Islay

ISLAY
ISLAY
ISLAY
ISLAY

Just the names Ardbeg, Lagavulin or Laphroaig should give a good indication of what’s in store from Islay, but there’s much more to it than peat and smoke.
(Although, there is a lot of that too).
Home to eight distilleries (for now..) and the range is diverse.

PlayPause
Slider
DistilleryRegionNameAge / Yr / VintageABVSizePriceBuyhf:att:pa_distillery
DistilleryRegionNameAge / Yr / VintageABVSizePriceBuyhf:att:pa_distillery

Islay

Islay is the most southern of the Inner Hebrides on the West coast of Scotland. Just a stone’s throw from the mainland, it’s only 25 miles long with a population of just over 2,200 ‘Ileachs’.

 However, this small island is a true gem of the whisky world: eight distilleries (and counting) with heavyweight names such as Ardbeg, Laphroaig and Lagavulin to name a few.

Islay’s whisky heritage is long and centuries old with many illicit distilleries starting out in farms and crofts, then retreating to hidden caves when the excise men started paying too much attention to the island. This, however, didn’t happen as soon as the excise act came in to place in the 17th Century, as the Islanders’ fearsome ‘barbaric’ reputation (at the time) kept HMRC on the mainland for many a year.

These days, Islay has a much warmer reception to visitors to it’s shores, and the distilleries and locals alike are extremely hospitable.

The Island is of course known for peat, and it’s whiskies (well, most of them) offer peated spirit in droves. The drying vegetation  an be seen stacked up at roadsides where it is transported to the distilleries, or more commonly Port Ellen maltings, where it’s pungent aroma and heat is used in the malting process.

History is another key element of the Islay whisky story, with (the soon to be resurrected) legend that is Port Ellen rubbing shoulders with some of the biggest names on our shelves and in the industry.

But there is much more than whisky too – to the north,  deserted beaches with crystal clear water where you can see seals and sea-trout, flocks of barnacle geese, lone eagles hunting over land and sea and on occasion, the repeat call of the elusive Corncrake. The western side faces what the Atlantic can throw at it, and on the East side, the rushing currents of the Sound of Islay – the narrow channel between Islay and neighbouring Jura.

 

Highland Whisky
Highland
Lowland Whisky
Lowland
Speyside
Islay Whisky
Islay
Campbeltown Whisky
Campbeltown
Island Whisky
Islands