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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 markedly rich bottling from Gordon and MacPhail, this Bunnahabhain single malt was distilled in 1991 and offers some lovely feinty notes with hints of coffee and honey.  More info
Distilled at Caol Ila on the 13th November and matured in cask number 5387 for 25 years before bottling by Bladnoch on the 23rd March 2010. A release of 263 numbered bottles at cask strength.  More info
Distilled in March 1983 at the Bowmore distillery, this was aged for 25 years in a single cask before bottling at natural cask strength in August 2008 for the Old and Rare Platinum selection.  More info
The ninth release in the Links series of casks selected by Jim McEwan, the master distiller, the label on this 15 year old features a painting of Birkdale by the renowned golf artist, Graeme W...  More info
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Distilled at Caol Ila in 1984 and aged for 23 years in cask number 6262 before bottling by Adelphi in 2008 as part of a release of 232 cask strength bottles.  More info
A 14 year old Bunnahabhain aged in Medoc barrels (casks 90281 and 90282) before bottling in 2009 as part of a release of 516 bottles.  More info
The 3rd edition of the 20 year old single from Bruichladdich matured in ex-bourbon barrels, this dram has enjoyed a flirtation in Malmsey casks and has a rich, spicy cooked fruit flavour - the Madeira...  More info
Some 25 year old single cask Bowmore. This was distilled in March 1983 and aged in a refill hogshead. Bottled by Douglas Laing in March 2008, with an outturn of 259 bottles.  More info
A 20cl Advance Sample from Douglas Laing. This was distilled at the Port Ellen distillery in November 1982 and aged for 25 years in sherry butt number 4673. It was bottled in September 2008.  More info
A fruity, gentle Islay whisky, bottled for Duncan Taylor's NC2 range. This was distilled in 1997 and bottled in 2009. It is both non-chillfiltered and non caramel coloured.  More info
This was distilled not long before the Port Ellen distillery closed for good. Bottled in August 2009 by Douglas Laing, there are 610 bottles of this, from refill butt number 5441.  More info
A Tokaji finished Caol Ila, this was distilled on the 30th September 1994 and matured in three casks before bottling by Gordon and MacPhail in July of 2009. Part of a release of just 492 bottles.  More info
Batch number one from the new range of Laphroaig Cask Strength 10 year old whisky. They are now making these up in smaller batches, with a great price to boot! Released in February 2009. Much more...  More info
User Rating:  (1 Review)
A single cask from Signatory. This is the next cask after the excellent previous edition (cask 3636). This was distilled on the 16th May 1984 and aged for 25 years in cask 3637 (a hogshead) before...  More info
Just 12,990 bottles were released, this Caol Ila 8 year old proffers the chance to sample an unpeated malt from the distillery, matured in first fill bourbon casks. There is spice and fruit with a...  More info
Single cask Laphroaig distilled in October 1996, matured for 13 years in a refill hogshead and bottled in November 2009 as a release of 313 bottles.  More info
Two casks of Bunnahabhain, packaged beautifully. This was distilled in 1976 and matured for 31 years in two Fino Sherry casks, numbers 1028 and 1134, before bottles at cask strength by Murray McDavid.  More info
A single cask Bruichladdich distilled in November 1993, matured for 15 years in a refill hogshead and bottled in November of 2008 as part of a release of 353 bottles.  More info
A rare and very handsome Bowmore, distilled in November of 1987 and aged for 22 years before bottling in April 2010. This was finished in a sherry hogshead which bore 244 bottles of cask strength...  More info
An independent bottling from Bowmore, bottled by Signatory. This was distilled on the 29th March 1990 and matured in 2 hogsheads (casks 653 and 654) for 19 years before bottling on the 16th November...  More info
User Rating:  (1 Review)
An un-chillfiltered 22 year old Bruichladdich. This was distilled on the 11th February 1988, aged in hogsheads 65, 66 and 67 before bottling on the 11th February 2010 by Signatory. A release of 797...  More info
The 1982 Bowmore from Duncan Taylor's incredible Octave range. The whiskies are matured in a standard cask before giving a finish in a sherry treated Octave cask (which offers a speedy maturation due...  More info
The eight release in the Links series of casks selected by master distiller Jim McEwan. This 15 year old has a special label featuring a painting of Torrey Pine by the golf artist Graeme W. Baxter...  More info
$50.87
Vintage Bunnahabhain selected by Jim McEwan (Master Distiller at Bruichladdich). This was distilled in 1978, matured in Oloroso casks for a whopping 30 years, and bottled at the Bruichladdich...  More info
User Rating:  (1 Review)
Signatory's Un-Chillfiltered collection is range of single malts from some classic distilleries, none of which have been chill-filtered, or artificially coloured. Just pure, unadulterated whisky, as...  More info

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