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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 25 Year Old (43%)

70cl, 43%
Caol Ila

25 year old malt from Islay's most prolific distillery - Caol Ila. Sweet Smooth, and very 'sherbet-lemony'. Only a hint of Smoke, and just superb.  More info

Caol Ila 25 Year Old (43%)
8
$173.82

Bruichladdich Octomore 06.3 5 Year Old - Islay Barley

70cl, 64%
Bruichladdich

Unveiled in 2014, Octomore 06.3 Islay Barley was made with barley grown on Islay. In fact, the crop was grown in the field known as Lorgba on Octomore farm! As ever with Bruichladdich's Octomore…  More info

Bruichladdich Octomore 06.3 5 Year Old - Islay Barley
12
$159.49

Ardbeg 10 Year Old

70cl, 46%
Ardbeg

Jim Murray's 2008 World Whisky of the Year! When Ardbeg 10 was released it was the first expression from the distillery not to be chill-filtered. It's a true classic from Islay, and a must have for…  More info

Ardbeg 10 Year Old
252
$45.55

Caol Ila 11 Year Old 2004 - Cask Strength (Gordon & MacPhail)

70cl, 59.30%
Caol Ila

An 11 year old Caol Ila, bottled by the wonderful chaps at Gordon & MacPhail! This is a blend of whiskies drawn from four casks filled by the outstanding Islay distillery - it was distilled in…  More info

Caol Ila 11 Year Old 2004 - Cask Strength (Gordon & MacPhail)
1
$63.20

Laphroaig Triple Wood

70cl, 48%
Laphroaig

An incredible new release from Laphroaig. This was originally launched for the duty free market, and it is a tour de force from the Islay distillery. First off, they mature this in bourbon barrels,…  More info

Laphroaig Triple Wood
33
$53.82

Ardbeg Corryvreckan

70cl, 57.10%
Ardbeg

Malt Advocate's Top Whisky of the Year for 2009! This is one of the legendary Islay malts. We loved the Committee release and we weren't disappointed with this incredible dram. This was released…  More info

Ardbeg Corryvreckan
81
$70.90

Lagavulin 10 Year Old (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)

50cl, 53.70%
Lagavulin

Yarr! It be time for a 'smokey cokey' wit' the ol' shipmates in Lagavulin Bay! That's a Lagavulin single malt and cola to you or me - the sort of thing you might be offered by Diageo whisky…  More info

Lagavulin 10 Year Old (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)
$110.17

Lagavulin 12 Year Old (Special Release 2015)

70cl, 56.80%
Lagavulin

The least expensive of the 2015 Diageo Special Releases (as the unpeated Caol Ila was a 17 year old), the 12 year old is now a staple and a firm whisky fan favourite, this being the thirteenth…  More info

Lagavulin 12 Year Old (Special Release 2015)
6
$88.13

Caol Ila 18 Year Old

70cl, 43%
Caol Ila

A wonderfully balanced expression from the core Caol Ila range, this 18 year old is malty and thick with notes of Caol Ila smoke and phenols, a lovely Islay single malt without extreme levels of peat.  More info

Caol Ila 18 Year Old
15
$90.92

Ardbeg Uigeadail

70cl, 54.20%
Ardbeg

Uigeadail derives from the Scotch Gaelic for 'Dark and Mysterious Place' and is named for the Loch from whence Ardbeg draws its waters. Jim Murray's 2009 World Whisky of the Year, this cask-strength…  More info

Ardbeg Uigeadail
199
$58.37

Lagavulin 16 Year Old

70cl, 43%
Lagavulin

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…  More info

Lagavulin 16 Year Old
410
$54.87

Laphroaig 12 Year Old (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)

50cl, 52.40%
Laphroaig

An independently bottled Laphroaig single malt Scotch whisky! The label stars the chaps off of Living Room Whisky, who, of course, managed to track down one of Dr. E. Brown's messages in a bottle on…  More info

Laphroaig 12 Year Old (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)
$90.33

Bowmore 8 Year Old 2002 (Murray McDavid)

70cl, 46%
Bowmore

This was distilled at Bowmore in 2002, and it was initially aged in bourbon casks. It was then taken to Bruichladdich, where it was finished for a few years in Chateau Latour casks. A release of…  More info

