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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 15 Year Old (1st Release)

70cl, 46%
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%
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%
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%
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%
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%
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%
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%
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%
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%
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%
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%
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)

Bunnahabhain 40 Year Old 1963

70cl, 43%
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

Bruichladdich 3D Moine Mhor

70cl, 50%
Bruichladdich

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

Bruichladdich 3D Moine Mhor

Laphroaig 20 Year Old 1989 - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 50%
Laphroaig

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

Laphroaig 20 Year Old 1989 - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)

Bruichladdich 36 Year Old 1966 - Legacy Series 1

70cl, 40.6%
Bruichladdich

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

Bruichladdich 36 Year Old 1966 - Legacy Series 1

Bunnahabhain 11 Year Old 1997 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 54%
Bunnahabhain

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

Bunnahabhain 11 Year Old 1997 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

Ardbeg 18 Year Old 1991 Cask 5449 - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 50%
Ardbeg

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

Ardbeg 18 Year Old 1991 Cask 5449 - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)

Port Ellen 26 Year Old 1983 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 54.7%
Port Ellen

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

Port Ellen 26 Year Old 1983 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

Caol Ila 12 Year Old 1995 - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 50%
Caol Ila

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

Caol Ila 12 Year Old 1995 - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)

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