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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.

Caol Ila 10 Year Old 1999 - Un-Chillfiltered (Signatory)

70cl, 46.0%
Caol Ila

Distilled at Caol Ila - an Islay distillery known for its oily, smoky character - on the 22nd November 1999, matured in two casks (hogsheads numbers 3/11067 11068) and bottled by Signatory on the…  More info

Caol Ila 10 Year Old 1999 - Un-Chillfiltered (Signatory)

Bunnahabhain 12 Year Old 1996 - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 50.0%
Bunnahabhain

A fruity, sweet Islay malt. This was distilled at the Bunnahabhain in September of 1996 and aged for 12 years in a refill hogshead, with an outturn of 355 bottles. This was bottled by Douglas Laing…  More info

Bunnahabhain 12 Year Old 1996 - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)

Bowmore 9 Year Old Cigar Malt Advance Sample - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)

20cl, 50.0%
Bowmore

A 9 year old Bowmore from that was bottled by Douglas Laing. This was selected for its flavour qualities that make it the perfect partner for a good cigar.  More info

Bowmore 9 Year Old Cigar Malt Advance Sample - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)

Port Ellen 27 Year Old 1983 - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 50.0%
Port Ellen

A 27 year old Port Ellen bottled under the Old Malt Cask label from Douglas Laing. It won't be around for ever, Port Ellen. And you'll miss it when it's gone so you will.  More info

Port Ellen 27 Year Old 1983 - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)

Laphroaig 8 Year Old 1999 - Provenance (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 46.0%
Laphroaig

Distilled at Laphroaig in the Summer of 1999, this was aged in refill hogshead number 4203 before bottling in Spring 2008. Bottled as part of the Provenance range.  More info

Laphroaig 8 Year Old 1999 - Provenance (Douglas Laing)

Ardbeg 17 Year Old 1991 Rum Finish - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 50.0%
Ardbeg

A stunning Ardbeg, the likes of which have never been seen before. This was distilled in March 1991, and bottled in October 2008. There are just 316 bottles, at the strength of 50% (for added…  More info

Ardbeg 17 Year Old 1991 Rum Finish - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)

Laphroaig 10 Year Old 1999 (Murray McDavid)

70cl, 46.0%
Laphroaig

A 10 year old Laphroaig, bottled by Murray McDavid. This was distilled at the Laphroaig distillery in 1999, and aged in bourbon casks before it was specially selected by Bruichladdich's Jim McEwan.…  More info

Laphroaig 10 Year Old 1999 (Murray McDavid)

Bowmore 7 Year Old 2002 (Murray McDavid)

70cl, 46.0%
Bowmore

7 year old Bowmore, bottled for Murray McDavid. This was distilled at the Bowmore distillery in 2002, aged in bourbon barrels and then finished in casks from First Growth Bordeaux winery Château…  More info

Bowmore 7 Year Old 2002 (Murray McDavid)

Bunnahabhain 41 Year Old 1968 (Adelphi)

70cl, 41.2%
Bunnahabhain

This was distilled at Bunnahabhain in 1968 and aged for 41 years in European oak butts 12401 and 12403 before bottling by Adelphi in 2008. The result is thick, viscous and very dark whisky...  More info

Bunnahabhain 41 Year Old 1968 (Adelphi)

Bunnahabhain 35 Year Old 1975 (Adelphi)

70cl, 51.8%
Bunnahabhain

Aged for a whopping 35 years, this cast strength Bunnahabhain from Adelphi offers oodles of character. It was bottled in 2010 as part of a release of just 157 bottles.  More info

Bunnahabhain 35 Year Old 1975 (Adelphi)

Bunnahabhain 41 Year Old 1968 - Celtic Heartlands

70cl, 40.7%
Bunnahabhain

A cask strength 41 year old Bunnahabhain from Bruichladdich's Master Distiller Jim McEwan who chose this for his prestigious Celtic Heartlands range.  More info

Bunnahabhain 41 Year Old 1968 - Celtic Heartlands

Caol Ila 10 Year Old 1999 (Signatory)

70cl, 43.0%
Caol Ila

A Signatory bottling from Caol Ila. This was distilled on the 22nd November 1999 and matured in two hogsheads (umbers 3/1063 and 1064) for 10 years before bottling on the 26th November 2009. A…  More info

Caol Ila 10 Year Old 1999 (Signatory)

