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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.

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)

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
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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)

Ardbeg Uigeadail (damaged box)

70cl, 54.2%
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)
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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)

Ardbeg 15 Year Old 1973 (Sestante)

75cl, 53.4%
Ardbeg

Few distilleries are as sought after as Islay's Ardbeg. Sestante meanwhile, are a celebrated independent bottling brand of real note who are no longer operating. What then, would it take to top a…  More info

Ardbeg 15 Year Old 1973 (Sestante)

Ardbeg 21 Year Old 1974 (Sestante)

70cl, 40%
Ardbeg

A 21 year old Ardbeg distilled in 1974 and bottled in 1996 (only full years are counted) by the renowned Italian independent bottlers Sestante at 40% abv. This is a rare and valuable single malt…  More info

Ardbeg 21 Year Old 1974 (Sestante)

Kilchoman Loch Gorm 2013 Release

70cl, 46%
Kilchoman

The first release of Kilchoman's Loch Gorm single malt Scotch whisky, distilled at the Islay farm distillery and fully matured in ex-sherry casks for 5 years before being bottled. Rather…  More info

Kilchoman Loch Gorm 2013 Release
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Port Ellen 24 Year Old 1979 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 56.8%
Port Ellen

This was distilled at the Port Ellen distillery on the 16th November 1979. It was then aged for 24 years in sherry butt #6773 before bottling at cask-strength in October 2004. This is a release of…  More info

Port Ellen 24 Year Old 1979 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

Bunnahabhain 14 Year Old 130th Anniversary - Feis Ile 2011

70cl, 59.6%
Bunnahabhain

This is a fourteen year old Bunnahabhain single malt Scotch whisky, bottled to commemorate the 130th anniversary of the distillery and was sold at the Feis Ile festival 2011. Interestingly, this one…  More info

Bunnahabhain 14 Year Old 130th Anniversary - Feis Ile 2011

Bowmore 12 Year Old - Jewels of Scotland (Lombard)

70cl, 50%
Bowmore

This twelve year old Bowmore distilled in 1989 was bottled by Lombard for their Jewels of Scotland range. Bowmore is the oldest distillery on the island of Islay and is a peated style of single malt…  More info

Bowmore 12 Year Old - Jewels of Scotland (Lombard)

Ardbeg 1995 Single Cask 2761 - Feis Ile 2010

70cl, 53.3%
Ardbeg

A beautiful 14 year old, single cask Ardbeg bottled especially for the 2010 Feis Ile (Islay Festival). This was distilled on the 7th December 1995, it was then aged in cask 2761 (a second fill…  More info

Ardbeg 1995 Single Cask 2761 - Feis Ile 2010

Bowmore 1985 Feis Ile 2012

70cl, 52.3%
Bowmore

This was distilled in 1985 and aged in sherry and bourbon casks in the renowned Bowmore No. 1 Vaults. This was bottled in 2012 at natural cask strength for the 2012 Feis Ile (Islay Festival) and…  More info

Bowmore 1985 Feis Ile 2012

Caol Ila 28 Year Old 1983 - Dimensions (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 54.2%
Caol Ila

Distilled at Caol Ila in May of 1983, this was aged for 28 years in a single cask (number 3618) before bottling in 2012. A release of 413 individually numbered bottles from Duncan Taylor's Dimensions…  More info

Caol Ila 28 Year Old 1983 - Dimensions (Duncan Taylor)

Bruichladdich 125th Anniversary Bottling

70cl, 40.1%
Bruichladdich

A limited release of 2,502 bottles, the 125th Anniversary from Bruichladdich is a rare 35 year old dram, distilled in 1970 and aged in American oak to commemorate the 125th Anniversary of the Islay…  More info

Bruichladdich 125th Anniversary Bottling

Caol Ila 28 Year Old 1983 (Adelphi)

70cl, 54%
Caol Ila

A 28 year old Caol Ila bottled in 2012 by Adelphi, and one of 250 bottles matured in a refill bourbon hogshead.  More info

Caol Ila 28 Year Old 1983 (Adelphi)

Bunnahabhain Darach Ur 1l

100cl, 46.3%
Bunnahabhain

A one little bottle of Bunnahabhain which was launched for travel retail. The name "Darach Ur" is Gaelic for "New Oak", a reference to the fact that this whisky has been aged entirely in new American…  More info

Bunnahabhain Darach Ur 1l
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Bowmore 15 Year Old Feis Ile 2011

70cl, 54.4%
Bowmore

Made especially for the 2011 Feis Ile, this Bowmore was aged for 15 years and finished in a sherry cask before bottling at natural cask strength. A release of just 500 bottles. Very rare!  More info

Bowmore 15 Year Old Feis Ile 2011
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$182.63

Caol Ila Feis Ile 2009

70cl, 58%
Caol Ila

A beautiful Caol Ila, filled into cask on the 18th December 1996, and aged for 12 years in European oak sherry cask 19313 before being hand selected by Billy Stitchell for the 2009 Feis Ile.  More info

Caol Ila Feis Ile 2009

Ardbeg Feis Ile 2011

70cl, 55.1%
Ardbeg

Ardbeg's absolutely amazing Feis Ile bottling, bottled in 2011. This very rare Ardbeg was distilled in 1998 and aged in two Pedro Ximenez butts (making this the closest thing you'll ever get to a…  More info

Ardbeg Feis Ile 2011
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Bowmore 8 Year Old 1999 - Feis Ile 2008

70cl, 57.4%
Bowmore

This was distilled at Bowmore on the 14th June 1999, and it was aged in Limousin oak in warehouse 5 for 8 years before bottling for the 2008 Feis Ile. A release of 800 numbered bottles, fabulous…  More info

Bowmore 8 Year Old 1999 - Feis Ile 2008

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