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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.

Islay Whisky

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Port Charlotte PC6
(70cl, 62%)
PC6 represents a peatier release from the Bruichladdich distillery, this 6 year old is part of the Port Charlotte series, a limited release of 18,000 and peated to 40ppm.  More info
User Rating:  (1 Review)
A Signatory bottling of Bowmore. This was distilled on the 13th November 1980 and matured in bourbon barrel number 8055 for 28 years before bottling on the 16th September 2009. Part of a release of...  More info
Port Charlotte PC5
(70cl, 63.50%)
This was distilled by Bruichladdich in 2001 and aged for 5 years. Now incredibly rare, PC5 was the first in the incredible Port Charlotte range, some of the most heavily peated whisky from...  More info
A 40 year old vintage bottling from the Bunnahabhain distillery, distilled in 1963 and bottled at natural cask strength, which is only 42.9%, such has been the effects of age on the alcohol con10t...  More info
Moine Mhor is Gaelic and means 'big peat', it is a vatting of their different whiskies (thus the '3D'): the heavily peated 2001 Port Charlotte, moderately peated 1998 whisky and 1989 lightly peated...  More info
A 20 year old single cask Laphroaig! This was distilled in March 1989 and matured in a sherry hogshead before bottling in December 2009 by Douglas Laing for the Old Malt Cask range. This is part of a...  More info
Part of Bruichladdich's legacy series, this is a very rare 36 year old dram distilled in 1966 and matured in American oak hogsheads. The casks were specially selected by master distiller Jim McEwan...  More info
A heavily peated Bunnahabhain, bottled by Signatory. This was from two hogsheads, numbers 5298 and 5299. Very enjoyable! This is part of a release of just 589 bottles.  More info
An 18 year old single cask Ardbeg, this was matured in a refill hogshead, distilled in March 1991 and bottled in September 2009 by Douglas Laing with an outturn of 316 bottles.  More info
A single cask Port Ellen! This was distilled on the 2nd March 1983 and matured for 26 years in a wine treated butt, which was cask number 232, before bottling on the 10th November 2009. A release of...  More info
A 12 year old Caol Ila single cask, with a peaty, spicy flavour. This is part of an outturn of 743 bottles from a refill butt, distilled in September 1995 and bottled in January 2008 by Douglas Laing.  More info
Stunning presentation, this is a 27 year old Caol Ila, bottled by Adelphi in 2009. This is a cask strength release of 227 bottles.  More info
This was distilled at Laphroaig in 1997 and matured for 12 years before bottling by Duncan Taylor in 2010. This was bottled for the NC2 range, the name refers to the fact that this not chill filtered...  More info
User Rating:  (1 Review)
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
A Gordon and MacPhail bottling from Ardbeg, this was distilled in 1990 and bottled in 2001.  More info
Whisky Magazine Recommended, this 13 year old from Caol Ila offers textbook sweet smoke and oily, herbal, medicinal notes. Bottled for the Coopers Choice range.  More info
Ardbeg Mor 10 Year Old
(450cl, 46%)
The moniker 'Mór' is Scotch Gaelic for 'Big', rather apt as this 10 year old from the Ardbeg distillery comes in a 4.5 litre bottle. A limited release.  More info
$454.95
Single cask Caol Ila, bottled for the Bladnoch Forum. This release of just 170 bottles was matured in hogshead no. 8154 for 28 years!  More info
25 year old, single cask Caol Ila! This was distilled on the 16th May 1984 and matured for 25 years in hogshead number 3636. Bottled by Signatory at cask strength on the 23rd July 2009, a release of...  More info
A 16 year old Bowmore, distilled in November 1990 and matured in refill hogshead number 3559 before bottling by Douglas Laing in May 2007. A release of 239 bottles.  More info
This was distilled on the 22nd November 1985 and matured in hogshead number 32203 for 23 years before bottling by Signatory on the 13th January 2009. A release of just 234 bottles of cask strength...  More info
Bunnahabhain bottled by Signatory. This is a cask strength, natural colour whisky distilled on the 4th December 1997, matured in two hogsheads for 12 years before bottling on the 21st January 2010. A...  More info
User Rating:  (1 Review)
Bunnahabhain Mòine
(70cl, 59.60%)
Mòine is a special release from the Bunnahabhain distillery. This is a peated expression selected by master distillery Ian MacMillan for Feis Ile 2009. This was distilled in 2003. The name is Gaelic...  More info
$141.48
This was matured in two refill hogsheads (casks 5095 and 5096), distilled at Laphroaig in the Spring of 2001 and matured for 8 years before bottling by Douglas Laing in the Spring of 2009 for their...  More info
When Lagavulin decided to produce a 'finished' whisky - The Distillers Edition, there were doubters who thought nothing could be a match for the pungent strength of Lagavulin. Those sceptics were...  More info
User Rating:  (4 Reviews)
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