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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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A Signatory bottling of two consecutive hogsheads of Bowmore single malt distilled in 1998. The total outturn was 244 bottles.  More info
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 rather...  More info
'Blowing on a Sea Breeze' is that name of this Wemyss Malts independent bottling of Bunnahabhain single malt, matured in a single hogshead from 1990 to 2015. It was bottled with an outturn of 209...  More info
Q. What do you get if you put Coal Ila new make spirit into cask number 4213 (a hogshead) in December 1998 and then get Càrn Mòr to bottle it in August 2015?

A. 135 bottles of this whisky!  More info
Another release from the Duncan Taylor Single collection - this one a tempting Laphroaig single malt Scotch whisky, matured in a single cask for 18 years. It was distilled in April 1997 and bottled in...  More info
From one of the most well-loved Scotch distillery - Bowmore out on the Isle of Islay - comes this 12 year old single malt Scotch whisky, bottled as part of the Old Malt Cask by Hunter Laing. It was...  More info
A 25 year old Laphroaig single malt Scotch whisky, matured in a refill cask from November 1989 to July 2015. It has been presented by Douglas Laing's Xtra Old Particular selection, a range reserved...  More info
Well aged Caol Ila, anyone? Oh yes, this is a single cask bottling of 25 year old single malt from the legendary Islay distillery, presented as part of the Xtra Old Particular range by Douglas Laing...  More info
A cask strength bottling of single malt Scotch whisky from the Bruichladdich distillery on the island of Islay, drawn from three refill American hogshead casks. It was distilled in October 1991 and...  More info
26 year old Bunnhabhain single malt Scotch whisky, bottled by Berry Brothers & Rudd. It was distilled in 1987, then bottled over quarter of century later in 2014, being drawn from a single cask and...  More info
An indie Bunnah, bottled by Berry Brothers & Rudd! This Bunnahabhain was distilled on the island of Islay in 1989 and matured in cask #5716 for 24 years before being bottled by the legendary wine and...  More info
An independent bottling of 21 year old Bruichladdich single malt Scotch whisky, presented by Berry Brothers & Rudd. It was distilled in 1992 and set aside to age in cask #3807 until 2014, when it was...  More info
Bunnahabhain 40 Year Old
(70cl, 41.70%)
Good gosh - 40 year old Bunnahbhain single malt Scotch whisky! This was released by the Islay distillery in the latter-half of 2012, with just 750 bottles produced. Expect big, exciting things from...  More info
An indie Islay whisky from the Caol Ila distillery, matured in a single bourbon cask for 8 years. It was distilled in April 2006 and bottled in January 2015 with an outturn of 322 bottles, bottled at...  More info
From the Rest & Be Thankful independent bottling range comes a 25 year old Bowmore single malt Scotch whisky. It was distilled in April 1990 and set aside to age in a single bourbon cask until April...  More info
A Duncan Taylor bottling of 25 year old Bunnahabhain single malt Scotch whisky, matured in a Shery oak cask from October 1989 to January 2015. Following its lengthy maturation, this Islay single malt...  More info
One of the stupendously well presented & well aged Duncan Taylor Tantalus collection, this time featuring a 44 year old Bunnahabhain single malt Scotch whisky. Yes, that's right, this whisky matured...  More info
Few distilleries are as sought after as Islay's Ardbeg. Sestante meanwhile, are a celebrated independent bottling brand of real note who are no longer operating. What then, would it take to top a rare...  More info
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
The Tantalus range from Duncan Taylor is one for the collectors out there. All the whiskies in the range are extraordinarily rare, most of them having matured for over 40 years. Once Duncan Taylor...  More info
A 22 year old Bunnahabhain single malt Scotch whisky, bottled for Duncan Taylor's Octave range. Distilled on Islay in 1991 and bottled in 2014, but not before it was finished in a tiny Octave Sherry...  More info
Ooh, an indie Bruichladdich! And bottled at cask strength, no less. Very exciting stuff from Gordon & MacPahil. This Islay single malt was distilled in October 1991 and matured in refill Sherry...  More info
From the Bunnahabhain distillery on the island of Islay comes a 23 year old single malt Scotch whisky, released as a joint bottling between La Maison du Whisky and The Nectar in Belgium. It was...  More info
From one of the excellent distilleries on the Island of Islay comes this edition of Mackillop's Choice. Give a warm welcome to the Bowmore 1990, which was distilled in April 1990 and bottled in July...  More info
Saying that Port Ellen whisky is sought-after is like saying jam is pretty good on toast - a massive understatement! The distillery on Islay closed in 1983, to the disappointment of many who loved...  More info
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