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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.

Port Charlotte Scottish Barley - Heavily Peated

70cl, 50%
Bruichladdich

Master distiller Jim McEwan specially chose the casks that create the Port Charlotte Scottish Barley, which highlight the elegance within this heavily peated single malt. Made with 100% Scottish…  More info

Port Charlotte Scottish Barley - Heavily Peated
25
$44.50

Caol Ila 12 Year Old

70cl, 43%
Caol Ila

This 12 year old is the entry level bottling from the Caol Ila distillery, launched in June of 2002 this expression is light and fresh with that distinctive Caol Ila smoke.  More info

Caol Ila 12 Year Old
82
$37.63

The Ileach Cask Strength

70cl, 58%
Highlands and Islands Whisky Company

A great Islay single malt from an unnamed distillery. The Ileach always scores well with the critics, this cask strength edition was awarded a mindblowingly high 97 points by Jim Murray in his Whisky…  More info

The Ileach Cask Strength
11
$45.97

Caol Ila 2003 (bottled 2016) - Connoisseurs Choice (Gordon & MacPhail)

70cl, 46%
Caol Ila

Another bottling of 2003 vintage delicious Coal Ila single malt Scotch whisky from Gordon & MacPhail.  More info

Caol Ila 2003 (bottled 2016) - Connoisseurs Choice (Gordon & MacPhail)
$46.56

Bruichladdich Octomore 07.1 5 Year Old

70cl, 59.5%
Bruichladdich

Peat fans, hold on to your hats, as here comes another Octomore from the Bruichladdich distillery on Islay! The Octomore 07.1 is a 5 year old single malt Scotch whisky, which has been peated to 208…  More info

Bruichladdich Octomore 07.1 5 Year Old
3
$105.81

Kilchoman Sanaig

70cl, 46%
Kilchoman

A handsome release from Islay's newest distillery, Kilchoman Sanaig is an enjoyably peaty single malt which has been vatted from both bourbon and Sherry casks. It's named after a small, rocky creek…  More info

Kilchoman Sanaig
4
$52.87

Laphroaig Lore

70cl, 48%
Laphroaig

Created by Distillery Manager John Campbell, Laphroaig Lore is said to be the richest ever Laphroaig! Named after the skills passed down over the generations, this permanent addition to the range is…  More info

Laphroaig Lore
5
$82.69

Kilchoman Machir Bay

70cl, 46%
Kilchoman

Kilchoman's Machir Bay is an excellent single malt Scotch whisky from the isle of Islay. The distillers use whisky which has been matured in ex-bourbon barrels and Oloroso Sherry butts, resulting in…  More info

Kilchoman Machir Bay
10
$45.71

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
$167.28

Ardbeg Corryvreckan

70cl, 57.1%
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
68
$63.60

Bunnahabhain 12 Year Old

70cl, 46.3%
Bunnahabhain

This entry level Bunnahabhain bottling comes in a redesigned bottle. This 12 year old is lightly peated for an Islay single malt and consequently is a light, fresh dram. Now at the higher strength of…  More info

Bunnahabhain 12 Year Old
90
$39.19

Laphroaig 25 Year Old

70cl, 48.6%
Laphroaig

Matured in second-fill Oloroso Sherry casks and American oak ex-bourbon barrels for 25 years(!), a well-aged release of this incredibly popular heavily-peated single malt from Islay. Laphroaig aged…  More info

Laphroaig 25 Year Old
$318.24

Lagavulin 8 Year Old - 200th Anniversary Edition

70cl, 48%
Lagavulin

Back in the 1880s Alfred Barnard, author of The Whisky Distilleries of the United Kingdom, enjoyed an 8 year old Lagavulin he described as "exceptionally fine". As part of their 200th anniversary…  More info

Lagavulin 8 Year Old - 200th Anniversary Edition
13
$56.17

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
221
$39.19

Bowmore 9 Year Old

70cl, 40%
Bowmore

Released in 2016, this is a well-Sherried single malt from the Bowmore distillery on the Isle of Islay. Whiskies matured in both bourbon and Sherry casks were used for this release, and Bowmore's…  More info

Bowmore 9 Year Old
2
$29.97

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
10
$87.50

Bunnahabhain Ceòbanach

70cl, 46.3%
Bunnahabhain

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

Bunnahabhain Ceòbanach
12
$56.17

Bowmore Vault Edition First Release

70cl, 51.5%
Bowmore

The first release in Bowmore's Vault Edition series, launched in 2016. This series will explore four of the characteristics found in Bowmore's whiskies after maturing in their No.1 Vaults maturation…  More info

Bowmore Vault Edition First Release
$106.02

Lagavulin 1999 (bottled 2015) Pedro Ximénez Cask Finish - Distillers Edition

70cl, 43%
Lagavulin

It's not surprising that people love this particular Distillers Edition. Heavily peated Lagavulin single malt from Islay + a finishing period in casks that previously held sweet, dark, rich Pedro…  More info

Lagavulin 1999 (bottled 2015) Pedro Ximénez Cask Finish - Distillers Edition
10
$78.45

Ardbeg Uigeadail

70cl, 54.2%
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
166
$52.99

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
358
$50.87

Bruichladdich 2004 (bottled 2015) (cask 15010) - Malts of Scotland

70cl, 55.5%
Bruichladdich

This is a Malts of Scotland bottling of 11 year old Bruichladdich single malt Scotch whisky (it's a peated Bruichladdich at that!), aged in a bourbon barrel from 2004 until 2015. 312 bottles were…  More info

Bruichladdich 2004 (bottled 2015) (cask 15010) - Malts of Scotland

Port Ellen 27 Year Old 1978 - Old & Rare Platinum (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 54.8%
Port Ellen

An independent bottling of single malt from the closed and now legendary Port Ellen distillery on Islay. It was bottled in 2006, when the Old & Rare Platinum range was still part of the Douglas Laing…  More info

Port Ellen 27 Year Old 1978 - Old & Rare Platinum (Douglas Laing)

Oc1 - Elements of Islay (Octomore)

50cl, 65.4%
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)
$185.63

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

70cl, 48.4%
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)

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