Silver - SF Spirits Competition. If you’re in the south and want to venture away from bourbon, try your weekly barbecue with an Islay instead! (No "e" since much of the trade was learned in Scotland.). A sea spray cut with nut toffee and honeyed, smoky malt. If you’re looking for peat, this is the way to go! This is a sample from the Bruichladdich distillery is exactly what it says: heavily peated. These might be a good choice if you want to ease into Islay. Nose water: The peat and smoke mellow out to a stronger fruit, sweet caramel note with a tinge of burnt marshmallow. Firm and Robust. This is a blend of whiskies from all over, focuses on the peat and smokey flavors they bring to a mix. The distillery is producing and had its opening ceremony on April 12th. Famous the world over for its whisky, this 'whisky isle' is also home to miles of empty beaches and spectacular cliffs. The selections are aged in wine casks and tend to be highly sweet and fruity, more like a Speyside. Balanced with characteristically smoky notes. During the peating process the barley absorbs the distinct Islay … Reopened and now owned by Glenmorangie. All of these ingredients are found on … As much of the island is covered in deep peat bogs, Islay … Produced at the Bowmore distillery. Southern distilleries tend to be very heavy on peat. It would be foolish indeed to not include one of our favorite single malts … Add some water or ice to smooth it out! Bottles will be available to the public soon. They are powerful and strong, but more like Highland malts than Islay. Each distillery has unique elements they add or specific processes they follow in each of these steps that distinguish their final product from anyone else’s! Scotland, Islay & Islands. One of the distilleries in the north. And whisky distillation has been a part of Islay’s history for over 500 years. This is a blended malt whisky. Scotland, Islay & Islands. Scotland. Hamilton's Isles Blended Malt Scotch Blended Scotch | 750ml | Islay & Islands | Same-Day Delivery Available | Curbside Pickup offered in the majority of stores, Scotland- Islay Gold Lorcan is a single malt scotch with a very intense and complex taste consisting of peat and rich citrus. The first written references come from St. Columba who set foot on … The finish is long with hints of driftwood, more smoke and sweet vanilla. If I had to sum up the essence of Islay in a glass, I'd likely pour a dram of … Gold Medal SF Spirits Competition. Eagle Rare vs Buffalo Trace : Which Is Better? Scotland, Islay & Islands. Lagavulin 16 the first peated scotch I tried and to this day it is still one of my favorites. You can’t get a more Islay-flavored bottle! Palate water: The alcohol has even furthered mellowed out, stronger caramel notes, the peat has become just a faint memory of a campfire, Nose: Cherries, orange, strong peat, and grill smoke, Palate no water: Honey that instantly dissolves into smoked meat and bacon fat. One of the strongest Islay scotches, almost always aged to at least 10 years. No chill-filtration and no extra coloring, which is new for this distillery and adds a thicker and more oily texture.. And definitely a move upward. White the specific distilleries used in Smokey Joe are a secret, general consensus holds it’s probably Bowmore and Laphroaig. Most interesting thing on the market right now: Japanese whisky! Perhaps even more important, Islay is the only place that can produce scotch like these. It has a remarkably low level of peat, almost undetectable in some bottles. Bowmore started in 1771 and is the oldest distillery on the island. This blend has no grain element at all, just pure malt. Their scotches are known for their peat and maritime flavors that set them apart as the gem of all scotch! Scotland. But pleasingly blended! 