The island of Islay (pronounced eye-la) lies in the southern Inner Hebridean isles of Scotland and boasts 8 producing single malt distilleries: (Ardbeg, Bowmore, Bruichladdich, Bunnahabhain, Caol Ila, Lagavulin, Laphroaig, Kilchoman) and one closed (Port Ellen). Islay is home to some of the most famous distilleries in Scotland, and while the majority produce a heavily peated and pungently smoky whisky, there are excellent un-peated styles made here too.
The distinctive smoky aroma and flavour is imparted by the drying of barley over smouldering peat fires, with this character diminishing and softening with time in the cask. Islay whiskies are connected strongly to where they are made, and a visit to the island is among one of the best whisky experiences available in the world.
The Whiskies of Islay — Bunnahabhain
Bunnahabhain 'Signatory' 2009 / 10 years old 68.5%
This expression of Bunnahabhain bottled by Signatory Vintage is a classic example of the traditional Sherry cask influenced style. Unlike many of the distilleries on Islay, Bunnahabhain produces mainly unpeated spirit. The style is undoubtedly coastal, with plenty of sea salt and herbal aromas, but without smoke. Bottled at an astonishingly high...
Bunnahabhain 12 years old 46.3%
Situated on the beautiful north east coast of Islay, looking out over the paps of Jura, Bunnahabhain is described as the 'gentle Islay', a more approachable style compared to the classic peat smoke characteristic the island is so well known for. The nose is aromatic with a subtle glimmer of smoke and a faint hint of seashore that continues into ...
Bunnahabhain 18 years old 46.3%
The nose on the Bunnahabhain 18 is truly incredible - huge notes of rich honey, nuts, old leather, dried fruits and a hint of sea-side smoke. A distinct umami (the Japanese word for 'savoury', think soy sauce and dried meat) character and a truly to-die-for rich dark chocolate flavour push this whisky in to a league far beyond what its age and p...
Bunnahabhain 'Gordon & MacPhail' Discovery 11 years old 43%
This new expression comes from Gordon & MacPhail's 'discovery' range, offering fine examples of some of the distinctive cask and spirit types in Scotland. Bottled from sherry casks from the Bunnahabhain distillery, this is not dominantly peaty at all - rich and sweet with sherry cask fruitcake notes, with vanilla, a touch of orange marmalade...