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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
21
$51.04

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
6
$52.43

Bruichladdich Octomore 06.1 5 Year Old Scottish Barley

70cl, 57%
Bruichladdich

The sixth edition of experimental Octomore, famous for being made with the most heavily peated barley on the planet. Bruichladdich are still able to impart a delicate, graceful emphasis within this…  More info

Bruichladdich Octomore 06.1 5 Year Old Scottish Barley
20
$123.85

Laphroaig 10 Year Old

70cl, 40%
Laphroaig

Really smoky and iodine rich. This has to be one of Scotland's most characterful drams. Laphroaig are known for their medicinal malts, and the classic 10 year old is no exception.  More info

Laphroaig 10 Year Old
297
$39.87

Bruichladdich Octomore 07.1 5 Year Old

70cl, 59.50%
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
1
$121.35

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
14
$47.13

Laphroaig Quarter Cask

70cl, 48%
Laphroaig

Released in 2004, this bottling was aged for around five years before being finished in a quarter cask for several months, the size of the cask is quite small, thus does not require such a long…  More info

Laphroaig Quarter Cask
157
$46.46

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
237
$49.43

Bowmore Laimrig 15 Year Old

70cl, 54.10%
Bowmore

A cask strength, non-chillfiltered, Spanish-Sherry-butt-finished 15 year old single malt Scotch whisky from the Bowmore distillery. As Mr. Burns would say, "Excellent!" It has been named Laimrig,…  More info

Bowmore Laimrig 15 Year Old
1
$85.16

Laphroaig 15 Year Old (200th Anniversary Edition)

70cl, 43%
Laphroaig

In 1815, the Laphroaig distillery was founded on Islay. In 2015, the distillery celebrates its 200th anniversary. To mark the occasion, they've brought back their 15 Year Old single malt Scotch…  More info

Laphroaig 15 Year Old (200th Anniversary Edition)
12
$121.60

Bunnahabhain Ceòbanach

70cl, 46.30%
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
$55.76

Bunnahabhain 25 Year Old

70cl, 46.30%
Bunnahabhain

In what will be seen as a positive move to whisky connoisseurs, Bunnahabhain have decided to bottle the 25 year old without chill-filtration and without colouring. Presented in smoked oak glass…  More info

Bunnahabhain 25 Year Old
14
$284.12

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
30
$58.19

Port Charlotte 2008 - Islay Barley

70cl, 50%
Bruichladdich

This single malt Scotch whisky from the Bruichladdich distillery, released under the Port Charlotte name, as they do for all of their peated releases (minus the super-peated Octomore bottlings), is a…  More info

Port Charlotte 2008 - Islay Barley
4
$66.85

The Ileach Peaty

70cl, 40%
Highlands and Islands Whisky Company

The Ileach is a peaty single malt from a secret Islay distillery, this has received rave reviews from whisky critics and has a solid core of peat and malt.  More info

The Ileach Peaty
50
$30.70

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)
4
$97.28

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
$77.20

Kilchoman Loch Gorm 2016 Release

70cl, 46%
Kilchoman

Another tremendous release of Sherry matured peated single malt from Kilchoman. Taken from 17 Oloroso casks, a combination of first fill and refill, this is their oldest Lock Gorm to date with every…  More info

Kilchoman Loch Gorm 2016 Release
$72.94

Darkness! Ardbeg 23 Year Old Oloroso Cask Finish

50cl, 49.10%
Ardbeg

Peat and Sherry is a combination that not everybody loves, but when it works... Wow. Also, if you subscribe to the formula 'one yummy thing + another yummy thing = a super yummy thing!' then this may…  More info

Darkness! Ardbeg 23 Year Old Oloroso Cask Finish
3
$355.19

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
4
$94.84

Bunnahabhain 18 Year Old

70cl, 46.30%
Bunnahabhain

In what will be seen as a positive move to whisky connoisseurs, Bunnahabhain have decided to bottle the 18 year old without chill-filtration and without colouring.  More info

Bunnahabhain 18 Year Old
24
$83.28

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
$100.36

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
191
$64.43

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
380
$57.13

Caol Ila Feis Ile 2011 - Bodega Sherry

70cl, 64.30%
Caol Ila

A fabulous cask strength release from Caol Ila, this was bottled for the 2011 Feis Ile (Islay Festival). We first tried this in the cold and rain at Caol Ila's blustery distillery day. It was just…  More info

Caol Ila Feis Ile 2011 - Bodega Sherry

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