn of 316 bottles.  More info

Ardbeg 18 Year Old 1991 Cask 5449 - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)

Ardbeg 18 Year Old 1993 - Mission (Murray McDavid)

70cl, 56.90%
Ardbeg

A single cask, independent bottling of Ardbeg, likely to sell out before I finish typing this sentence! It was distilled in 1993 and aged for 18 years in a bourbon cask before bottling at the…  More info

Ardbeg 18 Year Old 1993 - Mission (Murray McDavid)

Ardbeg 1974 (Spirit of Scotland)

70cl, 40%
Ardbeg

This was distilled at the Ardbeg distillery in 1974 and it was bottled especially for Speymalt Whisky's Spirit of Scotland range. A very rare and collectible bottling from the legendary Islay…  More info

Ardbeg 1974 (Spirit of Scotland)
$688.85

Ardbeg 1974 - Connoisseurs Choice (Gordon & MacPhail)

70cl, 40%
Ardbeg

These mid-1990s Connoisseur's Choice bottlings of mid-70s Ardbegs have become legendary, and this is a truly stunning example we don't expect to hang around very long...  More info

Ardbeg 1974 - Connoisseurs Choice (Gordon & MacPhail)
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$557.70

Ardbeg 1974 Provenance

70cl, 55.60%
Ardbeg

An incredibly rare, highly collectible and rather legendary bottle of vintage Ardbeg, bottled at natural cask strength. Distilled in 1974, Serge from WhiskyFun.com awarded this an astonishing 95…  More info

Ardbeg 1974 Provenance
$1773.37

Ardbeg 1974 Provenance (with Presentation Box)

70cl, 55.60%
Ardbeg

Distilled in 1974 and bottled in November 1997, just after the Ardbeg distillery was bought by Glenmorangie, the Ardbeg Provenance is a legendary bottling of 23 year old single malt Scotch whisky,…  More info

Ardbeg 1974 Provenance (with Presentation Box)
$2401.43

Ardbeg 1975

70cl, 43%
Ardbeg

Michael Jackson (whisky writer, not moonwalker) scored this 1975 Ardbeg with a 9 out of 10. An earthy, peppery, citrussy Ardbeg.  More info

Ardbeg 1975
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Ardbeg 1975 - Connoisseurs Choice (Gordon and MacPhail)

70cl, 40%
Ardbeg

A very rare Ardbeg bottled by Gordon and MacPhail in 2003. This was distilled in 1975 - a legendary vintage for Ardbeg.  More info

Ardbeg 1975 - Connoisseurs Choice (Gordon and MacPhail)
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$380.22

Ardbeg 1977

70cl, 46%
Ardbeg

Rare and delicious Ardbeg! Jim Murray awarded this 96 points and described it as "simply one of the greatest experiences". This was distilled in 1977 and bottled in 2001, part of a release of 2,400…  More info

Ardbeg 1977
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Ardbeg 1978

70cl, 43%
Ardbeg

A rather rare release from Ardbeg, this 1978 vintage represents single malt from the prodigious Ileach distillery at its most balanced and poised. Superb.  More info

Ardbeg 1978
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Ardbeg 1980 Kildalton

70cl, 57.60%
Ardbeg

Liquid gold for any fans of Ardbeg, Kildalton is a legendary whisky, which was distilled in 1980 and release in 2004 with an outturn of 1,300, never-to-be-repeated bottles. All at natural cask…  More info

Ardbeg 1980 Kildalton
$1053.20

Ardbeg 1990 - Connoisseurs Choice (Gordon and MacPhail)

70cl, 40%
Ardbeg

A Gordon and MacPhail bottling from Ardbeg, this was distilled in 1990 and bottled in 2001.  More info

Ardbeg 1990 - Connoisseurs Choice (Gordon and MacPhail)

Ardbeg 1993 - Connoisseurs Choice (Gordon & MacPhail)

70cl, 43%
Ardbeg

A sherry matured Ardbeg, distilled in 1993 and bottled by Gordon and MacPhail for the Connoisseurs Choice range.  More info

Ardbeg 1993 - Connoisseurs Choice (Gordon & MacPhail)
$48.04

Ardbeg 1995 Single Cask 2761 - Feis Ile 2010

70cl, 53.30%
Ardbeg

A beautiful 14 year old, single cask Ardbeg bottled especially for the 2010 Feis Ile (Islay Festival). This was distilled on the 7th December 1995, it was then aged in cask 2761 (a second fill…  More info

Ardbeg 1995 Single Cask 2761 - Feis Ile 2010
$661.30

Ardbeg 1998 (bottled 2004) Very Young

70cl, 58.30%
Ardbeg

The first part in the Young series from Ardbeg, tracking the development of Ardbeg whisky, aged for just a few years, all the way up to the standard Ardbeg at 10 years old. Very interesting indeed,…  More info

Ardbeg 1998 (bottled 2004) Very Young
$551.06

Ardbeg 1998 - Almost There

70cl, 54.10%
Ardbeg

Please note: There is some miniscule damage to the box but this is still an incredibly handsome piece from Ardbeg. The penultimate part in the Young series from Ardbeg, spanning the development of…  More info

Ardbeg 1998 - Almost There
$165.34

Ardbeg 1998 Single Cask

70cl, 55.60%
Ardbeg

An extraordinary whisky from Ardbeg. This is one of those ultra-rare expressions, which really come around once in a blue moon. This was distilled on the 14th September 1998, before it was filled…  More info

Ardbeg 1998 Single Cask
$545.56

Ardbeg 1998 Single Cask 1275

70cl, 55.40%
Ardbeg

An astonishing 11 year old single cask from Ardbeg - stunning in flavour and very, very rare. This was distilled in 1998 and aged in cask 1275 (a first fill bourbon barrel) before bottling in 2009 -…  More info

Ardbeg 1998 Single Cask 1275
$568.28

Ardbeg 20 Year Old 1994 (cask 347613) - The Duncan Taylor Single

70cl, 53%
Ardbeg

A single cask bottling of single malt Scotch whisky from one of Islay's most respected and loved distilleries - Ardbeg. This Duncan Taylor Single bottling contains whisky distilled in May 1994 and…  More info

Ardbeg 20 Year Old 1994 (cask 347613) - The Duncan Taylor Single
$462.73

Ardbeg 2000 (bottled 2016) (cask 16016) - Malts of Scotland

70cl, 54.80%
Ardbeg

Ooh, a single cask Ardbeg here, bottled by German indie bottler Malts of Scotland. This was distilled by the legendary Islay distillery in 2000 and aged in a Sherry butt until 2016, when it was…  More info

Ardbeg 2000 (bottled 2016) (cask 16016) - Malts of Scotland
$197.31

Ardbeg 21 Year Old (Committee Release)

70cl, 56.30%
Ardbeg

A very limited and rare release from Ardbeg, specially bottled for the Committee. This was crafted from 12 carefully chosen casks of Ardbeg distilled in 1979 and 1980. Released in 2001.  More info

Ardbeg 21 Year Old (Committee Release)

Ardbeg 21 Year Old 1974 (Sestante)

70cl, 40%
Ardbeg

A 21 year old Ardbeg distilled in 1974 and bottled in 1996 (only full years are counted) by the renowned Italian independent bottlers Sestante at 40% abv. This is a rare and valuable single malt…  More info

Ardbeg 21 Year Old 1974 (Sestante)
$943.10

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