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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.

Bowmore 22 Year Old 1987 - Old and Rare Platinum (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 56.10%
Bowmore

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

Bowmore 22 Year Old 1987 - Old and Rare Platinum (Douglas Laing)

Bowmore 1990 - Un-Chillfiltered (Signatory)

70cl, 46%
Bowmore

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

Bowmore 1990 - Un-Chillfiltered (Signatory)
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Bruichladdich 22 Year Old 1988 - Un-Chillfiltered (Signatory)

70cl, 46%
Bruichladdich

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

Bruichladdich 22 Year Old 1988 - Un-Chillfiltered (Signatory)

Bowmore 27 Year Old 1982 - The Octave (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 50.60%
Bowmore

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

Bowmore 27 Year Old 1982 - The Octave (Duncan Taylor)

Bruichladdich 15 Year Old - Links Series Torrey Pine

70cl, 46%
Bruichladdich

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

Bruichladdich 15 Year Old - Links Series Torrey Pine
$44.32

Bunnahabhain 30 Year Old 1978 - Mission (Murray McDavid)

70cl, 53.10%
Bunnahabhain

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

Bunnahabhain 30 Year Old 1978 - Mission (Murray McDavid)
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Laphroaig 9 Year Old 2000 - Un-Chillfiltered (Signatory)

70cl, 46%
Laphroaig

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

Laphroaig 9 Year Old 2000 - Un-Chillfiltered (Signatory)

Bunnahabhain 30 Year Old 1978 - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 50%
Bunnahabhain

30 Year Old Bunnahabhain distilled in December 1978 and matured for 30 years in refill butt number 5120 before bottling by Douglas Laing in April 2009. Part of an outturn of 566 bottles.  More info

Bunnahabhain 30 Year Old 1978 - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)

Port Charlotte PC7

70cl, 61%
Bruichladdich

PC7 is a heavily peated release from the Bruichladdich distillery from the limited release Port Charlotte range, this single malt has been bottled at the heady h8s of 61% abv and proffers the chance…  More info

Port Charlotte PC7
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Bunnahabhain 12 Year Old 1997 Heavily Peated Casks 5342 & 5484 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 54.10%
Bunnahabhain

This was distilled from heavily peated malt (unusual for a Bunnahabhain) on the 8th December 1997 and was aged for 12 years in hogsheads 5342 and 5484 before bottling on the 23rd June 2010 as part of…  More info

Bunnahabhain 12 Year Old 1997 Heavily Peated Casks 5342 & 5484 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

Laphroaig 19 Year Old 1990 Cask 89 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 53.10%
Laphroaig

This 19 year old, single cask Laphroaig was distilled on the 22nd October 1990 and aged in bourbon barrel number 89 before bottling on the 21st June 2010. A release of 246 decanters.  More info

Laphroaig 19 Year Old 1990 Cask 89 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)
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Bruichladdich Octomore 01.1

70cl, 63.50%
Bruichladdich

The now very rare first release of Bruichladdich’s Octomore. When it was released it was the world’s peatiest whisky, with phenol levels of 131ppm. This has since been eclipsed by the astonishing…  More info

Bruichladdich Octomore 01.1

Caol Ila 12 Year Old (Alchemist)

70cl, 46%
Caol Ila

A 12 year old Islay malt from the Caol Ila distillery. This was bottled for the exceptional new Alchemist range.  More info

Caol Ila 12 Year Old (Alchemist)

Lagavulin 1993 (bottled 2009) Pedro Ximénez Cask Finish - Distillers Edition

70cl, 43%
Lagavulin

Ever wondered what a deliciously smoky Lagavulin would taste like when coupled with the sweet, silken grace of Pedro Ximenez dessert sherry cask? Well here it is. A superb Distillers Edition, this is…  More info

Lagavulin 1993 (bottled 2009) Pedro Ximénez Cask Finish - Distillers Edition

Port Ellen 27 Year Old 1983 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 55.70%
Port Ellen

This stunning Port Ellen was distilled on the 2nd of February 1983 (just a few months before the distillery closed for good) and was aged in wine treated butt number 231 for 27 years before bottling…  More info

Port Ellen 27 Year Old 1983 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

Bruichladdich 19 Year Old 1989 Black Art

70cl, 51.10%
Bruichladdich

A limited edition of just 6,000 bottles worldwide, this was the first 19 year old Bruichladdich, matured in bourbon and a medley of wine casks. It follows on from the Blacker Still expression and was…  More info

Bruichladdich 19 Year Old 1989 Black Art
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Caol Ila 17 Year Old 1990 - Mission (Murray McDavid)

70cl, 52.50%
Caol Ila

From the Murray McDavid Mission series of casks selected by Jim McEwan and bottled at the Bruichladdich distillery. This was distilled at Caol Ila in 1990, matured in bourbon barrels for 17 years and…  More info

Caol Ila 17 Year Old 1990 - Mission (Murray McDavid)

Lagavulin Feis Ile 2010

70cl, 52.70%
Lagavulin

A special release from the Lagavulin distillery, distilled in 1994 and filled into a European Oak Sherry cask (number 3210) on the 1st August 1994, and aged for 15 years before bottling in 2010. Each…  More info

Lagavulin Feis Ile 2010
$122.01

Caol Ila Feis Ile 2010

70cl, 61.90%
Caol Ila

The 2010 Feis Ile (Islay Festival) saw some exceptional special releases from some of Scotland's best-loved distilleries. Caol Ila offered this stunning natural cask strength bottling, filled into…  More info

Caol Ila Feis Ile 2010
$122.01

Caol Ila 1984 (Berry Bros. & Rudd)

70cl, 53.70%
Caol Ila

A 25 year old Caol Ila bottled for Berry's Own Selection. This was distilled in 1984 and bottled at cask strength.  More info

Caol Ila 1984 (Berry Bros. & Rudd)
$100.60

Caol Ila 1995 Marsala Finish - Private Collection (Gordon and MacPhail)

70cl, 45%
Caol Ila

An 11 year old Caol Ila expression from Gordon and MacPhail's Private Collection, this bottling was matured in Marsala casks and is part of an limited release of just 1,200 bottles.  More info

Caol Ila 1995 Marsala Finish - Private Collection (Gordon and MacPhail)

Bowmore 17 Year Old - Duthies (WM Cadenhead)

70cl, 46%
Bowmore

Smooth and well balanced 17 year old Bowmore from Cadenhead's Duthies range. A release of just 573 bottles.  More info

Bowmore 17 Year Old - Duthies (WM Cadenhead)

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)

Port Ellen 31 Year Old 1978 - 10th Release (2010 Special Release)

70cl, 54.60%
Port Ellen

Highly anticipated release from Diageo's now defunct Port Ellen distillery. In our humble opinion, perhaps not quite as good as last year's release, but nevertheless still quite special, and will…  More info

Port Ellen 31 Year Old 1978 - 10th Release (2010 Special Release)

Ardbeg 25 Year Old 1978 Mount Everest (Silver Seal)

70cl, 46%
Ardbeg

A rare bottle of Ardbeg, bottled by the Silver Seal company. This commemorates the Hillary and Norgay summiting Mount Everest on the 29th May 1953. This was distilled in 1978 and packaged in a silver…  More info

Ardbeg 25 Year Old 1978 Mount Everest (Silver Seal)
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