Bowmore 8 Year Old 2002 (Murray McDavid)

Port Ellen 27 Year Old 1983 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 54.70%
Port Ellen

This stunning Port Ellen was distilled on the 2nd of February 1983 (just a few months before the distillery closed for good) and was aged in wine treated butt number 231 for 27 years before bottling…  More info

Port Ellen 27 Year Old 1983 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

Bunnahabhain 30 Year Old

70cl, 45.40%
Bunnahabhain

A super-limited release from Bunnahabhain in a very fetching 30 year old salmon-pink presentation case. Complete with a scroll of authenticity and a silver Quaich.  More info

Bunnahabhain 30 Year Old

Caol Ila 17 Year Old 1990 - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 50%
Caol Ila

17 year old Caol Ila distilled in March 1990 and aged in claret wine barrel number 4055 before bottling December 2007 for the Old Malt Cask range.  More info

Caol Ila 17 Year Old 1990 - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)

Ardbeg 30 Year Old Guaranteed

70cl, 40%
Ardbeg

About as rare as they come, this is one of the very last whiskies released before Ardbeg shut down for a few years. Highly collectable and absolutely incredible in flavour (we've heard).  More info

Ardbeg 30 Year Old Guaranteed
4
$675.62

Ardbeg Young Uigeadail - Committee Release

70cl, 59.90%
Ardbeg

A super rare and nigh on impossible to find bottling from the Ardbeg Committee. This is the prequel to Uigeadail, named the Young Uigeadail, or "Oogling". It is a slightly younger version, made with…  More info

Ardbeg Young Uigeadail - Committee Release
$472.87

Oc1 - Elements of Islay (Octomore)

50cl, 65.40%
Bruichladdich

The first "Oc" single malt from the Elements of Islay range, bottled by Speciality Drinks. Intensely peated with sparks of fruit and malt shining through. Impressive...  More info

Oc1 - Elements of Islay (Octomore)
$192.89

Bunnahabhain 11 Year Old 1997 (Adelphi)

35cl, 58.60%
Bunnahabhain

Beautifully packaged, cask strength Bunnahabhain - an Islay distillery known for its fruity nature, and gentle peat. This was distilled in 1997 and matured for 11 years before bottling in 2009 by…  More info

Bunnahabhain 11 Year Old 1997 (Adelphi)

Laphroaig 14 Year Old 2001 (cask 10694) - Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 48.40%
Laphroaig

Ah, Fèis Ìle. The Islay festival is something we adore here at Master of Malt. Over at Douglas Laing (who are also the chaps behind Big Peat) it seems they feel the very same way, releasing this…  More info

Laphroaig 14 Year Old 2001 (cask 10694) - Old Particular (Douglas Laing)
$99.97

Port Ellen 30 Year Old 1979 - Old and Rare Platinum (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 53.30%
Port Ellen

An amazing single cask Port Ellen, the legendary defunct Islay distillery. This was distilled in November 1979 and aged for a massive 30 years before bottling by Douglas Laing in August 2010. A…  More info

Port Ellen 30 Year Old 1979 - Old and Rare Platinum (Douglas Laing)
6

Laphroaig 12 Year Old 1997 - Rare Auld (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 54.90%
Laphroaig

A single cask Laphroaig, bottled by Duncan Taylor for the Rare Auld series at cask strength in February 2010. This was distilled in July 1997 and matured in cask number 56375. Part of a release of…  More info

Laphroaig 12 Year Old 1997 - Rare Auld (Duncan Taylor)

Bruichladdich 11 Year Old 2003 (cask 259) - Svenska Eldvatten

70cl, 61.80%
Bruichladdich

From the range of independently bottled whiskies from Svenska Eldvatten in Sweden comes an 11 year old Bruichladdich single malt Scotch whisky. It was distilled on Islay all the way back in 2003 and…  More info

Bruichladdich 11 Year Old 2003 (cask 259) - Svenska Eldvatten
1
$101.72

Bruichladdich 10 Year Old (1990s Bottling)

70cl, 40%
Bruichladdich

An old 10 year old Bruichladdich from before the recent spate of dumpy bottles. This is rare stuff, bottled during the 1990s.  More info

Bruichladdich 10 Year Old (1990s Bottling)

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