Islay whiskies are known for their peatiness, although not all the distilleries on the island produce this style - Bruichladdich and Bunnahabhain have little or no peat in their standard expressions and Caol Ila produce an unpeated batch every year, while even the famously smoky Ardbeg has an unpeated expression, Blasda. Read More »
A legendary Ardbeg, Kildalton was a one-off bottling (1300 bottles released in 2004) of some experimental unpeated and lightly peated whiskies made at the distillery in 1980. It is known that these experiments ran from 1979-81, but while a 1981 Kildalton mini appeared in the Ardbeg Peat Pack a few years ago the 1979 vintage has yet to see the light of day. Fingers crossed they haven't lost it or used it in any of their other bottlings.
A 1969 vintage Bowmore, bottled at 25 years old. Another superb bottling from the 1960s stocks at Bowmore (they've had a few), Serge Valentin of whiskyfun.com gave this 91 points and noted it was full of tropical fruit.
A 2002 distillery bottling of 1970 Bruichladdich matured for about 32 years. This has gone down as one of the best Bruichladdichs in modern memory - a 95 from Whisky Fun's Serge Valentin (and listed as his favourite expression from the distillery), a pile of superlatives in posts across the internet and a quick 'Amazing!!' when we just mentioned it on Twitter.
An old bottling of Laphroaig 10 year old, the most richly flavoured Scotch whisky brand. Made the same way as it was when invented before the second world war by then owner Ian Hunter. We estimate this was bottled in the 1970s, a period considered by many Laphraoig fans to be the best decade for bottlings.
The first Port Ellen Annual Release goes for much more these days, but for many people (including at least one TWE staff member) the second release, bottled at 59.35% in 2002, remains at the top of the pile for official PE. A magnificent whisky.
An unboxed litre bottle of the first ever release of Lagavulin's Distillers Edition, now considered to be a legendary bottling. Distilled in 1979, this was finished in Pedro Ximenez casks to add rich sweetness to the already richly bodied Islay classic.
The second sensational OB Port Ellen 1978, bottled around the turn of the millennium as part of the Rare Malts series. This phenomenal dram was rated at 93 points by Serge Valentin of Whiskyfun, and its popularity and acclaim led to the revivial of interest in this classic closed distillery and thus to the birth of the annual Special Releases series.
An old Samaroli bottling of Ardbeg 1976, bottled in 1993. Samaroli is a legendary Italian bottler and 1976 is known as one of the all-time great Ardbeg vintagese - at 17 years old and 46% this should be awesome.
A litre bottle of the first ever edition of Lagavulin bottled under the Distiller's Edition label, which has become a legendary bottling. Distilled in 1979, this was finished in Pedro Ximenez casks to add even more richness and sweetness.
A very limited edition bottling of 1974 vintage Bowmore for La Maison du Whisky's Artist range, of which this is the second entry. The whisky was bottled in 2012 at cask strength and features a label drawn by artist Paola Parés.