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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 26 Year Old 1989 (casks 5794 & 5796) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 47.70%
Bunnahabhain

A 26 year old single malt from Bunnahabhain distillery on Islay. Bottled in June 2016, 428 natural cask strength bottles were produced from a pair of almost consecutive hogsheads.  More info

Bunnahabhain 26 Year Old 1989 (casks 5794 & 5796) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)
$151.27

Caol Ila 6 Year Old 2009 - Hepburn's Choice (Langside)

70cl, 46%
Caol Ila

6 year old Caol Ila single malt Scotch whisky, drawn from a wine cask (a 'Tonnellerie wine finished hogshead', according to the label). This was distilled in 2009 and bottled in 2016 by Langside as…  More info

Caol Ila 6 Year Old 2009 - Hepburn's Choice (Langside)
$59.74

Caol Ila 2008 (Bottled 2015) - The Ten #07 (La Maison du Whisky)

70cl, 40.10%
Caol Ila

A 2008 vintage Caol Ila single malt Scotch whisky, bottled in 2015 for La Maison du Whisky's The Ten range. The series traverses whisky flavour profiles and organises them by number, from the…  More info

Caol Ila 2008 (Bottled 2015) - The Ten #07 (La Maison du Whisky)
$60.71

Bunnahabhain Eirigh Na Greine

100cl, 46.30%
Bunnahabhain

Bunnahabhain's Eirigh Na Greine was originally released for the Travel Retail market, with its name meaning 'Morning Sky' in Gaelic. A portion of this single malt was matured in red wine casks,…  More info

Bunnahabhain Eirigh Na Greine
$68.46

Briny Tangle 1990 (bottled 2015) - Wemyss Malts (Bowmore)

70cl, 46%
Bowmore

A 1990 vintage Bowmore single malt Scotch whisky, bottled by Wemyss Malts. This was aged in a hogshead cask from 1990 to 2015, before being bottled at 46% ABV with an outturn of 265 bottles and given…  More info

Briny Tangle 1990 (bottled 2015) - Wemyss Malts (Bowmore)
$273.80

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)
$112.49

Bruichladdich 2004 (bottled 2015) (cask 15010) - Malts of Scotland

70cl, 55.50%
Bruichladdich

This is a Malts of Scotland bottling of 11 year old Bruichladdich single malt Scotch whisky (it's a peated Bruichladdich at that!), aged in a bourbon barrel from 2004 until 2015. 312 bottles were…  More info

Bruichladdich 2004 (bottled 2015) (cask 15010) - Malts of Scotland
$85.13

The Admiral's Beacon 1980 (bottled 2015) - Wemyss Malts (Caol Ila)

70cl, 46%
Caol Ila

Ooh, a Wemyss Malts bottling of 1980 vintage Caol Ila single malt Scotch whisky! As ever, they've given this independent bottling a rather descriptive title - 'The Admiral's Beacon'. This is a…  More info

The Admiral's Beacon 1980 (bottled 2015) - Wemyss Malts (Caol Ila)
$297.87

Port Ellen 27 Year Old 1978 - Old & Rare Platinum (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 54.80%
Port Ellen

An independent bottling of single malt from the closed and now legendary Port Ellen distillery on Islay. It was bottled in 2006, when the Old & Rare Platinum range was still part of the Douglas Laing…  More info

Port Ellen 27 Year Old 1978 - Old & Rare Platinum (Douglas Laing)
$1086.59

Bowmore 2001 (bottled 2015) (cask 15049) - 46 Range (Malts of Scotland)

70cl, 46%
Bowmore

A 2001 vintage Bowmore single malt, aged in a single bourbon hogshead until 2015. It was bottled by Malts of Scotland with an outturn of 330 bottles.  More info

Bowmore 2001 (bottled 2015) (cask 15049) - 46 Range (Malts of Scotland)
$80.31

Bruichladdich Heavily Peated 10 Year Old 2002 (cask 391) - Dimensions (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 54.80%
Bruichladdich

Single cask heavily peated single malt from the excellent Bruichladdich distillery, bottled by Duncan Taylor. This was distilled in June 2002 and set aside to age for 10 years before being bottled…  More info

Bruichladdich Heavily Peated 10 Year Old 2002 (cask 391) - Dimensions (Duncan Taylor)
$139.15

