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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.

Laphroaig 10 Year Old 35cl

35cl, 40%
Laphroaig

A half bottle of the iconic, medicinal 10 year Islay's bestselling distillery, Laphroaig. This is a massive, punchy dram, it is said the medicinal character is from the high moss content in the peat.  More info

Laphroaig 10 Year Old 35cl
7
$28.67

Islay Storm

70cl, 40%
C.S. James and Sons Ltd.

An Islay single malt from a secret distillery, Islay Storm has loads of peaty character.  More info

Islay Storm
22
$29.99

The Ileach Peaty

70cl, 40%
Highlands and Islands Whisky Company

The Ileach is a peaty single malt from a secret Islay distillery, this has received rave reviews from whisky critics and has a solid core of peat and malt.  More info

The Ileach Peaty
41
$30.33

Bowmore 12 Year Old

70cl, 40%
Bowmore

The heart of the Bowmore range, the 12 year old exhibits some beautiful coastal notes with a gentle peat, it is the balance that the floral element presents that makes this a great entry bottling for…  More info

Bowmore 12 Year Old
78
$37.85

Bunnahabhain 2006 (bottled 2015) - The MacPhail's Collection (Gordon & MacPhail)

70cl, 43%
Bunnahabhain

A rather splendid indie bottling of single malt Scotch whisky from the Bunnahabhain distillery, bottled for the MacPhail's Collection by Gordon & MacPhail. It was distilled on the Isle of Islay in…  More info

Bunnahabhain 2006 (bottled 2015) - The MacPhail's Collection (Gordon & MacPhail)
2
$38.86

Laphroaig 10 Year Old

70cl, 40%
Laphroaig

Really smoky and iodine rich. This has to be one of Scotland's most characterful drams. Laphroaig are known for their medicinal malts, and the classic 10 year old is no exception.  More info

Laphroaig 10 Year Old
281
$39.53

Laphroaig Select

70cl, 40%
Laphroaig

For the Laphroaig Select, the Islay distillery has taken whisky from a number of different types of cask, including Oloroso Sherry butts, white American oak, Pedro Ximenez seasoned hoggies, Quarter…  More info

Laphroaig Select
35
$40.86

Bowmore Small Batch - Bourbon Cask Matured

70cl, 40%
Bowmore

Bowmore Small Batch is an elegant Islay single malt, when gets matured in both first-fill and second-fill bourbon barrels. A great introduction to Bowmore's lovely smoky flavour profile - the Small…  More info

Bowmore Small Batch - Bourbon Cask Matured
8
$44.26

Laphroaig Quarter Cask

70cl, 48%
Laphroaig

Released in 2004, this bottling was aged for around five years before being finished in a quarter cask for several months, the size of the cask is quite small, thus does not require such a long…  More info

Laphroaig Quarter Cask
147
$45.89

The Ileach Cask Strength

70cl, 58%
Highlands and Islands Whisky Company

A great Islay single malt from an unnamed distillery. The Ileach always scores well with the critics, this cask strength edition was awarded a mindblowingly high 97 points by Jim Murray in his Whisky…  More info

The Ileach Cask Strength
13
$46.56

Caol Ila 12 Year Old

70cl, 43%
Caol Ila

This 12 year old is the entry level bottling from the Caol Ila distillery, launched in June of 2002 this expression is light and fresh with that distinctive Caol Ila smoke.  More info

Caol Ila 12 Year Old
82
$47.42

Ardbeg 10 Year Old

70cl, 46%
Ardbeg

Jim Murray's 2008 World Whisky of the Year! When Ardbeg 10 was released it was the first expression from the distillery not to be chill-filtered. It's a true classic from Islay, and a must have for…  More info

Ardbeg 10 Year Old
224
$48.84

Caol Ila Moch

70cl, 43%
Caol Ila

Moch is Gaelic for dawn, and this release from Caol Ila is an altogether lighter prospect than the distillery's excellent 12 year old standard expression.  More info

