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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 23 Year Old 1987 - Old and Rare Platinum (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 59.1%
Bowmore

Matured in a Sherry Butt for 23 years, this single-cask whisky is part of an outturn of only 218 bottles.  More info

Bowmore 23 Year Old 1987 - Old and Rare Platinum (Douglas Laing)

Kilchoman Summer 2010 Release

70cl, 46%
Kilchoman

Sure to sell out quickly, Kilchoman's Summer 2010 Release marks another excellent addition to the new Islay distillery's already sterling back catalogue. This is release number 4, aged in fresh…  More info

Kilchoman Summer 2010 Release
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Ardbeg 1993 - Connoisseurs Choice (Gordon & MacPhail)

70cl, 43%
Ardbeg

A sherry matured Ardbeg, distilled in 1993 and bottled by Gordon and MacPhail for the Connoisseurs Choice range.  More info

Ardbeg 1993 - Connoisseurs Choice (Gordon & MacPhail)

Bowmore Dusk

70cl, 50%
Bowmore

A very interesting and incredibly rare Bowmore, finished in Bordeaux red wine casks. Rich and very fruity. Bowmore Dusk is a collector's favourite.  More info

Bowmore Dusk
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Caol Ila 20 Year Old 1975 - Rare Malts 20cl

20cl, 61.1%
Caol Ila

An incredible high strength Caol Ila, especially when considering the age! This was distilled in 1975, and was bottled for Diageo's Rare Malts series. These old Rare Malts are well worth a try, as…  More info

Caol Ila 20 Year Old 1975 - Rare Malts 20cl

Laphroaig 16 Year Old 1995 Cask 44 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 57.4%
Laphroaig

This was distilled at Laphroaig in 1995, it was aged for 16 years in a single bourbon barrel, and it was bottled by Signatory in 2011. A release of 140 bottles.  More info

Laphroaig 16 Year Old 1995 Cask 44 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

Laphroaig 17 Year Old 1993 - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 50%
Laphroaig

A well-aged Laphroaig from indpendent bottler Douglas Laing. Released at a pretty hefty 50% abv, the outturn of this cask was only 150 bottles.  More info

Laphroaig 17 Year Old 1993 - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)

Port Ellen 1982 - Connoisseurs Choice (Gordon and MacPhail)

70cl, 43%
Port Ellen

A complex, rich single malt, bottled by Gordon and MacPhail. Port Ellen has become a legendary distillery, known for its stunning peaty flavours.  More info

Port Ellen 1982 - Connoisseurs Choice (Gordon and MacPhail)

Caol Ila 27 Year Old 1983 Cask 5283 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 59.7%
Caol Ila

This was distilled at the Caol Ila distillery on the 8th November 2011 and aged for 27 years in hogshead 5283 before bottling on the 2nd February 2011. A release of 243 bottles.  More info

Caol Ila 27 Year Old 1983 Cask 5283 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

Laphroaig 9 Year Old 2001 - Provenance (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 46%
Laphroaig

A 9 year old Laphroaig from the Douglas Laing Provenance range. This was distilled in Winter 2001, aged in refill hogshead number 6421 and bottled in Summer 2010.  More info

Laphroaig 9 Year Old 2001 - Provenance (Douglas Laing)

Bowmore 21 Year Old 1989 - Mission (Murray McDavid)

70cl, 56.1%
Bowmore

A sherry cask Bowmore distilled in 1989. The cask was selected by Jim McEwan and it was bottled at the Bruichladdich distillery in 2010. This is part of a release of 479 bottles.  More info

Bowmore 21 Year Old 1989 - Mission (Murray McDavid)

Bowmore 16 Year Old 1991 Port Matured

70cl, 53.1%
Bowmore

Cask strength Bowmore, this was distilled in 1991, and aged solely in port pipes. A release of 18,000 bottles.  More info

Bowmore 16 Year Old 1991 Port Matured
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Port Ellen 27 Year Old 1983 (cask 6000) - Provenance (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 46%
Port Ellen

A 27 year old Port Ellen from a single cask! This was distilled in the Winter 1983 and aged in cask 6000 (a refill hogshead) before bottling in Spring 2010 for the Provenance range.  More info

Port Ellen 27 Year Old 1983 (cask 6000) - Provenance (Douglas Laing)

