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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 92 PRODUCTS FROM THE Islay REGION AVAILABLE TO SHIP TO Australia
FROOTBAT HAS 92 PRODUCTS FROM THE Islay REGION AVAILABLE TO SHIP TO Australia
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Brand
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Region
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Vintage
16 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Lagavulin 16 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky 700ml Bottle
$104.9525 buying options
Corryvreckan Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ardbeg Corryvreckan Single Malt Scotch Whisky 700ml Bottle
$150.0015 buying options
Octomore Scottish Barley Edition 07.1 Aged 5 Years Single Malt Scotch
Bruichladdich Octomore Scottish Barley Edition 07.1 Aged 5 Years Single Malt Scotch 700ml Bottle
$184.991 buying option
Committee Reserve 21 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ardbeg Committee Reserve 21 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky 700ml Bottle
$950.002 buying options
Still Young Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ardbeg Still Young Single Malt Scotch Whisky 700ml Bottle
$499.002 buying options
25 Year Old XXV Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Bunnahabhain 25 Year Old XXV Single Malt Scotch Whisky 700ml Bottle
$419.993 buying options
Almost There Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ardbeg Almost There Single Malt Scotch Whisky 700ml Bottle
$450.001 buying option
Select Cask Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Laphroaig Select Cask Single Malt Scotch Whisky 700ml Bottle
$73.959 buying options
Perpetuum The Ultimate Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ardbeg Perpetuum The Ultimate Single Malt Scotch Whisky 700ml Bottle
$275.001 buying option
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
$110.001 buying option
The Classic Laddie Scottish Barley Edition_01 Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Bruichladdich The Classic Laddie Scottish Barley Edition_01 Single Malt Scotch Whisky 700ml Bottle
$89.7011 buying options
14th Release 35 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Port Ellen 14th Release 35 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky 700ml Bottle
$4,070.001 buying option
Islay Barley Rockside Farm Unpeated Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Bruichladdich Islay Barley Rockside Farm Unpeated Single Malt Scotch Whisky 700ml Bottle
$109.991 buying option
200 Years of Laphroaig Limited Edition 15 Year Scotch
Laphroaig 200 Years of Laphroaig Limited Edition 15 Year Scotch 700ml Bottle
$189.991 buying option
Brodir Port Wood Finish Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Laphroaig Brodir Port Wood Finish Single Malt Scotch Whisky 700ml Bottle
$179.952 buying options
Sanaig Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Kilchoman Sanaig Single Malt Scotch Whisky 700ml Bottle
$101.997 buying options
Triple Wood Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Laphroaig Triple Wood Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$129.991 buying option
Old Particular Bowmore 15 Year Old Single Cask Single Malt Scotch
Douglas Laings Old Particular Bowmore 15 Year Old Single Cask Single Malt Scotch 700ml Bottle
$299.001 buying option
12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Caol Ila 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky 700ml Bottle
$97.902 buying options
Port Cask Matured Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Kilchoman Port Cask Matured Single Malt Scotch Whisky 700ml Bottle
$185.001 buying option
17 Years Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ardbeg 17 Years Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky 700ml Bottle
$799.001 buying option
Port Charlotte IBHP Islay Barley Heavily Peated Single Malt Scotch
Bruichladdich Port Charlotte IBHP Islay Barley Heavily Peated Single Malt Scotch 700ml Bottle
$109.002 buying options
Small Batch Reserve Bourbon Cask Matured Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Bowmore Small Batch Reserve Bourbon Cask Matured Single Malt Scotch Whisky 700ml Bottle
$74.992 buying options
Port Charlotte SBHP Scottish Barley Heavily Peated Single Malt Scotch
Bruichladdich Port Charlotte SBHP Scottish Barley Heavily Peated Single Malt Scotch 700ml Bottle
$99.004 buying options
Old Reserve Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Finlaggan Old Reserve Single Malt Scotch Whisky 700ml Bottle
$90.001 buying option
Port Ellen Cask Selection 24 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
The John Milroy Port Ellen Cask Selection 24 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky 700ml Bottle
$2,500.001 buying option
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
$1,499.003 buying options
25 Year Old Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Laphroaig 25 Year Old Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky 700ml Bottle
$700.001 buying option
Dark Cove 93 proof Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ardbeg Dark Cove 93 proof Single Malt Scotch Whisky 700ml Bottle
$269.003 buying options
Loch Gorm Sherry Cask Matured Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Kilchoman Loch Gorm Sherry Cask Matured Single Malt Scotch Whisky 700ml Bottle
$134.993 buying options
Original Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Kilchoman Original Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky 700ml Bottle
$169.991 buying option
Quarter Cask Double Cask Matured Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Laphroaig Quarter Cask Double Cask Matured Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$99.992 buying options
Vintage Release Single Bourbon Cask Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Kilchoman Vintage Release Single Bourbon Cask Single Malt Scotch Whisky 700ml Bottle
$135.991 buying option
Rare Old Port Ellen Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Gordon & MacPhail Rare Old Port Ellen Single Malt Scotch Whisky 700ml Bottle
$1,900.001 buying option
Bowmore 13 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Cadenheads Bowmore 13 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky 700ml Bottle
$365.001 buying option
Saligo Bay Single Malt Scotch WhiskY
Kilchoman Saligo Bay Single Malt Scotch WhiskY 700ml Bottle
$119.951 buying option
Machir Bay Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Kilchoman Machir Bay Single Malt Scotch Whisky 700ml Bottle
$93.4910 buying options
15th Release 32 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Port Ellen 15th Release 32 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky 700ml Bottle
$4,900.001 buying option
Twenty Something 23 Year Old Committee Release Single Malt Scotch
Ardbeg Twenty Something 23 Year Old Committee Release Single Malt Scotch 700ml Bottle
$895.003 buying options
25 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Caol Ila 25 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky 700ml Bottle
$299.992 buying options
18 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Laphroaig 18 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky 700ml Bottle
$299.001 buying option
Octomore Edition 07.3 169 Scottish Barley Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Bruichladdich Octomore Edition 07.3 169 Scottish Barley Single Malt Scotch Whisky 700ml Bottle
$269.993 buying options
Uigeadail Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ardbeg Uigeadail Single Malt Scotch Whisky 700ml Bottle
$139.007 buying options
An Oa Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ardbeg An Oa Single Malt Scotch Whisky 700ml Bottle
$109.9915 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 700ml Bottle
$101.998 buying options
Blended Malt Scotch Whisky
Smokey Joe Blended Malt Scotch Whisky 700ml Bottle
$84.951 buying option
25 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Lagavulin 25 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky 700ml Bottle
$1,498.991 buying option
Port Charlotte Heavily Peated 10 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Bruichladdich Port Charlotte Heavily Peated 10 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky 700ml Bottle
$114.991 buying option
Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Finlaggan Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky 700ml Bottle
$115.002 buying options
16th Release 37 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Port Ellen 16th Release 37 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky 700ml Bottle
$5,000.001 buying option
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