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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.

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
1
$183.57

Caol Ila Feis Ile 2009

70cl, 58.0%
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
$210.59

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
6
$540.04

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
$88.52

Bruichladdich 17 Year Old Micro-Provenance

70cl, 51.0%
Bruichladdich

This was made using something called "Cask Evolution Exploration". One suspects that means "finishing it in something exotic-sounding." This was aged in bourbon casks, before a finish in Tempranillo…  More info

Bruichladdich 17 Year Old Micro-Provenance
$64.32

Bruichladdich 1970 (32 Year Old)

70cl, 44.0%
Bruichladdich

A 32 year old bottling from the Bruichladdich distillery, this single malt was distilled in 1970 and has been solely matured in first fill American hogsheads and exudes some lovely ripe orchard fruit…  More info

Bruichladdich 1970 (32 Year Old)

Bruichladdich 15 Year Old (1st Release)

70cl, 46.0%
Bruichladdich

Matured largely in American oak, with a little Spanish oak. An increasingly rare first edition, the 15 year old is a great, fresh, lightly-peated offering from Bruichladdich.  More info

Bruichladdich 15 Year Old (1st Release)

Laphroaig 25 Year Old (45.1%)

70cl, 45.1%
Laphroaig

The 25 year old Laphroaig, released in 2007. This is a surprisingly mellow dram from the distillery.  More info

Laphroaig 25 Year Old (45.1%)

Bruichladdich 14 Year Old - Links Series K Club

70cl, 46.0%
Bruichladdich

Part of a release of casks selected by Jim McEwan, the master distiller, the label on this 14 year old features a painting of K Club by the famous gold artist, Graeme W. Baxter.  More info

Bruichladdich 14 Year Old - Links Series K Club

Bruichladdich 14 Year Old 1991 - WMD 11 The Yellow Submarine

70cl, 46.0%
Bruichladdich

This bottling was named for a yellow mini-submarine that was discovered just miles from the distillery, the vessel was clearing mines left from World War Two when a local fisherman discovered it. A…  More info

Bruichladdich 14 Year Old 1991 - WMD 11 The Yellow Submarine
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Caol Ila 1991 (Signatory)

35cl, 43.0%
Caol Ila

A rare half bottle of Caol Ila from Signatory, these are rather hard to come by.  More info

Caol Ila 1991 (Signatory)

Port Ellen 1982 - Connoisseurs Choice (Gordon and MacPhail) (Old Edition)

70cl, 40.0%
Port Ellen

Distilled in 1982 and aged for 22 years in refill sherry butts before bottling in 2004 by Gordon and MacPhail. Port Ellen has become a legendary distillery.  More info

Port Ellen 1982 - Connoisseurs Choice (Gordon and MacPhail) (Old Edition)

Bruichladdich 1998 Oloroso Sherry Cask

70cl, 46.0%
Bruichladdich

A 10 year old bottling from the Bruichladdich distillery, distilled during the few weeks of 1998 that the distillery was open and matured in an Oloroso sherry cask. The label features a Picasso-esque…  More info

Bruichladdich 1998 Oloroso Sherry Cask

Caol Ila 1984 (Gordon and MacPhail)

35cl, 58.2%
Caol Ila

A limited edition sherry finished single malt from Caol Ila, just 280 bottles were released, distilled in 1984 and bottled in October of 2008 by Gordon and MacPhail, a beautifully balanced whisky…  More info

Caol Ila 1984 (Gordon and MacPhail)

Kilchoman Autumn 2009 Release

70cl, 46.0%
Kilchoman

Maximum one bottle per customer. A new single malt from a new Islay distillery! This is the Autumn 2009 release, fresh onto the market. Matured for 3 years in first fill and refill Buffalo Trace…  More info

Kilchoman Autumn 2009 Release

Ardbeg Uigeadail (Old Box)

70cl, 52.4%
Ardbeg

Looks like a regular Ardbeg Uigeadail doesn't it? Well, look closer! It's got a slightly different box...  More info

Ardbeg Uigeadail (Old Box)

Laphroaig 10 Year Old Cask Strength

70cl, 55.7%
Laphroaig

A potent, cask strength release from Laphroaig. A very pungent version of the 10 year old.  More info

Laphroaig 10 Year Old Cask Strength
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Caol Ila 16 Year Old (Bladnoch Bottling)

70cl, 59.0%
Caol Ila

Very rare bottle of Caol Ila, bottled at the Bladnoch distillery after sixteen years of maturation.  More info

Caol Ila 16 Year Old (Bladnoch Bottling)

Caol Ila 2000 - Berry's Best (Berry Bros. & Rudd)

70cl, 46.0%
Caol Ila

A 2000 vintage Caol Ila, bottled by the renowned wine merchants, Berry Brothers and Rudd.  More info

Caol Ila 2000 - Berry's Best (Berry Bros. & Rudd)

Bruichladdich 19 Year Old 1989 - Un-Chillfiltered (Signatory)

70cl, 46.0%
Bruichladdich

Matured in hogsheads 83 and 84 for 19 years. This is a Signatory bottling from the Bruichladdich distillery, distilled on the 2nd November 1989 and bottling on the 26th August 2009. A release of 679…  More info

Bruichladdich 19 Year Old 1989 - Un-Chillfiltered (Signatory)

Bruichladdich 14 Year Old - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 50.0%
Bruichladdich

A single cask from Islay. This was distilled at Bruichladdich in March 1990 and aged for 14 years in cask number 1066 before bottling in October 2004 for Douglas Laing's exceptional Old Malt Cask…  More info

Bruichladdich 14 Year Old - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)

Port Charlotte PC6

70cl, 62.0%
Bruichladdich

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

Port Charlotte PC6
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Bowmore 28 Year Old 1980 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 44.7%
Bowmore

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

Bowmore 28 Year Old 1980 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

Port Charlotte PC5

70cl, 63.5%
Bruichladdich

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

Port Charlotte PC5

Bunnahabhain 40 Year Old 1963

70cl, 43.0%
Bunnahabhain

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

Bunnahabhain 40 Year Old 1963

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