10 YR Scotch Single Malt by Islay Gold | 750ml | Scotland | Curbside Pickup offered in the majority of stores, Islay and Islands, Scotland - Medium bodied aroma and powerful yet complex depth of flavor. Welcome to Islay Whisky Tours and Bowmore Taxi Service. Talisker is the only operating distillery on the Island of Skye. Nose water: Cream notes emerge, ripe pear, creamed honey, full rounded ripe orchard fruits. Scotland, Islay & Islands. Fireball Whisky Review + The Best Fireball Cocktails for Every Season. All coming together to form a balanced spirit for your pleasure. The deep rich caramel notes blend so divinely with the Islay peat and salt. However, Ardberg tends to be one of the peatiest whiskies, so if you’re going to start, go with the 10 years! Lorcan Scotch Single Malt by Islay Gold | 750ml | Scotland | Curbside Pickup offered in the majority of stores, Islay, Scotland- Specially chosen to highlight this areaâs unique flavors in scotch making. Scotland. The smell of peaty smoke being discharged from an Islay distillery is so unique that one’s entire perspective on Scotch … Though it was a hard choice, Lagavulin 16 Year was at the top of my list. Definitely one of the top beginner peats on the market. To officially be recognized as scotch you must have three components: Must be distilled in Scotland; Must be aged for a minimum of 3 years; Must be aged in oak barrels. Perfect for the “peat head” looking for the next “peat monster.” Laphroaig distillery is an iconic Islay single malt Scotch … Smoked meats like venison or even salmon also go well. The distilled liquors are then blended and place in barrels to age. In fact, it is these very characteristics that make Islay the gem of the single malt regions and producer of some of the finest scotches in the world. Supposedly production begins in 2020. These have strong alcohol content but are a bit creamier in texture. My first job in NYC was hosting several fine-dining establishments where I learned everything I could from bartenders and mixologists. Palate water: Strong evergreen, pine, coniferous forests, a mid-winter vacation-vibe. The obvious answer is it is scotch made on the island of Islay. Peat was first used as fuel for fires and heating. Islay Scotch Single Malt by Shieldaig | 750ml | Islay & Islands | Curbside Pickup offered in the majority of stores, Islay, Scotland - A peaty, smoky scotch whisky produced on the island of Islay off the west coast of Scotland. The ferry crossing is around two hours which allows for some beautiful views of the islands of Gigha, Jura, and Islay as well as the area surrounding West Loch Tarbert. Plans have been submitted, but nothing has been confirmed as yet. If you have had enough scotch before-hand, you’ll hardly even notice the peat. One of the whisky capitals of the world, the island of Islay off Scotland's west coast generates a lot of buzz among the geek community. A good way to get lots of peat at a lower price. But generally speaking Islay scotch … Green Isle is a smoky blended Scotch whisky featuring a core of Islay malt, alongside Speyside malt and Lowland grain whiskies chosen to complement the aforementioned Islay spirit. This Blended Malt has all the characteristics that are synonymous to Islay Malts … Wild Turkey Decades Review – Is This The Bourbon You’re Looking For? But they do pair well with very dark chocolate if you want to satisfy your sweet tooth! Nose water: Stronger mint and evergreen notes, wet earth and moss, licorice and tobacco are much more evident. Yes and no. Rich amber color with engaging smoke mixed with refined marine and citrus notes. Cut from Islay’s many ocean-soaked peat bogs and used to smoke the germinating barley, the unique make-up of Islay peat adds layers of rich, maritime smoky character to the whisky. The peated variety is used in many blends including Jack Daniels and Chivas Regal. Smokey Joe Islay Malt Scotch Whisky Blended Scotch | 750ml | Islay & Islands | Curbside Pickup offered in the majority of stores, Islay, Scotland - A fantastic, southeast Islay expression rich in smoke, peat, seaweed but delightfully balanced with honey and vanilla from 14 years in wood. Additionally, not every single Islay is peated. Islay Distilleries There are currently nine working distilleries on Islay, with two more planned to open in the next couple of years. Scotland. (Talisker 10 is my personal favorite daily sipper.). Exquisite balance of smoke and peppery spice on the palate followed by a lingering peaty finish. Scotland, Islay & Islands. If you’re looking for rankings in more detail, scroll to the bottom! It is milder than the three southern “Kildalton” distilleries, but still contains signature peat and salt. Copyright Whiskey Watch 2021 - A Center Keel Media Company, Kathryn Loveless is a freelance writer for hire who delights in all things delectable. Enjoy neat or with a drop of water. (Still trying to find a bottle of Compass Box No Name if you have any leads...) Newest in my collection: Compass Box Peat Monster and Port Charlotte Islay Single Malt (I love peat if you can't tell.) All coming together to form a balanced spirit for your pleasure. 