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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.

Bunnahabhain 13 Year Old 1997 (Adelphi)

70cl, 57.20%
Bunnahabhain

This Bunnahabhain was distilled from peated malt in 1997 and aged for 13 years in a refill sherry cask before it was bottled by Adelphi. This was bottled in aid of the genesis research trust, and…  More info

Bunnahabhain 13 Year Old 1997 (Adelphi)

Bowmore 10 Year Old (Adelphi)

70cl, 58.80%
Bowmore

One of 306 bottles yielded at 54.7% ABV. The younger bowmores from Adelphi are a stark contrast to the distillery's own younger releases, and stand up well to the (very impressive) Tempest releases.  More info

Bowmore 10 Year Old (Adelphi)

Kilchoman Feis Ile 2010 Release

70cl, 62.20%
Kilchoman

This was distilled in 2007, and bottled especially for the Islay festival in 2010. A wonderful release of Kilchoman, aged for three years in fresh bourbon barrels. Bottled at Natural cask strength.  More info

Kilchoman Feis Ile 2010 Release
$420.78

Kilchoman Inaugural Release

70cl, 46%
Kilchoman

The very first ever release of single malt whisky from the Kilchoman distillery. This Inaugural Release was aged for between 2.5 and 3 years in bourbon casks, before being finished for 6 months in…  More info

Kilchoman Inaugural Release
$365.89

Port Ellen 26 Year Old 1983 - Provenance (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 46%
Port Ellen

A 26 year old from perhaps Islay's most legendary distillery, Port Ellen. This was distilled in Spring 1983 (just a few months before the distillery was shut down permenantly), and it was aged in…  More info

Port Ellen 26 Year Old 1983 - Provenance (Douglas Laing)

Caol Ila 28 Year Old 1980 - Mission (Murray McDavid)

70cl, 55.40%
Caol Ila

Aged in bourbon and finished in first growth Sauternes casks from Chateau Climens. This was bottled as a release of 1,189 bottles at the Bruichladdich distillery. At natural cask strength.  More info

Caol Ila 28 Year Old 1980 - Mission (Murray McDavid)

Ardbeg 1998 Single Cask

70cl, 55.60%
Ardbeg

An extraordinary whisky from Ardbeg. This is one of those ultra-rare expressions, which really come around once in a blue moon. This was distilled on the 14th September 1998, before it was filled…  More info

Ardbeg 1998 Single Cask
$603.76

Kilchoman 100% Islay Cask Strength

70cl, 61.30%
Kilchoman

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

Kilchoman 100% Islay Cask Strength
$426.87

Bunnahabhain 9 Year Old 2001 Cask 1763 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 55.80%
Bunnahabhain

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

Bunnahabhain 9 Year Old 2001 Cask 1763 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

Laphroaig Triple Wood 1l

70cl, 48%
Laphroaig

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

Laphroaig Triple Wood 1l
$91.43

Laphroaig 1998 (Berry Bros. & Rudd)

70cl, 56.20%
Laphroaig

Smoky, rich Laphroaig from BBR, distilled 1998 and bottled 2010.  More info

Laphroaig 1998 (Berry Bros. & Rudd)
$67.01

Caol Ila 11 Year Old 1999 (Signatory)

70cl, 43%
Caol Ila

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

Caol Ila 11 Year Old 1999 (Signatory)
$43.69

Bruichladdich 14 Year Old 1994 Kosher Wine Finish

70cl, 46%
Bruichladdich

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

Bruichladdich 14 Year Old 1994 Kosher Wine Finish
3
$46.78

Lagavulin 12 Year Old (2010 Release)

70cl, 56.50%
Lagavulin

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

Lagavulin 12 Year Old (2010 Release)
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Bruichladdich 1984

70cl, 46%
Bruichladdich

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

Bruichladdich 1984
1
$122.46

Bowmore 29 Year Old 1982 - Rare Auld (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 50.10%
Bowmore

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

Bowmore 29 Year Old 1982 - Rare Auld (Duncan Taylor)

Laphroaig Cairdeas Ileach Edition

70cl, 50.50%
Laphroaig

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

Laphroaig Cairdeas Ileach Edition
$134.11

Laphroaig 27 Year Old Oloroso Cask (2008 Release)

70cl, 56.60%
Laphroaig

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

Laphroaig 27 Year Old Oloroso Cask (2008 Release)

Bruichladdich Organic 2003

70cl, 46%
Bruichladdich

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…  More info

Bruichladdich Organic 2003
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Laphroaig 16 Year Old 1995 Cask 43 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 59.40%
Laphroaig

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

Laphroaig 16 Year Old 1995 Cask 43 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)
$93.86

Bruichladdich Octomore 04.1

70cl, 62.50%
Bruichladdich

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

Bruichladdich Octomore 04.1

Caol Ila 1997 Hermitage Finish - Private Collection (Gordon and MacPhail)

70cl, 45%
Caol Ila

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

Caol Ila 1997 Hermitage Finish - Private Collection (Gordon and MacPhail)
$57.28

Bowmore 29 Year Old 1982

70cl, 47.30%
Bowmore

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

Bowmore 29 Year Old 1982

Ardbeg 17 Year Old 1994 - Mission (Murray McDavid)

70cl, 56.50%
Ardbeg

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

Ardbeg 17 Year Old 1994 - Mission (Murray McDavid)

Bowmore 25 Year Old 1985 Cask 32206 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 55%
Bowmore

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

Bowmore 25 Year Old 1985 Cask 32206 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)
$119.48

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