Bruichladdich 17 Year Old Pedro Ximénez Sherry Cask Finish

70cl, 46.0%
Bruichladdich

A Pedro Ximinez (sic) finished Bruichladdich. This is part of a release of 6,000 bottles of 17 years old whisky.  More info

Bruichladdich 17 Year Old Pedro Ximénez Sherry Cask Finish
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Caol Ila 25 Year Old 1984 Cask 5391 (Bladnoch)

70cl, 52.0%
Caol Ila

Distilled on the 13th November 1984 and aged for 25 years in hogshead number 5391 before bottling on the 11th July 2010 for the Bladnoch forum. A release of 212 bottles.  More info

Caol Ila 25 Year Old 1984 Cask 5391 (Bladnoch)

Bowmore 40 Year Old 1968 - Peerless (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 42.7%
Bowmore

This incredible Bowmore was aged for a whopping 40 years. When you think that 40 year old Bowmores regularly command prices of upwards of several thousand pounds you know this is an amazing bargain!  More info

Bowmore 40 Year Old 1968 - Peerless (Duncan Taylor)

Laphroaig 10 Year Old 2000 - Un-Chillfiltered (Signatory)

70cl, 46.0%
Laphroaig

A 10 year old single cask Laphroaig distilled on the 18th September 2000 and aged in refill butt 4070 before bottling on the 5th November 2010. A release of just 835 bottles.  More info

Laphroaig 10 Year Old 2000 - Un-Chillfiltered (Signatory)
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Caol Ila 9 Year Old 2000 - Provenance (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 46.0%
Caol Ila

A 9 year old Caol Ila, bottled for the Douglas Laing Provenance range. This was distilled in the Winter of 2000 and bottled in the Summer of 2010.  More info

Caol Ila 9 Year Old 2000 - Provenance (Douglas Laing)

Bruichladdich 2001 The Resurrection Dram

70cl, 46.0%
Bruichladdich

Packaged in a startling azure coloured bottle, Resurrection was the brainchild of Bruichladdich's Jim McEwan and was distilled from barley with 10ppm and matured in ex-bourbon casks for 8 years.  More info

Bruichladdich 2001 The Resurrection Dram

Bunnahabhain 9 Year Old 2000 (Adelphi)

70cl, 59.2%
Bunnahabhain

A stark contrast to the older releases of Bunnahabhain from Adelphi, this superb 9yo showcases younger Islay Malt in a cracking way. Well worth a try if only to experience for yourself the…  More info

Bunnahabhain 9 Year Old 2000 (Adelphi)

Caol Ila 10 Year Old Unpeated Style (2009 Release)

70cl, 65.8%
Caol Ila

A punchy cask strength release, it's at 65.8%! This is an unpeated expression from the Caol Ila distillery. They make this stuff but once a year, and is matured in first fill bourbon barrels.  More info

Caol Ila 10 Year Old Unpeated Style (2009 Release)

Caol Ila 9 Year Old 2001 (Adelphi)

70cl, 60.7%
Caol Ila

Distilled in 2001, this is a 9 year old Caol Ila, bottled at natural cask strength by Adelphi.  More info

Caol Ila 9 Year Old 2001 (Adelphi)

Bowmore 10 Year Old Tempest Feis Ile 2010

70cl, 55.3%
Bowmore

Bowmore Tempest arrived amidst masses of anticipation. It was a limited release. This is the even more limited, and rather rare, 2010 Feis Ile edition.  More info

Bowmore 10 Year Old Tempest Feis Ile 2010
$140.28

Lg1 - Elements of Islay (Lagavulin)

50cl, 56.8%
Lagavulin

From Speciality Drinks' Elements of Islay range, originally packaged with a laboratory look. Each is a 50cl bottle of cask strength Islay malt, each are given Periodic Table style names, which hint…  More info

Lg1 - Elements of Islay (Lagavulin)

Caol Ila 12 Year Old 1997 - Provenance (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 46.0%
Caol Ila

This Caol Ila was aged in two refill hogsheads (casks 5720 and 5721) for 12 years. Distilled in Autumn 1997 and bottled by Douglas Laing in Winter 2009.  More info

Caol Ila 12 Year Old 1997 - Provenance (Douglas Laing)

Caol Ila 30 Year Old - Single Cask (Master of Malt)

70cl, 57.4%
Caol Ila

An unbelievably good single cask Caol Ila that was so good we put our name on it! This was distilled in 1980 and aged in a single refill hogshead before bottling in 2010. A release of just 154…  More info

Caol Ila 30 Year Old - Single Cask (Master of Malt)
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