25 YR Scotch Single Malt by Islay Gold | 750ml | Scotland | Curbside Pickup offered in the majority of stores, Scotland- The original Walker family blend, handcrafted from as many as 40 of the finest Scotch whiskies aged a minimum of 12 years, for a smooth and robust blend. However, the maritime brine and peat subtly added via their water process in have made it famous all over the world! If you are interested in trying a blended Islay, below are a few options! But that’s probably unhealthy so I’ll share it with you. It should be noted that the Port Ellen Malting floor is still operational and supplies malts for a number of distilleries around Islay. Islay Scotch Whisky The small Island of Islay set on Scotlands west coast is often described as the cradle of whisky distilling in the country. The smoke is present and gives a meaty flavor to the dram. Bad news, here, friends. The compound is mixed with seaweed and dried by sea salt spray, adding a salty marine flavor. Johnnie Walker Black Label Scotch Blended Scotch | 1L | Scotland | Curbside Pickup offered in the majority of stores. There is a light medicinal taste mid-palate. Balvenie 17 Doublewood Review: Will You Like It? Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky Islay is best known for its disproportionately high number of distilleries – eight, with more planned – and for a distinctively peaty style of single malt. It would have distilleries, maltings, warehouses, restaurant, and gift shop. Peat: Noticeable, but not overwhelming. The Island of Islay sits just off the west coast of Scotland. Blended whiskies are a combination of different malts and grains. The isle of Islay is covered in peat, which is regularly exposed to rain and sea spray. There is a more in-depth discussion below, but single malt is mostly made from malt produced, distilled and bottled all in one distillery. A gorgeous setting with pristine beaches, … Nose: very medicinal, strong seaweeds, strong alcohol, notes of almond or walnut, tiny hint of apple? Noted for strong peat and very strong iodine. Regarded by many as 'whisky island', Islay (pronounced eye-luh) lies in the Inner Hebrides off the west coast of Scotland. Now that I work in writing and development full-time, I continue my education in classes around the city and explore the newest whiskeys on the market. While most Islay scotch is the recognizable single malt, there are a few blended malt scotches from Islay as well. Simply put, an Islay Scotch is a single malt scotch or blended malt scotch that originates from the island of Islay. Beyond the obvious lurks a surprising diversity of spirit, making the identity of Islay … It is still a strong dram, so don’t expect something very light and airy. While I normally select the 25 years, since this list is for beginners and experts alike, I’d say try the 12. Whisky is one of the few alcohols where the price actually does indicate quality. The combination of salt, seaweed, water, and a mild climate creates a sort of bog. There is ample evidence of the prehistoric settlement of Islay … Their entire process is done on the island, from growing to bottling! Over time the strong peat character gives way to a more subtle oak derived sweetness. Layer after layer of moss and vegetation decay without oxygen and create a black compound. Old bottle versions are considered collectibles. Scotland, Islay & Islands. After drying the malt is combined with water and this mash is fermented. There is plenty of time to relax in … Lagavulin 16 Year Old. With the exception of “Octomore” bottles, all of Bruichladdich’s heavily peated options fall under the “Port Charlotte” brand. Islay is usually associated with peaty single malt whiskies, and it is unsurprising for the three powerhouse distilleries on its south coast, that have become world famous, produce some exceptional peaty single … Nose: Campfire smoke definitely evident, but with a hint of evergreen and mint. If you’re looking for a natural whisky from Bunnahabhain, this is the