Caol Ila 25 Year Old 1984 (cask 5390) (Bladnoch)

70cl, 52.4%
Caol Ila

Distilled at Caol Ila on the 13th November 1984, this was aged for 25 years in hogshead 5390 before bottling on the 8th July 2010 for the Bladnoch distillery forum. Natural cask strength and no added…  More info

Caol Ila 25 Year Old 1984 (cask 5390) (Bladnoch)
$89.78

Bunnahabhain 9 Year Old 2001 Cask 1764 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 58.1%
Bunnahabhain

A 9 year old, single cask, cask strength Bunnahabhain. This was distilled on the 21st September 2001, it was aged in a first fill sherry butt, and was bottled on the 14th March 2011. A release of 583…  More info

Bunnahabhain 9 Year Old 2001 Cask 1764 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

Bowmore 25 Year Old 1985 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 55.8%
Bowmore

25 year old Bowmore, this was distilled on the 22nd November 1985, and aged in a single bourbon barrel (number 32212) before bottling on the 24th November 2010. A release of 279 numbered bottles at…  More info

Bowmore 25 Year Old 1985 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

Bowmore 30 Year Old Sea Dragon Decanter

70cl, 43%
Bowmore

A 30 year old Bowmore, packaged in a handsome opaque black ceramic decanter bottle, with a beautifully painted sea dragon on the bottle. It has a dragon on it, so you know it must be good.  More info

Bowmore 30 Year Old Sea Dragon Decanter
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$528.36

Caol Ila 1980 (Berry Bros. & Rudd)

70cl, 55.6%
Caol Ila

Smoky and rich, this is a full-bodied, powerful Caol Ila with notes of Latakia. Distilled in 1980 and bottled in 2011 by Berry Brothers and Rudd. Cask 4938.  More info

Caol Ila 1980 (Berry Bros. & Rudd)
$121.48

Bruichladdich 18 Year Old 1989 Kosher Wine Finish

70cl, 46%
Bruichladdich

A 1989 vintage from the Bruichladdich distillery and a very unusual whisky indeed; this was aged for 18 years in bourbon casks, before a finish in Kosher wine casks from the Carmel winery in Israel.…  More info

Bruichladdich 18 Year Old 1989 Kosher Wine Finish
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Bunnahabhain 33 Year Old 1976 - Mission (Murray McDavid)

70cl, 49.3%
Bunnahabhain

A single cask, 33 year old, cask strength Bunnahabhain distilled in 1976. Bottled for Murray McDavid's Mission range. Fantastic whisky, aged in fino sherry casks!  More info

Bunnahabhain 33 Year Old 1976 - Mission (Murray McDavid)
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Laphroaig 16 Year Old 1990 - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 50%
Laphroaig

Distilled in Laphroaig in November 1990, aged in refill hogshead for 16 years and bottled in December 2006 for Douglas Laing's Old Malt Cask range. A release of 295 bottles.  More info

Laphroaig 16 Year Old 1990 - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)

Bowmore 25 Year Old 1985 Cask 32211 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 56.1%
Bowmore

This cask strength, single cask Bowmore was distilled on the 22nd November 1985, and it was aged in hogshead 32211 for 25 years before bottling by Signatory on the 16th June 2011. A release of 257…  More info

Bowmore 25 Year Old 1985 Cask 32211 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

Bruichladdich 15 Year Old - Links Series Valhalla

70cl, 46%
Bruichladdich

Part ten in the Golf themed Links series from Bruichladdich. Each bottle is made up of whisky from casks specially selected by Jim McEwan, the Laddie master distiller. This 15 year old features a…  More info

Bruichladdich 15 Year Old - Links Series Valhalla

Bowmore 12 Year Old 1998 (Adelphi)

70cl, 61.9%
Bowmore

This was distilled at Bowmore in 1998, and it was aged in refill sherry cask number 800017 before bottling by Adelphi.  More info

Bowmore 12 Year Old 1998 (Adelphi)

Bruichladdich 15 Year Old (Alchemist)

70cl, 46%
Bruichladdich

A 15 year old from Scotland's most innovative distillery, Bruichladdich. This was bottled for the new range from Alchemist.  More info

Bruichladdich 15 Year Old (Alchemist)

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