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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.

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
411
$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)

Port Ellen 22 Year Old 1978 - Rare Malts

70cl, 60.50%
Port Ellen

A cask strength, very rare Port Ellen. This was distilled in 1978 and matured for 22 years before bottling as part of the Rare Malts range.  More info

Port Ellen 22 Year Old 1978 - Rare Malts

Ardbeg 1975

70cl, 43%
Ardbeg

Michael Jackson (whisky writer, not moonwalker) scored this 1975 Ardbeg with a 9 out of 10. An earthy, peppery, citrussy Ardbeg.  More info

Ardbeg 1975
2

Port Ellen 30 Year Old 1979 - Old Malt Cask Commemorative (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 55.60%
Port Ellen

A rare 30 year old bottling from the Douglas Laing 'Old Malt Cask' range.  More info

Port Ellen 30 Year Old 1979 - Old Malt Cask Commemorative (Douglas Laing)

Ardbeg 1978

70cl, 43%
Ardbeg

A rather rare release from Ardbeg, this 1978 vintage represents single malt from the prodigious Ileach distillery at its most balanced and poised. Superb.  More info

Ardbeg 1978
3

Laphroaig 30 Year Old

70cl, 43%
Laphroaig

A recent 30 year old release, this is very well-aged by Laphroaig standards. This is rich and powerful, age has brought balance. This won Gold medals at the International Spirits Challenge and the…  More info

Laphroaig 30 Year Old

Laphroaig 27 Year Old Oloroso Cask (2007 Release)

70cl, 51%
Laphroaig

Part of a release of just 972 bottles from Laphroaig. This 27 year old was distilled in 1980 and aged in 5 casks used previously to hold Oloroso sherry.  More info

Laphroaig 27 Year Old Oloroso Cask (2007 Release)

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

70cl, 53.80%
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)
$104.70

Ardbeg Uigeadail (damaged box)

70cl, 54.20%
Ardbeg

Ardbeg Uigeadail is a 'dark and mysterious' expression from the popular Islay distillery, a rich and smoky single malt with incredible balance and depth of flavour. This one has a slightly damaged…  More info

Ardbeg Uigeadail (damaged box)
1
$66.74

Bunnahabhain 12 Year Old (Old Bottling)

70cl, 40%
Bunnahabhain

An older bottling of Bunnahabhain's 12 year old single malt Islay whisky. It has the old packaging and tube as well as the lower abv of 40%.  More info

Bunnahabhain 12 Year Old (Old Bottling)
$44.10

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