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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.

Kilchoman 4 Year Old 2011 - Sherry Cask Release (cask 666/2011) (Bresser & Timmer)

70cl, 57.80%
Kilchoman

Originally bottled for Bresser & Timmer of the Netherlands, this Kilchoman was matured in a single Oloroso Sherry hogshead from 3rd November 2011 to 21st March 2016. The outturn was 342 bottles.  More info

Kilchoman 4 Year Old 2011 - Sherry Cask Release (cask 666/2011) (Bresser & Timmer)
$100.86

Kilchoman 7 Year Old 2008

70cl, 46%
Kilchoman

A very special Kilchoman release - their first ever 7 year old! Distilled in July 2008, it was matured in American oak ex-bourbon barrels up until August 2015 when this limited vintage vatting was…  More info

Kilchoman 7 Year Old 2008
1
$72.73

Bowmore 14 Year Old 2002 (casks 815801 & 815810) - Cheiftain's (Ian Macleod)

70cl, 46%
Bowmore

A Chieftain's bottling of 14 year old single malt from the excellent Bowmore distillery on the Isle of Islay. This was distilled in April 2002 and allowed to mature in hogshead casks until August…  More info

Bowmore 14 Year Old 2002 (casks 815801 & 815810) - Cheiftain's (Ian Macleod)
$78.44

Bunnahabhain Toiteach

70cl, 46%
Bunnahabhain

Toiteach is Gaelic for "Smoky", a hint of what's to come. That's right, a heavily peated Bunnahabhain! A great chance to try a smoky malt from a distiller of gentle, fruity Islay whisky.  More info

Bunnahabhain Toiteach
12
$66.12

Caol Ila 2003 (bottled 2015) Moscatel Cask Finish - Distillers Edition

70cl, 43%
Caol Ila

It's the 2003 vintage Caol Ila Distillers Edition single malt Scotch whisky, which has been finished in casks which previously held Moscatel wine. It was distilled in 2003 and bottled in 2015 at 43%…  More info

Caol Ila 2003 (bottled 2015) Moscatel Cask Finish - Distillers Edition
1
$80.12

Bowmore White Sands 17 Year Old

70cl, 43%
Bowmore

Released in a trio of travel retail bottlings, Bowmore's White Sands 17 Year Old single malt Scotch whisky gets matured in ex-bourbon casks, bringing creamy vanilla and thick treacle notes to the…  More info

Bowmore White Sands 17 Year Old
4
$71.45

Caol Ila 5 Year Old 2010 (cask 11073) - Provenance (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 46%
Caol Ila

5 year old single malt Scotch whisky from the Coal Ila distillery on the island of Islay, matured in a refill hogshead from December 2010 to March 2016. It has been bottled by Douglas Laing for the…  More info

Caol Ila 5 Year Old 2010 (cask 11073) - Provenance (Douglas Laing)
$50.73

Bunnahabhain 36 Year Old 1978 (cask 1) - Mission Gold (Murray McDavid)

70cl, 50.40%
Bunnahabhain

An very interesting indie bottling from Murray McDavid's Mission Gold - 36 year old Bunnahabhain! Distilled in 1978, this was initially matured in a bourbon barrel before being transferred over to a…  More info

Bunnahabhain 36 Year Old 1978 (cask 1) - Mission Gold (Murray McDavid)
$332.99

Bowmore 41 Year Old 1974 (cask 9007) - Cask Strength Collection Rare Reserve (Signatory)

70cl, 50.40%
Bowmore

Well, well, well. Would you look at this - 41 year old Bowmore! This is the kind of thing that whisky enthusiasts would see and not be able to hold back some sort of "Cor blimey!" or other…  More info

Bowmore 41 Year Old 1974 (cask 9007) - Cask Strength Collection Rare Reserve (Signatory)
$1616.44

Bruichladdich Bere Barley 2008

70cl, 50%
Bruichladdich

A travel retail Bruichladdich single malt Scotch whisky, made with Bere barley, which has a much lower yield than other varieties. For the 2008 vintage Bere Barley Bruichladdich (a phrase which…  More info

Bruichladdich Bere Barley 2008
1
$63.36

Smokehead - The Rock Edition

70cl, 43%
Smokehead

A very special, dramatic-looking edition of Smokehead single malt featuring a debossed "Smokehead Skull". Hugely peaty and very well-packaged!  More info

Smokehead - The Rock Edition
12
$37.31

Laphroaig 14 Year Old 2001 (cask 372) - Benchmark (Murray McDavid)

70cl, 46%
Laphroaig

An excellent indie Islay here from Murray McDavid's ace Benchmark range. One of a trio of 14 year old Laphroaig bottling, this one was drawn from cask #372, a first fill bourbon barrel that held the…  More info

Laphroaig 14 Year Old 2001 (cask 372) - Benchmark (Murray McDavid)
$126.77

Bruichladdich Classic Laddie Gift Pack with 2x Glasses

70cl, 50%
Bruichladdich

A neat gift pack from the Bruichladdich distillery on the Isle of Islay, containing a 70cl bottle of their Classic Laddie (an excellent expression, made with unpeated Scottish barley and matured in…  More info

Bruichladdich Classic Laddie Gift Pack with 2x Glasses
$62.68

Islay Storm

70cl, 40%
C.S. James and Sons Ltd.

