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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 31 year old Caol Ila distilled on the 2nd May 1979 and aged in cask 5305 before bottling in June of 2010 for the Mackillop's Choice range.  More info
A beautiful hogshead-matured Laphroaig from Signatory's Cask Strength Collection. This was distilled on the 26th November 1996 before a 15 year maturation in a single cask. It was bottled at natural...  More info
User Rating:  (2 Reviews)
A special Caol Ila and the latest in a line of fantastic whiskies in the Distillers Edition range. The whisky has been double matured, first in American oak casks then a second maturation in casks...  More info
Strictly one per customer. Sharing is caring.Described by the distillers as being "a dram for the connoisseur and the enlightened student of peat", Octomore 10 was distilled from the world's most...  More info
A Mackillop's Choice bottling of 30 year old single cask Caol Ila. This was distilled in 1981 and bottled in early 2012. It's cask strength and non-chill filtered.  More info
User Rating:  (3 Reviews)
The Syndicate is a group of whisky aficionados with a passion for the very best in Scotch single malts. This Lagavulin was distilled in 1990 and aged for 14 years before bottling as a single cask...  More info
This is a very tasty single cask, sherry-matured Bunnahabhain from the Vintage Malt Whisky Company's Coopers Choice range. It was distilled in 2001 and was aged in sherry butt number 3196 for 10 years...  More info
This is a smoky, rich 21 year old Caol Ila from the Vintage Malt Whisky Company's Coopers Choice range. It was aged in a single cask (number 9056) before bottling in 2012.  More info
User Rating:  (2 Reviews)
This was distilled at Caol Ila on the 14th December 1982 before a 29 year maturation in a single cask (hogshead 6485). It was bottled at natural cask strength in December 2012, and it comes from...  More info
User Rating:  (1 Review)
This was distilled at the Laphroaig distillery in October 1998 before a 14 year maturation in a single refill hogshead. It was bottled for the Old Malt Cask range in December 2012 and there are just...  More info
Distilled at Coal Ila distillery in 1995 and finished in Madeira casks, this Islay single malt was bottled by Gordon & MacPhail for their Private Collection range.  More info
This was distilled at Bowmore on the 12th March 1984 and it was aged in cask M427 for 25 years before bottling in July 2009 by Montgomerie's.  More info
This Bruichladdich was distilled before the distillery was moth-balled and reopened. Berry Brothers and Rudd of St James', London, bottled this particular Bruichladdich in 2011.  More info
And old (and by proxy, rare) bottle of Bunnahabhain 12. This was bottled back in those heady times when whisky came in 75cl bottles.  More info
User Rating:  (3 Reviews)
This was distilled at Bowmore on the 13th June 1997, and it was aged for 14 years in hogsheads 1906 and 1907 before bottling on the 13th June 2011. A release of 779 numbered bottles from Signatory.  More info
Honey Spice from Wemyss Malts is a tasty Bunnahabhain matured in first fill sherry casks and bottled at 46%.  More info
Distilled at Port Ellen distillery on Islay in 1982, this Old Bothwell single cask release comes from one of the most sought after distilleries of all time.

When Diageo sought to shut down one of...  More info
Bere barley is one of the oldest cereal crops in Britain. It may have been brought over by the Vikings in the 9th century and has been grown ever since, having been used in single malt whiskies before...  More info
User Rating:  (7 Reviews)
A 16 year old Caol Ila distilled in September 1996 and matured in cask 9512. This Islay whisky was bottled in February 2013 by Douglas Laing as part of their Old Malt Cask Range.  More info
A beautiful cask-strength single malt from the Laphroaig distillery. This was distilled in October 1996 and aged for 15 years in a refill hogshead before bottling for the Director's Cut range in March...  More info
A sherry-matured 10 year old Bunnahabhain from Douglas Laing's Old Malt Cask range. This was distilled in December of 2001 and bottled in 2011 at the "preferred strength of 50%". Lovely stuff.  More info
A cask strength 34 year old single malt from Bowmore. This was distilled in 1971 and matured in ex-sherry casks before bottling as part of an outturn of just 960 bottles. The colour is rich and dark...  More info
Machir Bay is a gorgeous sherry-finished malt from Islay's newest distillery, Kilchoman. This was released in 2012 and is made up of 60% 3 year old, 35% 4 year old and 5% 5 year old whisky. All were...  More info
User Rating:  (5 Reviews)
This was distilled at the Bruichladdich distillery in October 1990 before a 21 year maturation in a single cask (refill sherry butt number 8837). It was bottled for the Directors Cut range in 2012...  More info
This is the stunning Batch 3 of That Boutique-y Whisky Company's Ardbeg - it's a superb little whisky which flaunts the beautiful house style with more than a hint of sweet sherry too.

The label...  More info
User Rating:  (1 Review)

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