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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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A 23 year old Bunnahabhain aged in sherry butt 1282. This was distilled on the 20th October 1986 and bottled on the 21st July 2010. A release of 540 bottles.  More info
$128.49
A stunning single cask, deeply sherried Islay whisky from Bunnahabhain. This was distilled in 2000, aged in cask 948 and was bottled at 10 years old in 2011 by Adelphi. A release of 636 bottles.  More info
$82.24
Tempest is a very special release from Bowmore, it’s a cask strength malt made by vatting first-fill bourbon matured whisky. Very rich and complex.  More info
User Rating:  (6 Reviews)
$58.93
This was distilled at the Laphroaig distillery on the 4th April 1995, and it was aged for 16 years in bourbon barrel 47 before bottling by Signatory for its Cask Strength Collection on the 25th...  More info
$94.64
This was distilled at Caol Ila on the 8th November 1983 and it was aged in hogshead number 5284 before it was bottled by Signatory on the 12th July 2011. This is a cask strength release of 254...  More info
User Rating:  (3 Reviews)
$140.69
A Bruichladdich finished in one of the most famous and renowned Sauternes wineries in the world: the Bordeaux First Growth Chateau D'Yquem! A great addition to the series of first growth wine finished...  More info
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SMWS' first bottling from the Port Charlotte distillery! This is a super rare little whisky, which was distilled in December 2001 and aged in a single refill barrel for 8 years before bottling. It's...  More info
User Rating:  (1 Review)
$191.88
Bowmore Darkest
(70cl, 43%)
A rich, sherry-matured Bowmore. Very similar to the world famous Black Bowmore, though much younger. Very intense and fruity.  More info
User Rating:  (1 Review)
This Bruichladdich was matured for 21 years in top quality Oloroso sherry casks.  More info
User Rating:  (1 Review)
Increasingly a collector's item, this is the world's most heavily peated whisky at 140 ppm.  More info
User Rating:  (1 Review)
Distilled in 1994, this Bowmore was initially aged in sherry wood. It was selected by Murray McDavid, and taken to the Bruichladdich distillery, where it was reracked into none other than the finest...  More info
This Bruichladdich was distilled on the 27th May 1998, and it was aged for 12 years. It was finished in a Calvados cask from Christian Drouin, and it was bottled by none other than us at the...  More info
$126.62
This was distilled at the Bunnahabhain distillery on the 19th September 1979, it was then aged for 31 years in a single refill sherry butt. It was bottled by Signatory on the 14th March 2011. A...  More info
$140.53
Bruichladdich X4+3
(70cl, 63.50%)
Bruichladdich's Perilous X4 Spirit is no longer new make, after 3 years maturation it is now officially whisky. This marks the first official quadruple distilled single malt whisky in centuries. It is...  More info
User Rating:  (1 Review)
$64.54
The rare first release of the bourbon matured expression from the Bruichladdich distillery, this 18 year old then enjoyed a further finish in Willi Opitz Pinot Noir casks and exhibits some crisp...  More info
$82.92
Distilled at the Caol Ila distillery in 1996, Gordon and MacPhail matured this in their Elgin-based warehouses in refill sherry casks. The result is a rich, coastal dram, with fruity freshness and...  More info
User Rating:  (1 Review)
$76.87
A very rare Ardbeg bottled by Gordon and MacPhail in 2003. This was distilled in 1975 - a legendary vintage for Ardbeg.  More info
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$441.41
A rare release of 900 individually numbered bottles of 32 year old Bruichladdich. Jim McEwan, the master distiller, selected some of the oldest and rarest casks from the distillery to bottle as part...  More info
$252.11
A rare 33 year old Bruichladdich, part of the legacy series of old, rare casks selected by master distiller Jim McEwan. This comes as a release of just 1,600 numbered bottles, matured in a mix of...  More info
$271.33
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
Distilled at Bunnahabhain in February 1979, this was aged for 32 years in cask number 1774 before bottling at natural cask strength in June 2011. A release of 499 bottles from Duncan Taylor.  More info
User Rating:  (1 Review)
This single malt from Bruichladdich was distilled in 1984 and matured in 'dumpy' squat bourbon hogsheads for 23 years. The casks proffered greater wood contact and have imparted a golden hue to the...  More info
User Rating:  (2 Reviews)
Strictly One Per CustomerThis will sell out within 5 minutes of me putting the product live. It's a limited release of 2,988 bottles, aged for 32 years in refill American oak casks, and guess what...  More info
A tasty old Bunnahabhain which was distilled in June of 1985 and was aged in casks (two barrels) 5 and 7. It was bottled in 2010 for the Dun Bheagan range. A release of 372 bottles.  More info
$133.01
1997 vintage Caol Ila, bottled as part of Diageo's superb Distillers Edition range. This was finished in Moscatel wine casks, and the result is a nuttier, fruitier whisky. Well worth a try.  More info
User Rating:  (1 Review)
$60.09

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