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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
Bruichladdich Octomore
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
A single-cask bottling of Bowmore named for John Milroy.  More info
$110.81
A single-cask bottling of Islay's Bowmore bottled with the approval of Whisky Legend John Milroy.  More info
$117.83
A smoky single malt distilled at Bowmore in 1994 and bottled by BBR.  More info
$88.60
Vintage Bowmore from 1999, bottled at Cask strength by Berry Brothers and Rudd.  More info
$74.28
This Bunnahabhain was distilled in 1997 and bottled for BRR's award-winning Berry's Own Selection.  More info
$80.88
A 25 year old Caol Ila bottled for Berry's Own Selection. This was distilled in 1984 and bottled at cask strength.  More info
$135.75
Smoky, rich Laphroaig from BBR, distilled 1998 and bottled 2010.  More info
$81.70
The second release of Bruichladdich's Black Art whisky 'Matured in the Stygian* darkness of Warehouse number 12'. *relating to the river Styx. (no? us neither. We reckon someone's been at an online...  More info
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Bunnahabhain 30 Year Old
(70cl, 45.40%)
A super-limited release from Bunnahabhain in a very fetching 30 year old salmon-pink presentation case. Complete with a scroll of authenticity and a silver Quaich.  More info
A peaty Old Malt Cask. This was distilled at Laphroaig in April 1992 and bottled in January 2009 as a release of 691 bottles. This was aged in refill butt number 4825.  More info
A special release from Bruichladdich for the 2010 Islay Festival, this was distilled in 2004 and aged in a fresh sherry butt (cask number 1667) before bottling as part of an outturn of 1060 50cl...  More info
$94.31
Caol Ila Feis Ile 2010
(70cl, 61.90%)
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
$164.64
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 27 year old, single cask Port Ellen, need we say more? Well, just in case we'll add that it was distilled in Spring 1983 (just before the legendary distillery closed for good) and was bottled in...  More info
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Lagavulin Distillery Only
(70cl, 52.50%)
A very special Lagavulin, this "distillery only" bottling is made with the remnant of whisky from a previous bottling run of Distiller's Edition. It is then re-casked and left for a few extra years.  More info
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$267.65
Lagavulin Feis Ile 2010
(70cl, 52.70%)
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
$164.64
12 year old single malt from a secret Islay distillery, the Ileach series is very well-rated by critics and whisky connoisseurs alike, great stuff!  More info
A 34 year old Bunnahabhain selected by Jim McEwan (Master Distiller at Bruichladdich). The Celtic Heartlands range exhibits Jim's incredible originality when it comes to Scotch whisky, and this 1973...  More info
12 year old Bowmore from Duncan Taylor's NC2 range of Non-Chillfiltered, Non Caramel Coloured whisky. This was distilled in 1998 and bottled in 2010.  More info
14 year old Bruichladdich, this was aged for 14 years in bourbon casks before being finished in Kosher wine casks from the Carmel winery in Israel.  More info
User Rating: 
$57.04
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
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
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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
A limited edition, cask strength single cask from Duncan Taylor. This was distilled at Caol Ila in December 1984, and aged for 25 years in cask 6270 before bottling in May 2010 as part of a release of...  More info

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