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 1995 vintage Bowmore from independent bottlers Scott's Selection. This was distilled in the same year Bowmore was nominated for Distiller of the Year sat the International Wine and Spirits competition.
A lightly coloured single cask 1989 Bowmore bottled by Douglas Laing for the Old Malt Cask range. I suspect that this came out of a several-times-refilled sherry cask, but with 21 years under its belt it should have a bit of oomph still.
A 1991 vintage Bruichladdich from independent bottlers Gordon & Macphail as part of their cask strength range. This was aged in a brace of refill bourbon casks for over 20 years before being bottled in September 2012.
A 1991 vintage Bunnahabhain released by independent bottlers Hunter Laing in 2013, as part of their Old Malt Cask series. Just 256 bottles came out of the cask, at a natural cask strength of 48.3%, lower than the usual 50% releases from this range.
Port Askaig is terrific Islay single malt bottled by our sister company Speciality Drinks. This 17 year-old has a sumptuous balance of smoke, citrus and sweetness - dangerously more-ish for the Islay fans among us.
A Spring 2010 release from Kilchoman, Islay's new kid on the block. This is the third release of single malt from the distillery and has been matured for 3 years in a combination of fresh and refill bourbon barrels and finished for 3.5 months in active Oloroso sherry butts. Maximum two bottles per customer!
A peated 1989 Bunnahabhain from independent bottlers Berry Brothers & Rudd. The peated spirit is sometimes referred to as Margadale after the river that exists as the distillery's water source. This was bottled after 23 years of maturation and the angels must have been thirsty as it is at a cask strength of just 44%.
A heavily sherried 1988 Bunnahabhain from independent bottlers Berry Brothers & Rudd. Bottled at 24 years old and at cask strength of 49.8% as part of the Berry's Own Selection range. Bunnahabhains of this style are much sought after by sherry-heads - it's a big and heavy dram.
One of the first three whiskies in Bruichladdich's Cuvee series, with a subtitle of MG41 [L'Age d'Or] (no, us neither), matured in American oak casks before finishing in Limousin oak casks previously used to hold Sauternes and Barsac sweet wines.
One of the three initial releases in Bruichladdich's Cuvee range, Cuvee 407 is simply named PX and is subtitled 'La Noche Bocca Arriba', the title of a short story by Julio Cortázar. It's matured in American oak and then finished in PX casks.
The third of the first three whiskies to appear in Bruichladdich's Cuvee range - Eroica, subtitled 'Oh mensch! Gieb acht! Was spricht die tiefe mitternacht?', the opening line from a song in Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra. It's an American oak matured whisky finished in Limousin oak that once held brandy.