An Islay single malt from a secret distillery, Islay Storm has loads of peaty character.  More info

Islay Storm
25
$27.51

Laphroaig Select

70cl, 40%
Laphroaig

For the Laphroaig Select, the Islay distillery has taken whisky from a number of different types of cask, including Oloroso Sherry butts, white American oak, Pedro Ximenez seasoned hoggies, Quarter…  More info

Laphroaig Select
42
$37.49

Bowmore Small Batch - Bourbon Cask Matured

70cl, 40%
Bowmore

Bowmore Small Batch is an elegant Islay single malt, when gets matured in both first-fill and second-fill bourbon barrels. A great introduction to Bowmore's lovely smoky flavour profile - the Small…  More info

Bowmore Small Batch - Bourbon Cask Matured
11
$40.62

Caol Ila 35 Year Old 1980 - Old & Rare Platinum (Hunter Laing)

70cl, 52.10%
Caol Ila

Very well-aged Caol Ila - whisky enthusiast's ears perk up at just the mere uttering of the phrase! This is a 35 year old Caol Ila, distilled in September 1980 matured in a refill hogshead until…  More info

Caol Ila 35 Year Old 1980 - Old & Rare Platinum (Hunter Laing)
$523.40

Bruichladdich Laddie 22 Year Old

70cl, 46%
Bruichladdich

Bruichladdich have launched a new range of whiskies which aim to create a signature style and move away from the often adventurous bottlings of the last ten years. This 22 year old forms the older of…  More info

Bruichladdich Laddie 22 Year Old
$137.79

Laphroaig An Cuan Mòr

70cl, 48%
Laphroaig

An Cuan Mòr is one of the selection of Laphroaig single malt Scotch whiskies released for the Travel Retail market. For the An Cuan Mòr, which means 'Big Ocean' in Gaelic, the whisky is initially…  More info

Laphroaig An Cuan Mòr
3
$93.55

Kilchoman Machir Bay 2014 Release Gift Pack with 2x Glasses

70cl, 46%
Kilchoman

A gorgeous gift pack of single malt Scotch whisky from the Islay farm distillery Kilchoman, presented with two branded glasses. The whisky is the 2014 release Machir Bay, which is a vatting of 5 and…  More info

Kilchoman Machir Bay 2014 Release Gift Pack with 2x Glasses
2
$54.96

Bruichladdich 21 Year Old 1989 Black Art

70cl, 49.70%
Bruichladdich

The second release of Bruichladdich's Black Art whisky 'Matured in the Stygian* darkness of Warehouse number 12'. *relating to the river Styx. (no? us neither. We reckon someone's been at an online…  More info

Bruichladdich 21 Year Old 1989 Black Art
10
$385.23

Bunnahabhain 31 Year Old 1976 - Mission Gold (Murray McDavid)

70cl, 48.10%
Bunnahabhain

31 year old Bunnahabhain single malt Scotch whisky, matured in Fino Sherry oak - a delightful combination... A release of 216 bottles from Murray McDavid's Mission Gold range.  More info

Bunnahabhain 31 Year Old 1976 - Mission Gold (Murray McDavid)
$490.70

Ardbeg 20 Year Old 1996 (casks 808 & 811) - Chieftain's (Ian Macleod)

70cl, 46.50%
Ardbeg

An indie bottling of Ardbeg - these are always exciting indeed! This one comes from Ian Macleod's Chieftain's range, and was aged in a pair of barrels for 20 years, from March 1996 to June 2016. 601…  More info

Ardbeg 20 Year Old 1996 (casks 808 & 811) - Chieftain's (Ian Macleod)
$313.67

Caol Ila 35 Year Old 1979 (cask 10594) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 47.10%
Caol Ila

An Xtra Old Particular bottling of single malt Scotch whisky from the Caol Ila distillery on the Isle of Islay. It was distilled by Caol Ila in February 1979 and matured in a single refill hogshead…  More info

Caol Ila 35 Year Old 1979 (cask 10594) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)
$361.16

Bowmore The Devil's Casks III - Double The Devil

70cl, 56.70%
Bowmore

When the folk of Bowmore formed an angry mob to chase the devil out of the church (which is of course round, offering him nowhere to hide), down the road and through the distillery, it was assumed…  More info

Bowmore The Devil's Casks III - Double The Devil
27
$209.53

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