way to go! These malts were heavily peated, typically to between 40 ppm and 44 ppm phenol, in the classic Islay style. They had a joke "If Kathryn comes to a party, you need a whiskey that's over $40." Simply put, an Islay Scotch is a single malt scotch or blended malt scotch that originates from the island of Islay. Islay Scotch Whisky Pronounced eye-luh, this island has become synonymous with heavily peated and maritime styles of whisky. At only 8 years old, the smoky character from the peated malt remains strong, particularly on the nose. An approachable … One of the three distilleries with its own malting floor. Islay Scotch Single Malt by Creag Isle | 750ml | Islay & Islands | Curbside Pickup offered in the majority of stores, Islay, Scotland - The nose opens with citrus fruit and light smoke and is followed by coastal smoke and creamy oak on the palate. It can be rather hard to find in the US. The whiskies from this distillery are remarkably different and lacking the signature peat of Islay. You’ve likely had their whisky before, though you didn’t know its name. Over the years they have come and gone. Islay is famous for its eight whisky distilleries. Imagine drinking nectar from honeysuckle, that’s exactly what I thought of as I sipped the 18 years Bunnahabhain. One of the last independent distilleries in Scotland and the only one on the Island of Arran. These experiences are best for tours in Islay: 4-Day Islay Whisky Tour from Glasgow; 4 Day Islay Whisky Tour from Edinburgh; The Private Islay Platinum Whisky Tour - Flexible pickups - Scotland Laphroaig Quarter Cask. Islay once had about 23 distilleries operating on its coast. Smooth, delicious, and with something of an earthy mint and green character, it will definitely soften any peat-anxiety you may encounter. They are the largest producer of whisky on the island, though most of it is in blended forms. Scotland. It’s far stronger than any wood-burning smell, but when combined with other flavors, adds a feeling of campfire smoke. 75L | Islay & Islands | Curbside Pickup offered in the majority of stores, Scotland- Islay Gold Orla is a single malt scotch with a very delicious taste of rich cocoa, pepper, and honey. The fermented liquid is drained off into stills to go through first and second distillation. The water that supplies Bunnahabhain flows through limestone to avoid picking up peat. Whilst the islands natural beauty is undeniable, it is the eight … They are very smokey but have a high concentration of pepper and spices. The Isle of Islay in Scotland is recognized for its unique Islay Scotch whisky. Largely fruity with pears and melons and some green notes. Delays in planning have held up this opening. Thus, the beautiful fragrant peated Islay single malts were born. We are a small soap works based on the Hebridean Island of Islay. The Isle of Islay Situated off the west coast of Scotland, the Isle of Islay is known as “The Queen of the Hebrides” and is of course strongly associated with Malt Whisky production. The second of three distilleries with its own malting floor. When they turned to whiskey distillation, Islay distillers used peat to dry out their barley. And maybe a few bonuses we couldn’t leave off! The mild climate allows the grain to mature into a rich fruity flavor. This is one of the peaty-est whiskey options out there. At only 8 years old, the smoky character from the peated malt remains strong, particularly … It will likely become the 10th distillery to open. The issue isn’t beginner vs. expert, it’s more about flavor profiles. But there are a few distilleries that have similar characteristics. The beautiful and has risen to iconic status in the world of whisky. The alcohol here is strong but palatable and warming. Ex-bourbon and sherry barrels. It’s fruity and warm, but lighter than some of the heavier peats. After a deliciously smoky taste-test, we’ve created a ranking of the best Islay whiskies in 2019. Scotland, Islay & Islands. The resulting single malt is sweet and round, with vanilla, dried fruit, and light salty notes. The sherried notes add just enough spice to make it complex. And some that are quite near to Islay that surprisingly don’t! Happy sipping! Vanilla and caramel with hints of the sea are balanced with a peppery catch on the finish. The Islay distilling process