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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.

Ardbeg 15 Year Old 1973 (Sestante)

75cl, 53.40%
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)
$1218.92

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)
$1048.16

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
1
$69.81

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

70cl, 56.80%
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)
$612.51

Caol Ila 25 Year Old 1978

70cl, 59%
Caol Ila

The oldest official bottling from the Caol Ila distillery, this 25 year old Islay single malt was released as one of just 6,000 bottles, distilled in 1978 and bottled in 2003 at cask strength.  More info

Caol Ila 25 Year Old 1978

Celtic Nations from Bruichladdich and Cooley

70cl, 46%
Bruichladdich

A vatting from Bruichladdich featuring both Irish and Scotch whisk(e)y, this features both Cooley whiskey and Bruichladdich single malt.  More info

Celtic Nations from Bruichladdich and Cooley

Bruichladdich 1984 Redder Still (22 Year Old)

70cl, 50.40%
Bruichladdich

This bottling from Bruichladdich has been so-named 'redder still' for its scarlet hue, this single malt is a limited release of just 4,080 bottles, distilled in 1984, it has attained its colour from…  More info

Bruichladdich 1984 Redder Still (22 Year Old)

Bruichladdich 20 Year Old ‘Flirtation’ (2nd Edition)

70cl, 46%
Bruichladdich

Mourvèdre is a strong, rich red grape, grown all over the world. This is a specially finished 20 year old from Bruichladdich.  More info

Bruichladdich 20 Year Old ‘Flirtation’ (2nd Edition)
1

Bruichladdich 1998 Manzanilla Sherry Cask Matured

70cl, 46%
Bruichladdich

Just 6,000 bottle of this single malt were released. This was distilled in 1998 and matured for 10 years in Manzanilla dry sherry casks and the label features a rather dramatic 'Picasso esque' print…  More info

Bruichladdich 1998 Manzanilla Sherry Cask Matured

Bruichladdich Infinity (2nd Release)

70cl, 52.50%
Bruichladdich

The second edition of the Infinity bottling from Bruichladdich, this one boasts a slightly higher peating level and has been matured in Bourbon casks before being finished in Rioja casks.  More info

Bruichladdich Infinity (2nd Release)
1

Bowmore 16 Year Old 1990 Sherry Matured

70cl, 53.80%
Bowmore

A 1990 vintage from the Bowmore distillery, bottled at cask strength, this 16 year old was matured in Oloroso sherry casks and the sherry notes really shine through with enough strength to match up…  More info

Bowmore 16 Year Old 1990 Sherry Matured

Bowmore 37 Year Old 1968

70cl, 43.40%
Bowmore

A 37 year old offering from Bowmore, matured in ex-bourbon casks and presents a rare bottling from an outturn of just 708 bottles. A spicy, oily, slightly vegetal whisky of excellent depth.  More info

Bowmore 37 Year Old 1968

Bowmore Black Bowmore 42 Year Old 1964

70cl, 40.50%
Bowmore

A very rare 42 year old from the Islay distillery, Bowmore. This single malt has been matured in Oloroso sherry casks and is part of a limited release of just 827 bottles. A legendary dram.  More info

Bowmore Black Bowmore 42 Year Old 1964
1

Bunnahabhain 14 Year Old 130th Anniversary - Feis Ile 2011

70cl, 59.60%
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
$165.38

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)
$78.56

Ardbeg 1995 Single Cask 2761 - Feis Ile 2010

70cl, 53.30%
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
$734.97

Bowmore 1985 Feis Ile 2012

70cl, 52.30%
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
$979.98

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

70cl, 54.20%
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)
$145.15

Bruichladdich 125th Anniversary Bottling

70cl, 40.10%
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
$488.79

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)
$177.14

Bunnahabhain Darach Ur 1l

100cl, 46.30%
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
15
$63.64

Bowmore 15 Year Old Feis Ile 2011

70cl, 54.40%
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
1
$208.19

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
$238.82

Ardbeg Feis Ile 2011

70cl, 55.10%
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
7
$612.45

Bowmore 8 Year Old 1999 - Feis Ile 2008

70cl, 57.40%
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
$100.39

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