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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.

Caol Ila 1997 Moscatel Cask Finish - Distillers Edition

70cl, 43%
Caol Ila

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

Caol Ila 1997 Moscatel Cask Finish - Distillers Edition
1
$49.21

Bunnahabhain 10 Year Old 2001 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 57.7%
Bunnahabhain

This was distilled at Bunnahabhain on the 21st September 2001 and it was aged in sherry butt 1765 for 10 years before bottling on the 25th November 2011 for Signatory's Cask Strength Collection. A…  More info

Bunnahabhain 10 Year Old 2001 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)
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Bunnahabhain 24 Year Old 1986 - Rare Auld (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 47.9%
Bunnahabhain

Distilled at Bunnahabhain in November of 1986 and aged in cask 1575 before bottling by Duncan Taylor in September 2011. A 24 year old, single cask, cask strength whisky, and a release of 174 bottles.  More info

Bunnahabhain 24 Year Old 1986 - Rare Auld (Duncan Taylor)

Bunnahabhain 13 Year Old 1997 Peated - Dun Bheagan (Ian MacLeod)

70cl, 46%
Bunnahabhain

A 13 year old Bunnahabhain from Ian MacLeod's Dun Bheagan. Unusually for Bunnahabhain, this was distilled from peated malt. It was then filled into three hogsheads (5459, 5461 and 5462) and was…  More info

Bunnahabhain 13 Year Old 1997 Peated - Dun Bheagan (Ian MacLeod)
$53.40

Bunnahabhain 13 Year Old 1997 Casks 5781 + 5782 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 54.5%
Bunnahabhain

Distilled on the 18th December 1997 and aged for 13 years until bottling by Signatory on the 25th October 2011. A cask strength, heavily peated Bunnahabhain and a release of 560 numbered bottles.  More info

Bunnahabhain 13 Year Old 1997 Casks 5781 + 5782 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

Port Charlotte PC8

70cl, 60.5%
Bruichladdich

This is the last of the 2001 vintage of ‘age-numbered’ Port Charlotte expressions. This comes with the nickname “Ar duthcas”- Gaelic for “Land of our heritage”. This is very well-peated to 40ppm.…  More info

Port Charlotte PC8
1
$67.40

Caol Ila 12 Year Old Unpeated (2010 Release)

70cl, 57.6%
Caol Ila

2010's Special Release from the Caol Ila distillery. This unpeated version was bottled at cask strength, and it was aged for 12 years in first fill ex-bourbon casks.  More info

Caol Ila 12 Year Old Unpeated (2010 Release)

Lagavulin Feis Ile 2011

70cl, 51%
Lagavulin

An amazing a very rare Lagavulin, distilled on the 23rd February 1998 and aged in cask 1715 for 12 years before bottling for the 2011 Feis Ile. A limited release, aged in warehouse 1 in a single…  More info

Lagavulin Feis Ile 2011
$310.24

Ardbeg Supernova - Advance Committee Release

70cl, 58.9%
Ardbeg

The first ever Ardbeg Supernova, and Ardbeg's initial go at producing super peaty whisky! This was created specially for the Ardbeg Committee, and when we first tasted it we couldn't believe how…  More info

Ardbeg Supernova - Advance Committee Release
$314.36

Bunnahabhain 1997 (Berry Bros. & Rudd)

70cl, 54.9%
Bunnahabhain

This Bunnahabhain was distilled in 1997 and bottled for BRR's award-winning Berry's Own Selection.  More info

Bunnahabhain 1997 (Berry Bros. & Rudd)
$57.00

Bruichladdich 1991

70cl, 55.9%
Bruichladdich

Distilled in 1991, this cask strength single malt was bottled in May of 2008, having been matured in refill sherry hogsheads, a rare independent bottling from Gordon and MacPhail.  More info

Bruichladdich 1991

Bunnahabhain 20 Year Old 1990 - Single Cask (Master of Malt)

70cl, 54.1%
Bunnahabhain

A fascinating little Bunnahabhain distilled in December of 1990 and aged in a single Spanish oak butt for 20 years before bottling on the 7th November 2011. Astonishingly sherried, this stuff really…  More info

Bunnahabhain 20 Year Old 1990 - Single Cask (Master of Malt)
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Bowmore 25 Year Old 1985 Cask 32207 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 53.5%
Bowmore

