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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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Bruichladdich Octomore
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Tasting Sets
The Laphroaig PX Cask is made with whisky matured in three types of cask - American oak casks, Quarter casks and the titular Pedro Ximénez casks. This leads to a flavour profile which ties together...  More info
$118.41
An independently bottled, heavily peated Bunnahabhain! This 7 year old single malt from the Bunnahabhain distillery on Islay was distilled in 2006 and matured in a single cask until 2014, when it was...  More info
$82.94
Fan's of Bowmore's wonderful peaty Islay whisky will be rather excited about this - an independent bottling of 23 year old Bowmore single malt, bottled by Montgomerie's for their Rare Select range. It...  More info
$207.88
Cask strength Caol Ila! Yum! This is a Signatory bottling of single malt from one of Islay's most well-known and well-loved distilleries, which was matured in a single hogshead for 31 years. It was...  More info
$325.06
A Douglas Laing bottling of Laphroaig single malt Scotch whisky, matured in a single cask for 8 years. It was distilled in autumn 2005, aged in a refill hogshead for 8 years and bottled in summer 2014...  More info
$87.86
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An exceptional 2014 release from Laphroaig, this superb Islay single malt has been matured for 25 years in a combination of first-fill Oloroso Sherry casks and ex-American...  More info
$589.77
An independently bottled Caol Ila single malt Scotch whisky, matured in 2 bourbon barrels and bottled without chill filtration or additional colouring. It was distilled on the island of Islay in 2006...  More info
$82.50
This is an independently bottled, single cask, 21 year old Ardbeg single malt Scotch whisky. Yes, writing that sort of thing is always pretty exciting to do - almost as much as reading it! This Islay...  More info
$549.99
Bunnahabhain Ceòbanach
(70cl, 46.30%)
For the Ceòbanach (pronounced 'kyaw-bin-och'), the Bunnahabhain distillers have taken inspiration from the days when the distillery used to produced heavily peated spirit. Meaning 'Smoky mist' in...  More info
$68.05
Fancy some cask strength Caol Ila single malt? Well lucky you, we've got some right here, bottled by the one and only Gordon & MacPhail! This is a 12 year old Caol Ila, distilled in September 2003 and...  More info
$78.48
A travel retail release of Bruichladdich organic single malt Scotch whisky, made with barley sourced from Mid Coul Farm, Mains of Tullibardine Farm and Coulmore farm. It's an unpeted expression, light...  More info
$95.17
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
User Rating: 
$54.73
Bowmore Gold Reef 1l
(100cl, 43%)
From Bowmore's travel retail selection, unveiled in 2014, the Gold Reef is a gorgeous coastal dram, matured mostly in first-fill ex-bourbon casks. A fantastic Islay single malt.  More info
$88.79
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
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$96.00
An independent bottling of 21 year old single malt Scotch whisky from the Bruichladdich distillery on the island of Islay. It was distilled in December 1992 and left to mature in a single cask until...  More info
$179.79
An independently bottled single malt from one of the most famous closed Scottish distilleries - the Port Ellen distillery on the island of Islay. It was distilled in October 1982 and matured in a...  More info
$1306.55
A stunning single cask Caol Ila single malt, matured in a refill hogshead from January 1984 to October 2014. It was bottled by Hunter Laing for their Old & Rare Platinum range, with an outturn of 246...  More info
$483.95
Independently bottles Islay single malt Scotch whisky, distilled by the chaps at the Bowmore distillery. Cask #10919, a refill hogshead, was filled in December 2001 and left to age the whisky for 12...  More info
$104.62
An independent bottling from the Rest & Be Thankful Whisky Company of 6 year old Octomore single malt Scotch whisky from the Bruichladdich distillery. This heavily peated dram was distilled in March...  More info
User Rating: 
$274.00
Well, this is rather exciting - Octomore single malt Scotch whisky from the Bruichladdich distillery, independently bottled by the Rest & Be Thankful Whisky Company. This heavily peated, Sauternes...  More info
$274.00
Lagavulin 16 Year Old
(70cl, 43%)
A much sought-after single malt with the massive peat-smoke that's typical of southern Islay - but also offering richness and a dryness that turns it into a truly interesting dram. The 16 year old has...  More info
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$79.43
This was distilled at Laphroaig in 1995, it was aged for 16 years in a single bourbon barrel, and it was bottled by Signatory in 2011. A release of 140 bottles.  More info
This was distilled at Laphroaig on the 1st July 1999. It was aged in two hogsheads for 11 years before bottling on the 2nd June 2011. A release of 715 bottles.  More info
What a very handsome and shiny wooden box this comes in. Behold it and marvel at its fine craftsmanship. The whisky contained within was distilled on the 15th September 1970 and aged for 40 years in...  More info
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
$162.65
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