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 — Lagavulin
Lagavulin 'Distillers Edition' 1998 / 16 years old 43%
One of the most sought-after releases from Islay has just arrived - the latest 'Distillers Edition' from the Lagavulin distillery. Matured for a total of 16 years, this single malt has spent the last portion of that time in a Pedro Ximenez sherry cask, which imparts a sweet, heavy richness to the whisky. The combination of suculant sweet raisins...
Lagavulin 16 years old 43%
One of the most famous whiskies in the world, Lagavulin's 16 year old has a lovely balance between a tarry blast of peat smoke, touches of sweet honey and rich dried fruit that lingers on to a dry and mellow smokyness - a true Scotch whisky classic from Islay.
Lagavulin 21 years old 56.5%
This 21 year old Lagavulin was originally released in 2007, and since that time it has become something of a legend. Matured in first-fill sherry casks, this is amongst the darkest Lagavulins ever released, offering a whisky that strikes a careful balance between the sherry and classic lagavulin peat smoke. This is now a staggeringly difficult w...