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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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The first ever 100% Islay release from Kilchoman, this is the incredibly rare natural cask strength edition. It was bottled from casks 100 thru' 103/08, and there are 1,060 numbered bottles, each...  More info
$444.73
This cask strength, single cask Bunnahabhain was distilled on the 21st September 2001 and it was aged in sherry butt 1763 for 9 years before bottling on the 11th July 2011. A release of 575 bottles.  More info
A 1 litre bottle of Laphroaig's marvelous Triple Wood, this was bottled for the duty free market. Triple Wood starts off in a similar manner to Quarter Cask, in that it's matured in bourbon barrels...  More info
$95.25
Smoky, rich Laphroaig from BBR, distilled 1998 and bottled 2010.  More info
$69.82
Distilled at Caol Ila on the 15th September 1999 and aged in two hogsheads before bottling on the 8th April 2011. A release of 926 bottles.  More info
$45.52
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:  (3 Reviews)
$48.74
The 2010 Lagavulin Special Release from Diageo. This 12 year old is a vatting of refil American oak casks, and it marks the 9th in the series so far. Sweet and intense.  More info
User Rating:  (1 Review)
Bruichladdich 1984
(70cl, 46%)
A limited edition 1984 vintage from the Bruichladdich distillery, this single malt exudes Bruichladdich's coastal qualities with notes of fruit and beautiful dry spices.  More info
User Rating:  (1 Review)
$127.58
This Bowmore was distilled in October of 1982 and was aged for 29 years in cask 85212 before bottling by Duncan Taylor in October 2011. A cask strength release of 218 numbered bottles.  More info
A special version of Laphroaig Cairdeas (pronounced "carchase"), the Ileach edition is named in reference to John Campbell, the whisky's creator. John is the first ever Islay-born Master Distiller at...  More info
$139.72
The 2008 released 27 year old from Islay giant Laphroaig. This was distilled in 1981 from five casks, previously used for Oloroso sherry, a thick and full single malt with a deep hue.  More info
The first Organic whisky release from Bruichladdich. This is 100% organic certified by the Biodynamic Association. The motto 'Anns an t-sean doigh' is Gaelic for 'In the traditional Way'. Organic 2003...  More info
User Rating:  (2 Reviews)
This Laphroaig was distilled on the 4th April 1995 and it was aged for 16 years in bourbon barrel 43 before it was bottled by Signatory on the 25th October 2011. A release of 221 decanter bottles.  More info
$97.78
Peated to 167 PPM, Octomore 4.1 is an intense, unusual whisky from Bruichladdich which Jim Murray awarded a very impressive 92 points, commenting on its chocolate-rich flavour he described it as...  More info
A beautiful Caol Ila from Gordon and MacPhail. This was distilled in 1997 and it was aged for a decade in bourbon casks before a 30 month finish in Hermitage wine casks (a classic French red made...  More info
$59.67
Bowmore 29 Year Old 1982
(70cl, 47.30%)
An astounding 2011 edition from Bowmore. This was distilled in 1982, and comes packaged in a very handsome wooden box, with its own leather strap. Each bottle comes with a certificate of authenticity...  More info
A super limited release of independently bottled Ardbeg! There are just 306 bottles of this stuff, bottled at natural cask strength in 2011 at the Bruichladdich distillery after 17 years in a single...  More info
A cask strength, 25 year old Bowmore distilled on the 22nd November 1985 and aged in hogshead number 32206 before bottling by Signatory on the 3rd November 2011. A release of 271 numbered bottles at...  More info
$124.47
This Caol Ila was distilled on the 18th November 1999, and was aged in hogsheads before bottling on the 2nd June 2011. A release of 936 bottles from Signatory.  More info
$44.42
A single cask, independent bottling of Ardbeg, likely to sell out before I finish typing this sentence! It was distilled in 1993 and aged for 18 years in a bourbon cask before bottling at the...  More info
Distilled at Bunnahabhain from heavily peated malt, this is an unusual expression from a distillery known for its gentle, fruity malts. 13 years old, and made from a vatting of two hogsheads. Bottled...  More info
$57.65
This Laphroaig was distilled on the 1st July 1999 and it was aged for 12 years in hogsheads 700042 and 700043 before bottling on the 6th October 2011. A release from Signatory of 744 bottles.  More info
$53.31
Distilled at Bowmore on the 19th April 1994 and aged in two hogsheads before bottling by Signatory on the 12th October 2010. A release of 742 bottles.  More info
User Rating:  (1 Review)
$54.11
This Bunnahabhain was distilled in June 1987 and it was aged for 24 years in cask 1598 before bottling by Duncan Taylor for their Rare Auld range in November 2011. A release of 399 numbered bottles.  More info
This was distilled at the Caol Ila distilled in 1990, and originally matured in bourbon casks. Then Murray McDavid took it to the Bruichladdich distillery, and reracked it into Chateau Haut Brion...  More info

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