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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.

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
$38.37

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
5
$51.76

Octomore 10 Year Old - Second Limited Edition

70cl, 57.3%
Bruichladdich

A limited edition second release of 10 year old Octomore single malt Scotch whisky from Islay's Bruichladdich distillery. The name of the game here is peat - all of the Octomore whiskies are super…  More info

Octomore 10 Year Old - Second Limited Edition
$169.49

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
91
$36.84

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
10
$80.96

Port Charlotte 14 Year Old 2002 - Single Cask (Master of Malt)

70cl, 60.9%
Bruichladdich

14 year old peated single malt Scotch whisky from Islay's Bruichladdich distillery, bottled under the Port Charlotte name. This was distilled in 2002, matured in a single bourbon barrel and bottled…  More info

Port Charlotte 14 Year Old 2002 - Single Cask (Master of Malt)
1
$126.64

Laphroaig 26 Year Old 1990 (cask 11517) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 49.2%
Laphroaig

Single cask Laphroaig? Delicious! This one was distilled back in March 1990 and left to mature for 26 years in a refill hogshead until November 2016, when it was bottled by Douglas Laing for their…  More info

Laphroaig 26 Year Old 1990 (cask 11517) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)
$381.00

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
6
$103.59

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
17
$55.00

Ardbeg Corryvreckan

70cl, 57.2%
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
73
$65.38

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
19
$44.75

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
235
$41.49

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

50cl, 52.4%
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)
$85.11

Williamson 6 Year Old (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)

50cl, 50.2%
Laphroaig

The first batch of 6 year old Williamson single malt from a famous though undisclosed Islay distillery, independently bottled by That Boutique-y Whisky Company! The Living Room Whisky chaps seem…  More info

Williamson 6 Year Old (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)
$53.95

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
13
$25.91

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
13
$85.67

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
169
$53.95

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
384
$49.80

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)
$181.74

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)

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

70cl, 61.8%
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
$95.84

Laphroaig 16 Year Old 1996 (cask 8514) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 53.8%
Laphroaig

A punchy and smoky Laphroaig from Signatory at full cask strength. 295 bottles of this single cask whisky were produced.  More info

Laphroaig 16 Year Old 1996 (cask 8514) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

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