This was distilled at the Bowmore distilled on the 22nd November 1985 before a 25 year maturation in hogshead 32207. It was bottled by Signatory for their Cask Strength Collection on the 25th October…  More info

Bowmore 25 Year Old 1985 Cask 32207 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)
1

Ardbeg Renaissance 10 Year Old

70cl, 55.9%
Ardbeg

From a recently released Ardbeg range showcasing the affects of maturation on 1998-distilled whisky. Starting from Very Young through Still Young and Almost There, Renaissance is the conclusion with…  More info

Ardbeg Renaissance 10 Year Old
1

Ardbeg Supernova (2009 Stellar Release)

70cl, 58.9%
Ardbeg

The most heavily peated Ardbeg ever released. In our humble opinion, this is the best of the heavily peated whiskies available today. Top tip - this whisky makes a lot more sense if you 'build up' to…  More info

Ardbeg Supernova (2009 Stellar Release)
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Laphroaig 10 Year Old Cask Strength - Batch 003 Jan 11

70cl, 55.3%
Laphroaig

Batch three of Laphroaig's new cask strength 10 year old. This is a stunning whisky with oodles (literally oodles) of complexity and flavour.  More info

Laphroaig 10 Year Old Cask Strength - Batch 003 Jan 11
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Laphroaig 12 Year Old - Highgrove

70cl, 46%
Laphroaig

A very special single cask Laphroig, aged for 12 years and bottled for Highgrove House, the official home of Prince Charles. The prince is a big fan of Laphroaig so we imagine he'll be very pleased…  More info

Laphroaig 12 Year Old - Highgrove
$157.16

Bunnahabhain 19 Year Old 1992 (cask 1691) - Celebration of the Cask (Càrn Mòr)

70cl, 57%
Bunnahabhain

This was distilled at Bunnahabhain on the 25th May 1992, and it was aged in sherry butt 1691 for 19 years before bottling on the 17th October 2011 for the Carn Mor range. A release of 587 numbered…  More info

Bunnahabhain 19 Year Old 1992 (cask 1691) - Celebration of the Cask (Càrn Mòr)

Bruichladdich 16 Year Old - Links Series The Vancouver Club

70cl, 46%
Bruichladdich

A 16 year old Bruichladdich, part of a release of 6,000 bottles. This is the Vancouver Golf Club edition from the Links series of Golf Themed whiskies with paintings by acclaimed golf artist Graeme…  More info

Bruichladdich 16 Year Old - Links Series The Vancouver Club

Caol Ila 1981 - Connoisseurs Choice (Gordon and MacPhail)

70cl, 40%
Caol Ila

A teenaged Caol Ila bottled by Gordon and MacPhail as part of their renowned Connoisseurs Choice range.  More info

Caol Ila 1981 - Connoisseurs Choice (Gordon and MacPhail)
$193.83

Ardbeg Still Young

70cl, 56.2%
Ardbeg

Part of a range from Ardbeg exhibiting the affects of age on their wonderful single malt whisky. Still Young represents the second stage, aged for 8 years.  More info

Ardbeg Still Young
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Bowmore 100 Degrees Proof

100cl, 57.1%
Bowmore

Produced for the travel market, Bowmore 100 degrees Proof is a cask-strength, non chill-filtered Bowmore that packs a hefty maritime punch.  More info

Bowmore 100 Degrees Proof
2
$83.79

Bowmore 15 Year Old Mariner

100cl, 43%
Bowmore

A 15-year-old expression from Bowmore, aimed at the travel retail market, Mariner is a very different Bowmore with a maritime twist.  More info

Bowmore 15 Year Old Mariner
6
$73.31

Bunnahabhain 18 Year Old (Old Bottling)

70cl, 43%
Bunnahabhain

A comparatively recent release from Bunnahabhain, a less-peated dram from Islay, this single malt has been sherry matured for 18 years and exhibits coastal notes and some medicinal undertones.  More info

Bunnahabhain 18 Year Old (Old Bottling)
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Port Charlotte PC9

70cl, 59.2%
Bruichladdich

An incredibly limited release from Bruichladdich, this edition of the ferociously peaty Port Charlotte was aged for 9 years in American oak, and there are just 6,000 bottles (which are likely to sell…  More info

Port Charlotte PC9
1

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