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Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Islay, Scotland
Known as ‘The Queen of the Hebrides’, Islay sits at the most southerly point of Scotland’s western island chain. The island’s famously smoky, peaty style of single malt whisky is produced by the island’s 8 working distilleries. Although this such a disproportionately high number for such a small area, even more distilleries are planned for the future, making Islay a true hotbed of high quality whisky production. Islay is known for the Singing Sands on the Oa Peninsula – the sand is said to sing when you rub the sole of your shoe across its surface.


History of Islay Malt Whisky

The tale goes that it was 14th century Irish monks who first introduced the process of distillation to Islay. With unlimited supplies of peat and rivers filled with pure soft water, the climate and terrain of the island was perfect for the production of the spirit. With the local crofters already growing bere (an historical type of barley) they had all the essentials they needed.

In the early days, distilling was freely carried out. 1644, however, brought the Excise Act, resulting in a tax on whisky. This forced wily distillers to move into the remote glens and caves to avoid detection by excise men. (Funnily enough, they were being over cautious. The excise men of the mainland had heard the locals were “wild barbarous people” and were too frightened to step foot on the island until around 1797)!

Once the levy was lifted, the distillers were able to emerge out of hiding and build industrial distilleries in which to practice their craft. Today Islay is home to 8 licensed working distilleries.

Variants of Islay Malt Whisky

The Islay Single Malt Whiskies have been known to divide opinion amongst whisky connoisseurs. As some of the strongest flavoured of all malts, their strength of character is loved by some as somewhat less appreciated by others.

Most of the malting, used for the production of whisky on Islay, is carried out at Port Ellen Maltings. They work to the specific peat level requirement of each distillery and deliver exactly as ordered.

Islay Malt whisky has dry, smoky and peaty characteristics. It also carries the subtleties of gentle moss scents, and a hint of spiciness. Interestingly, for such a small island of only 25lm length, the character of Islay alt does differ somewhat between the northern and southern distilleries.

The southern Islay distilleries, including Ardbeg, Laphroaig and Lagavulin, produce powerful whiskies, with aromas of tar, smoke, iodine and carbolic. These distilleries use heavily peated malt and the island’s peaty water for every stage of production. The northern distilleries, which include Bruichladdich and Bunnahabhain, produce milder, lighter and much less smoky whisky. Drawing their water directly from the spring before it’s had any contact with peat and using lighting or un-peated barley. This results in mossy, nutty and slightly dry whiskies. One of Islay's best known persons in the world is Lord George Robertson, former Nato Secretary General, who was born in Port Ellen.