is very similar to other scotch locations around the world. On the palate, floral jasmine swirls with a melange of pears, oak and marine tones which give way to a spicy finale. A nice smokey flavor to everything it touches. And whisky distillation has been a part of Islay’s history for over … With plenty of sea air, peat and oak. Peat is often dried and used for fuel. 3200 people. Flavors are classic Islay peat with a bit of sweet honey. There is nowhere quite like Islay in the world. They tend to get a bad rap and aren’t prized as highly as the “pure expression” of single malt. Peat levels in scotch are measured by parts per million (ppm) with some of the most peated containing up to 54 ppm! Aged in ex-bourbon and ex-Olosoro sherry casks, the dram is full of spice and vanilla-flavored cookies. It’s more accessible on the market and is a nice introduction to one of the oldest distillery on Islay. Orla Scotch Single Malt by Islay Gold | 750ml | Scotland | Curbside Pickup offered in the majority of stores, Islay, Scotland - Scotch Whisky from the Islay region. Whisky consists mainly of peat, water, barley and most importantly, it is made by people. Produces several unpeated varieties as well. Learn more about what makes Jura Single Malt Scotch Whisky a long way from ordinary. We are local people based in Bowmore on the Isle of Islay and offer bespoke tours for individuals and small groups visiting Islay and Jura. Nose: Campfire, driftwood, bacon, leather, sea salt, apothecary shop, apple/pear, Palate no water: Salted caramel, alcohol comes in almost as an afterthought, Nose water: Seaweed, Toasted wood, apples, Palate water: Apples, toasted bread, sea spray, Toast, and smoke finish comes in much stronger. Sheep Dip highlights classic Islay notes like peat, salt, and sea minerals. The Port Charlotte malts were for a time produced at Bruichladdich. Nose: Medicinal, sea salt spray, seaweed, honey cream, bread, Palate no water: Sweet honey cream, sea salt sprinkles, sea breeze, Nose water: Apples, honey, orchard fruit, the tiniest hint of salt, Palate water: Light and airy, honey, apple, raisins, salt, the medicinal finish lasts long on the tongue, Peat: Present, but not overwhelming, a hint of smoke in the back, like walking in an orchard. You can find her perfecting a roast chicken recipe, hunting down a new bottle of scotch, or hosting a wine and cheese soirée somewhere in New York. The Isle of Islay is part of the Southern Hebrides and is inhabited by approx. They are ranked according to flavor complexity, smoke-forward characteristics, and general mouth-feel. Islay 14Yr Scotch Single Malt by Shieldaig | 750ml | Islay & Islands | Curbside Pickup offered in the majority of stores, Scotland- Islay Gold 10 Year is an intense and complex single malt scotch with the taste of smoke, mineral, and spices. The true spirit of Islay … The distillery itself is closed, although plans to reopen it were revealed in 2017. Macallan 18 Review: Is It Worth the Price? Dessert…in many ways, you could consider a scotch a dessert itself since they are so flavorful and rich. This is an incredibly strong and peaty blend. Many of the best Scotches have been aged for at least a decade, developing full flavors. Palate no water: Rush of salty, nutty, alcohol is very strong, Palate water: Softer, nuts, and seaweed come to the foreground, medicinal taste in the back palate. Traditionally aged in oak casks each Single Malt Scotch Whisky has been carefully chosen prior to blending and bottling. Below are the best Islay Scotches for 2019 (in my humble opinion of course!) Islays have a strong smokey flavor, so you’re more likely to enjoy them with fatty meats like bacon, brisket, lamb, or ribs. Perfectly situated between North and South, these distilleries have the best of both worlds. Islay … At the mercy of the Atlantic surf and isolated from the mainland, alcohol is not the only spirit here. To understand the smoke flavor, you have to understand that it comes from peat. However, if you’re a beginner trying a peated who hates it, don’t give up! They claim their water is what makes their whisky so unique. Now we get down to the real reason you’re here. 25Yr Islay Scotch Single Malt by Creag Isle | 750ml | Islay & Islands | Curbside Pickup offered in the majority of stores, Islay, Scotland - Traditionally aged in oak casks for a minimum of 33 years. They have one of the widest ranges and varieties produced. Islay is always wet, drenched by rain and swept by sea breezes. Keep in mind, our palates do change and adapt! Famed for creating some of the richest peated Scotches in the world, Islay Scotches are full of peaty smoke and sea spray. Move on to something else you like more (a Speyside might be a nice choice).As you build up an appreciation for scotches, you might find you enjoy a peated whiskey the second time around. The moss and vegetation that covers the island decay and remain wet adding layers on top of each other to create a thick, black muddy substance – peat. (The first scotch I ever tasted was a peated Lagavulin and I fell instantly in love.) The first recorded distillery was Bowmore, founded in 1779; the most recent … But with a resurgence in popularity, Islay is opening around 5 more over the next few years! Many Islay whiskies, especially the unpeated ones, have strong fruit and notes. The initial taste is slightly dry then builds in sweetness as layers of light fruit, delicate blossom and sweet smoke unfold. Wonderful to the core. The Scottish island of Islay is the home of eight world famous whisky distilleries. This is true to some extent. There is evidence to suggest there was illegal distilling on this site as far back as 1742! Silver Medal - San Francisco Spirits Competition. It is definitely a new take on the classic! But now, let’s all get (re)acquainted with the other scotch islands, beyond Islay. (Port Charlotte is an old, no-longer-operating distillery on Islay’s coast.) Recently was bought by Remy Cointreau and they unveiled plans to rebuild the Port Charlotte distillery under the Bruichladdich leadership. (For example, Laphroaig flavors their barley with smoking peat for 17 hours, then uses hot air for another 19 hours to fully dry it.). Officially the newest distillery on Islay. Islay is one of the major regions of Scotland, and one of the largest producers of single malt scotch in the world.No matter what you try or where you travel, you’ll never find anywhere quite like Islay with its storm-swept coasts and mild climate. Nose: Toffee, apples, leather, medicinal background, Palate no water: Medicinal, Leather, salt, spices for a kick, fall leaves, oak finish, Nose water: Medicine hint upfront, Apple Leather, old book, Toffee, smoked wood, Palate water: Apple juice with hot spices, Leather, Old paper and toasted wood finish, Peat: Strong, but blends nicely with the spices and apple, a fall festival, Nose: Honey, plumbs, caramel, no peat noticeable, Palate no water: Honey, burnt caramel notes, toasted wood, some smoke in the back palate with touches of salt, generally smooth and sweet, but warming going down. The distilleries involved are a secret, but we do know that at least two of them are from Islay! Caol Ila also uses their whisky in a number of blended whiskies (different from blended malt whiskies) that are sold around the world. Just to the northeast of Islay lies the Island of Jura. Less medicinal quality with more moss and nuts. The specific peat characteristics can vary from distillery to distillery as their production methods differ. Elements of chocolate, bacon, and toasted wood deepen the flavor.. A really excellent blend that is almost reminiscent of a Talisker Storm. The northern distilleries are milder, colder temperatures reduce fruitiness and they use lightly peated barley. Islay Malt 16 Yr Scotch Single Malt by Battlehill | 750ml | Islay & Islands | Same-Day Delivery Available | Curbside Pickup offered in the majority of stores, Scotland- Islay Gold 25 Year is an intense and complex single malt scotch with the taste of smoke, plum, and peat with a long finish. The Best Islay Scotch Ranked: The Smoky Jewel of Scotch! They produce medium-bodied whiskies, and since they are right near the southern coast, most have heavy iodine or salt flavor. Scotland, Islay & Islands. So delicious I could just buy a bottle and hide it in a cupboard for myself. They are also planning two copper stills and are using some of the old buildings at Ardanhoe. These are a combination of different malts from different distilleries. Wine Enthusiast - Top 100 Spirits for 2017. Glenlivet 12 vs Glenmorangie 10: Which Will You Love More?