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 — Elements of Islay
Oc5 - Elements of Islay 59.8% 500ml
Islay's famously highly-peated spirit produced at the Bruichladdich distillery is named Octomore, and this bottling from the Elements of Islay has come from just a single cask filled with this spirit in 2011. Bottled at a natural cask strength of 59.8%, the aroma is layered and complex, going between striking peat smoke, malty cereal and plenty ...
Pl6 - Elements of Islay 55.3% 500ml
From Bruichladdich distillery, this release has been maturing in three bourbon barrels from 2011 and has been bottled at 55.3%. The nose offers notes of burnt grass, camphor, malt loaf and peaches. The palate is oily and briny, with smoked ham, sherry, almond oil and green olives. Warming Christmas spices are found towards the end of the palate....
Oc6 - Elements of Islay 58.1% 500ml
Distilled from ultra heavily peated barley at the Bruichladdich distillery, this new small batch of ex-bourbon barrels was matured for over 8 years before being bottled at its natural strength of 58.1% by the fine folk at Elixir Distillers. On the nose this whisky starts with spicy peat smoke, burnt matches and orange peel. Sweet notes of tinned...
Bn8 - Elements of Islay 58.4% 500ml
The latest release from the Elements of Islay Series from distillery Bn was created by marriying a selection of casks between 5 and 7 years old from ex-sherry casks (both ex-American and ex-European oak). To taste, this is Bunnahabhain throughout: nutty, chocolatey and spicy. Terry's Chocolate Orange joins paprika and cumin spice, slightly burnt...
PEAT (Pure Islay) 45% 500ml
PEAT Pure Islay is the accomplice to the PEAT full proof, swapping its high batch strength for a more friendly 45%. It was created using single malt whisky from a handful of distilleries across northern and southern Islay. Aromas of thick cut bacon being cooked over smouldering coals on the beach. Hickory smoke to the fore on the palate with hin...