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 — Smokehead
Smokehead is a rich, seaweedy and intensely peaty whisky.The flavour is fresh, fruity and immense, with notes of sherry, iodine, toffee, smoke and sea salt all fighting for recognition.A really vigorous whisky not for the faint hearted savour and enjoy!
Smokehead 18 years old 43%
From Ian Macleod Distillers, this unknown bottling from a distillery on Islay is a brooding, smooth smoky dram as the name and packaging suggests. Maturation has taken the edges off this whisky, leaving a refined and complex malt that has plenty to explore beneath the smoke.