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 — Port Ellen
Port Ellen 'Gordon & MacPhail' 1979 / 40 years old 54.7%
Founded in 1824 by Alexander Mackay, Port Ellen remains one of the most famous distilleries in Scotland, best known for being the long-closed ghost of Islay. Port Ellen's stocks have continued to dwindle since its closure in 1984, with releases in recent years few and far between. This beautiful new bottling was selected from a single cask laid ...