Caol Ila Moch
7
$49.74

Bruichladdich Scottish Barley - The Classic Laddie

70cl, 50%
Bruichladdich

Created by Jim McEwan from whisky matured in American oak casks alongside Lochindaal, and chosen to represent the classic, unpeated distillery style. Bruichladdich's new signature bottling is made…  More info

Bruichladdich Scottish Barley - The Classic Laddie
18
$51.47

Kilchoman Machir Bay

70cl, 46%
Kilchoman

Kilchoman's Machir Bay is an excellent single malt Scotch whisky from the isle of Islay. The distillers use whisky which has been matured in ex-bourbon barrels and Oloroso Sherry butts, resulting in…  More info

Kilchoman Machir Bay
1
$51.79

Bruichladdich Islay Barley 2007

70cl, 50%
Bruichladdich

Made from barley harvested at Rockside Farm, Islay, in 2006 and distilled in 2007. The specially selected grain, the slow distillation and carefully considered casks were vital in creating this…  More info

Bruichladdich Islay Barley 2007
4
$52.87

Bunnahabhain 8 Year Old 2007 - Hepburn's Choice (Langside)

70cl, 46%
Bunnahabhain

An 8 year old independent bottling of Bunnahabhain matured in a single cask for over 8 years. Hunter Laing's Hepburn's Choice range is for their relatively younger, but still excellent, bottlings.  More info

Bunnahabhain 8 Year Old 2007 - Hepburn's Choice (Langside)
$53.48

Port Charlotte Scottish Barley - Heavily Peated

70cl, 50%
Bruichladdich

Master distiller Jim McEwan specially chose the casks that create the Port Charlotte Scottish Barley, which highlight the elegance within this heavily peated single malt. Made with 100% Scottish…  More info

Port Charlotte Scottish Barley - Heavily Peated
17
$54.24

Bruichladdich Islay Barley 2009

70cl, 50%
Bruichladdich

It's the 2009 vintage of Bruichladdich's popular Islay Barley single malt Scotch whisky! We love that Bruichladdich specify which farms the barley came from for these releases - this time, the barley…  More info

Bruichladdich Islay Barley 2009
$54.36

Bowmore Tempest 10 Year Old - Batch 5

70cl, 55.90%
Bowmore

From the oldest distillery on Islay comes the fifth release of Bowmore's 10 year old Tempest single malt Scotch whisky. This annual release is matured in first-fill bourbon casks and presented at…  More info

Bowmore Tempest 10 Year Old - Batch 5
5
$54.56

Bunnahabhain Ceòbanach

70cl, 46.30%
Bunnahabhain

For the Ceòbanach (pronounced 'kyaw-bin-och'), the Bunnahabhain distillers have taken inspiration from the days when the distillery used to produced heavily peated spirit. Meaning 'Smoky mist' in…  More info

Bunnahabhain Ceòbanach
10
$55.08

Laphroaig Triple Wood

70cl, 48%
Laphroaig

An incredible new release from Laphroaig. This was originally launched for the duty free market, and it is a tour de force from the Islay distillery. First off, they mature this in bourbon barrels,…  More info

Laphroaig Triple Wood
27
$57.49

Lagavulin 16 Year Old

70cl, 43%
Lagavulin

A much sought-after single malt with the massive peat-smoke that's typical of southern Islay - but also offering richness and a dryness that turns it into a truly interesting dram. The 16 year old…  More info

Lagavulin 16 Year Old
338
$57.63

Caol Ila - Batch 2 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)

50cl, 55%
Caol Ila

Hold the phone, the Paps of Jura? Prince Vuntan?! I know that view! It's the view from the still room at Caol Ila! I recognise this label too, except this one says "Batch 2" on it... [Jake has…  More info

Caol Ila - Batch 2 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)
$57.63

Kilchoman Machir Bay 2014 Release Gift Pack with 2x Glasses

70cl, 46%
Kilchoman

A gorgeous gift pack of single malt Scotch whisky from the Islay farm distillery Kilchoman, presented with two branded glasses. The whisky is the 2014 release Machir Bay, which is a vatting of 5 and…  More info

Kilchoman Machir Bay 2014 Release Gift Pack with 2x Glasses
1
$59.90

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