Lagavulin 11 Year Old Manager's Dram

70cl, 57.10%
Lagavulin

Bottled exclusively for Diageo staff in 2013, this is a rare natural cask strength Lagavulin single malt Scotch whisky. This bottle was part of a private collection. More detailed information…  More info

Lagavulin 11 Year Old Manager's Dram
$610.85

Port Ellen 24 Year Old 1978 - 2nd Release (2002 Special Release)

70cl, 59.40%
Port Ellen

The second bottling in Diageo's series of Port Ellens for their annual Special Releases. A rare and sought after whisky from a legendary distillery that stopped producing back in 1983. This bottle…  More info

Port Ellen 24 Year Old 1978 - 2nd Release (2002 Special Release)
$1742.77

Port Ellen 33 Year Old 1982 - Old & Rare Platinum (Hunter Laing)

70cl, 58.30%
Port Ellen

Sherry matured single cask Port Ellen! Hunter Laing have bottled this extremely exciting 33 year old malt from this famous closed Islay distillery. Bottled from the Sherry butt in October 2015, just…  More info

Port Ellen 33 Year Old 1982 - Old & Rare Platinum (Hunter Laing)
$2017.35

Port Charlotte 13 Year Old 2001 (cask R091600007) (Rest & Be Thankful)

70cl, 64.60%
Bruichladdich

A 13 year old Sherry cask-matured single malt here from Bruichladdich, released under their Port Charlotte name - meaning those of you that love a good peated expression will want a piece of this.…  More info

Port Charlotte 13 Year Old 2001 (cask R091600007) (Rest & Be Thankful)
$209.62

Octomore 7 Year Old 2008 (cask 2008000911) (Rest & Be Thankful)

70cl, 64.40%
Bruichladdich

Ooh - a French oak cask-matured, independently bottled Octomore! This was distilled by Bruichladdich (using heavily peated malt) in 2008 and matured in a French oak cask for 7 years before being…  More info

Octomore 7 Year Old 2008 (cask 2008000911) (Rest & Be Thankful)
$257.83

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)
$809.75

Bowmore 29 Year Old 1982

70cl, 47.30%
Bowmore

An astounding 2011 edition from Bowmore. This was distilled in 1982, and comes packaged in a very handsome wooden box, with its own leather strap. Each bottle comes with a certificate of authenticity…  More info

Bowmore 29 Year Old 1982
$1027.12

Bruichladdich Octomore 10 Year Old

70cl, 50%
Bruichladdich

Described by the distillers as being "a dram for the connoisseur and the enlightened student of peat", Octomore 10 was distilled from the world's most heavily peated barley. It was aged for 10 years…  More info

Bruichladdich Octomore 10 Year Old
$518.95

Bunnahabhain 12 Year Old - 1990s

70cl, 40%
Bunnahabhain

A collectible bottle of 12 year old single malt Scotch whisky from the Bunnahabhain distillery on Islay, released in the 1990s. It features the classic seafaring chap on the label, who looks to be…  More info

Bunnahabhain 12 Year Old - 1990s
$104.89

Laphroaig Cairdeas 200th Anniversary Edition (2015)

70cl, 51.50%
Laphroaig

Released during Fèis Ìle 2015 and marking the distillery's 200th anniversary, for this special edition of Laphroaig Cairdeas Master Distiller John Campbell used 100% floor malted barley (from the…  More info

Laphroaig Cairdeas 200th Anniversary Edition (2015)
15
$218.47

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)
$59.89

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)
$1221.30

Bowmore 25 Year Old 1989 (cask 10581) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 55.10%
Bowmore

A Douglas Laing bottling of 25 year old Bowmore single malt Scotch whisky, matured in a single refill hogshead cask. Back in the November 1989, this whisky was distillery on the isle of Islay and…  More info

Bowmore 25 Year Old 1989 (cask 10581) -  Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)
$321.68

Bowmore 31 Year Old 1982 (cask 85023) - Tantalus (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 48.50%
Bowmore

Released as part of the Tantalus collection, this is an incredible 31 year old Bowmore single malt Scotch whisky which has been bottled by Duncan Taylor. As with all Tantalus releases, it comes with…  More info

Bowmore 31 Year Old 1982 (cask 85023) - Tantalus (Duncan Taylor)
$1376.57

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