Where to Start with Islay Malt Whisky

With a surprisingly large selection of offerings from such a small island, it can be hard to know where to start with Islay malt whisky. Below are some of our personal recommendations from the offerings of this beautiful Scottish region:
FROOTBAT HAS 81 PRODUCTS FROM THE Islay REGION AVAILABLE TO SHIP TO United States
FROOTBAT HAS 81 PRODUCTS FROM THE Islay REGION AVAILABLE TO SHIP TO United States
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Brand
Region
Varietal
Size
Vintage
Distillers Edition Double Matured Pedro Ximenez Sherry Cask Wood Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Lagavulin Distillers Edition Double Matured Pedro Ximenez Sherry Cask Wood Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$79.9917 buying options
Dimensions Bunnahabhain 21 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Duncan Taylor Dimensions Bunnahabhain 21 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$168.081 buying option
Ceobanach Malt Scotch Whisky
Bunnahabhain Ceobanach Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$66.9914 buying options
18 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Bunnahabhain 18 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$124.992 buying options
18 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Bowmore 18 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$119.993 buying options
Lore Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Laphroaig Lore Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$79.9926 buying options
25 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Lagavulin 25 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$1,249.991 buying option
Dorus Mor 10 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Bowmore Dorus Mor 10 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$95.998 buying options
Toiteach Un-Chillfiltered Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Bunnahabhain Toiteach Un-Chillfiltered Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$63.9917 buying options
Peat Reek Raw Cask Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Blackadder Peat Reek Raw Cask Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$149.991 buying option
Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Smokehead Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$60.991 buying option
The MacPhail's Collection Bunnahabhain 8 Year Old Heavily Peated Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Gordon & MacPhail The MacPhail's Collection Bunnahabhain 8 Year Old Heavily Peated Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$38.994 buying options
Original Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Kilchoman Original Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$89.992 buying options
Loch Gorm Sherry Cask Matured Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Kilchoman Loch Gorm Sherry Cask Matured Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$84.996 buying options
Galileo Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ardbeg Galileo Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$499.971 buying option
16 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Lagavulin 16 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky 700ml Bottle
$74.993 buying options
Sanaig Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Kilchoman Sanaig Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$69.995 buying options
Octomore 10 Edition Aged 10 Years Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Bruichladdich Octomore 10 Edition Aged 10 Years Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$275.001 buying option
Unpeated Style Natural Cask Strength 14 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Caol Ila Unpeated Style Natural Cask Strength 14 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$239.991 buying option
Big Smoke Blended Malt Scotch Whisky
Duncan Taylor Big Smoke Blended Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$59.991 buying option
Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky
McClelland's Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$19.9915 buying options
Committee Reserve 21 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ardbeg Committee Reserve 21 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$699.991 buying option
Connoisseurs Choice Caol Ila 10 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Gordon & MacPhail Connoisseurs Choice Caol Ila 10 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$74.992 buying options
Rocks Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Bruichladdich Rocks Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$65.991 buying option
Perpetuum The Ultimate Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ardbeg Perpetuum The Ultimate Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$111.996 buying options
Uigeadail Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ardbeg Uigeadail Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$69.997 buying options
Triple Wood Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Laphroaig Triple Wood Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$56.9925 buying options
Port Charlotte Heavily Peated 10 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Bruichladdich Port Charlotte Heavily Peated 10 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$64.997 buying options
10 Year Old Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Laphroaig 10 Year Old Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$54.9714 buying options
32 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Laphroaig 32 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky 700ml Bottle
$1,294.992 buying options
Rare Cask Series Sherry The Magnificent Seven 1986 / 30 Year Old Scotch
Bruichladdich Rare Cask Series Sherry The Magnificent Seven 1986 / 30 Year Old Scotch 700ml Bottle
$999.002 buying options
25 Year Old Small Batch Release Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Bowmore 25 Year Old Small Batch Release Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$394.995 buying options
Islay Barley Rockside Farm Unpeated Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Bruichladdich Islay Barley Rockside Farm Unpeated Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$57.998 buying options
Port Charlotte SBHP Scottish Barley Heavily Peated Single Malt Scotch
Bruichladdich Port Charlotte SBHP Scottish Barley Heavily Peated Single Malt Scotch 750ml Bottle
$49.9914 buying options
Dark Cove Committee Release 110 proof Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ardbeg Dark Cove Committee Release 110 proof Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$249.992 buying options
100 Percent Islay Editions Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Kilchoman 100 Percent Islay Editions Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$106.991 buying option
Vintage Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ardbeg Vintage Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$499.991 buying option
Select Cask Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Laphroaig Select Cask Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$75.991 buying option
Authentic Collection Bruichladdich 25 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Cadenheads Authentic Collection Bruichladdich 25 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$299.991 buying option
Cask Strength 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Lagavulin Cask Strength 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$129.975 buying options
Quarter Cask Double Cask Matured Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Laphroaig Quarter Cask Double Cask Matured Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$47.9929 buying options
15th Release 32 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Port Ellen 15th Release 32 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky 700ml Bottle
$2,599.001 buying option
Cairdeas 200th Anniversary Edition Scotch
Laphroaig Cairdeas 200th Anniversary Edition Scotch 700ml Bottle
$239.991 buying option
An Oa Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ardbeg An Oa Single Malt Scotch Whisky 700ml Bottle
$59.996 buying options
16 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Lagavulin 16 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$59.9946 buying options
23 Year Old Port Cask Matured Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Bowmore 23 Year Old Port Cask Matured Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$499.977 buying options
Darkest Sherry Cask Finished 15 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Bowmore Darkest Sherry Cask Finished 15 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$68.9928 buying options
Dark Cove 93 proof Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ardbeg Dark Cove 93 proof Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$71.991 buying option
Small Batch Reserve Bourbon Cask Matured Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Bowmore Small Batch Reserve Bourbon Cask Matured Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$39.991 buying option
Bruichladdich Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Scott's Selection Bruichladdich Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$299.973 buying options
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