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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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Master of Malt Single Cask Whisky
Bowmore Legend
(70cl, 40%)
A young, rather gentle Bowmore. Whilst not massively complex or full-bodied, Legend is still a great value for money malt.  More info
User Rating:  (21 Reviews)
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34 year old single malt Scotch whisky from the Caol Ila distillery, bottled as part of the Mackillop's Choice range - an excellent choice, chaps! This Islay single malt was distilled in May 1980 and...  More info
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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
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From Speciality Drinks' Elements of Islay range comes Bw4, an independently bottled single malt Scotch whisky from a famous Islay distillery. You might have heard of them, in fact. You might even be...  More info
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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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Independently bottled Bunnahabhain single malt Scotch whisky, handsomely presented as part of Hunter Laing's fantastic Old & Rare range. This Islay single malt was distilled in November 1991 and...  More info
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An independently bottled Bowmore single malt Scotch whisky, aged in a single cask for 16 years! This lovely little Islay whisky was distilled in June 1998 and left to age until September 2014, when it...  More info
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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
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An intense, peaty dram from the Bunnahabhain distillery, bottled for La Maison du Whisky's The Ten series. This is #09 in the series, the most powerful, intense expression out of all 10 releases - a...  More info
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An independently bottled Bowmore single malt, mature in a single Sherry butt (#10430) for 12 years. Coming from Douglas Laing's Provenance range, which celebrates the seasons of distillation, the...  More info
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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
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Sure to be a favourite of the 2014 Special Releases this is a 30 year old Caol Ila single malt, distilled in 1983 and matured in a mix of refill American and European oak casks. 7,638 bottles were...  More info
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$651.13
Independently bottled single malt Scotch whisky from the Bunnahabhain distillery on the island of Islay, matured in a single cask for 26 long years! For over a quarter of a century, from 1987 to 2014...  More info
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$230.67
Released as part of the Duncan Taylor Single range, this is a 34 year old Bunnahabhain single malt Scotch whisky, drawn from a single Sherry oak cask. It was distilled in September 1979 and bottled in...  More info
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24 year old single malt Scotch whisky from the legendary Port Ellen distillery, which sadly has been closed since 1983. This Islay whisky was distilled in March 1978, matured in a single Sherry butt...  More info
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An independent bottling of Bunnahabhain single malt Scotch whisky, which was matured in a refill hogshead for 35 long years! This Islay expression was distilled in December 1978 and bottled in June...  More info
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A Cask Strength Collection bottling of single malt Scotch whisky from the Bruichladdich distillery on the island of Islay, left to mature in a refill butt for 24 years. It was distilled in September...  More info
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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
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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
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Lagavulin 21 Year Old
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A cask strength 21 year old release from Lagavulin, just 6,642 bottles were released, distilled in 1985 and bottled in 2007.  More info
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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
$83.97
A very well-aged Bruichladdich from Berry Brothers & Rudd dating to the Whyte & Mackay era.  More info
$141.73
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
$1530.45
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
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One of two Bruichladdich single malts released in mid 2015 as part of the Darkness! range. This one was treated to a finishing period in a specially coopered, 50-litre Oloroso Sherry cask. The...  More info
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