Islay

BIG PEAT

But what exactly is a Vatted Malt? It is what the Scotch Whisky industry has traditionally called “a marriage of Malts”. Big Peat contains Malt Whisky ONLY from the island of Islay – some say it’s the ultimate taste of Islay!

Big Peat is a feisty Islay character has a sweet side too – ‘he’ carries a big peaty (“phenolic”), beachy, oceanic, rather ashy selection of malts only from the island of Islay. We do not chill filter – we prefer a more old fashioned traditional approach – so you will detect a massive amplification of sea-faring qualities on the nose, palate, and finish…

Nose:  Opens fresh, salty and clean – developing to malted barley dried over peat – with a damp earthy character

Palate: Ashes, sweet tar, beaches and smoking chimneys

Finish: Long and lingering, it replicates the palate with salty, tangy liquorice, smoke, bonfire ashes – being foremost: PHENOLIC

http://www.bigpeat.co.uk/aboutbigpeat.html

BOWMORE

The distillery, which lies on the South Eastern shore of Loch Indaal, is one of the oldest in Scotland and is said to have been established in 1779. The distillery is owned by Morrison Bowmore Distillers Ltd, a holding company owned by Japanese drinks company Suntory. Morrison Bowmore also own the Auchentoshan and Glen Garioch distilleries and produce the McClelland’s Single Malt range of bottlings

The Bowmore Distillery was established in 1779 by a local merchant, John P. Simpson, before passing into the ownership of the Mutter family, a family of German descent. James Mutter, head of the family, also had farming interests and was Vice Consul representing the Ottoman Empire, Portugal, and Brazil through their Glasgow consulate.s There are no records that pinpoint the date Mutter acquired the distillery from Simpson. Mutter would introduce a number of innovative processes to the distillery during his tenure and even had a small iron steam ship built to import barley and coal from the mainland and to export the whisky to Glasgow. A bottle of 1850 Bowmore Single Malt was sold at an auction in September 2007 for £29,400.

The distillery was bought from the Mutter family in 1925 by J.B. Sheriff & Co. and remained under their ownership until being purchased by Inverness-based William Grigor & Son, Ltd. in 1950.

During the World Wars the Bowmore Distillery halted production, and hosted the RAF Coastal Command for much of World War II, Coastal Command operated flying boats from Loch Indaal on Anti-submarine warfare missions.

Stanley P. Morrison and James Howat formed Stanley P. Morrison Ltd. in 1951, and this company formed Morrison’s Bowmore Distillery, Ltd. in 1963 in order to take over the Bowmore Distillery. Stanley P. Morrison died in 1971, and control of the companies passed to Brian Morrison. The company name has changed slightly, and, following minor restructuring, the distillery is now owned by Morrison Bowmore Distillers Ltd., which is ultimately owned by the Japanese distiller Suntory, following their takeover of Morrison Bowmore Distillers Ltd. during 1994. Suntory had previously been a shareholder in Morrison Bowmore for several years.

Bowmore Distillery sources as much barley as possible from on the island of Islay, but there are insufficient quantities produced to satisfy the distillery’s demand, so barley is also imported from the mainland. The distillery retains a traditional floor malting, but this also lacks sufficient capacity; the barley imported from the mainland is normally already malted.

The distillery has an annual capacity of 2,000,000 litres, with fermentation undertaken in traditional wooden washbacks before the liquid is passed through two wash stills and then through two spirit stills.

The waste heat from the distillation process goes to heat a nearby public swimming pool that was built in one of the distillery’s former warehouses.

Morrison Bowmore bottles all whisky produced at Bowmore Distillery and their other distilleries at a facility in Springburn, Glasgokw.

http://www.bowmore.com/

BUNNAHABHAIN

The Bunnahabhain Distillery was founded in 1881 near Port Askaig on Islay. The village of Bunnahabhain was founded to house its workers. The distillery is owned by CL Financial.

The Bunnahabhain is one of the milder single malt Islay whiskies available and its taste varies greatly from other spirits to be found on the island of Islay, off the west coast of Scotland

http://bunnahabhain.com/

CAOL ILA

Pronounced ‘cull-eela’, the distillery is situated on the North Eastern shores of Islay, with magnificent views across the Sound of Islay to the spectacular Paps of Jura. Watch the distillers at work tending to the six copper stills.

Islay’s hidden gem, nestled down at the sleepy bay of Caol Ila lies the islands biggest distillery. Like all of Islay’s distilleries Caol Ila is surrounded in some if Scotland’s most beautiful scenery. Sitting on the edge of the sound of Islay, Caol Ila stands tall and proud alongside the fast flowing water separating Islay from Jura making it one of the most picture perfect settings for a distillery.

Caol Ila is Islay’s giant, producing more than double the spirit of the other distilleries on the island. Purpose built to produce over 7 million litres of spirit each year, Caol Ila distillery allows visitors to see large scale whisky production at its best. Don’t let the size fool you though, the passion of the people at the distillery ensures that all 7 million litres contains the same fresh, light smokiness typical of the Caol Ila 12 year old. Much of its large scale production is used to keep some of the world’s most famous and enjoyed blends in steady supply.

With a larger range available than her sister distillery Lagavulin, Caol Ila offers a variety of different expressions to suite the different tastes including a delightedly sweet unpeated Stitchell release which shows that even without the Islay peat Caol Ila would be an outstanding malt.

http://www.discovering-distilleries.com/caolila/malts.php

KILCHOMAN

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Established in 2005, Kilchoman (pronounced Kilhoman) is one of the smallest distilleries in Scotland.  Based on a farm on the rugged west coast of Islay, Kilchoman is the first distillery to be built on the Island for 125 years.  Kilchoman gives everyone the chance to see what is best about the grass-roots traditions of malt distilling.

As well as being one of only a handful of distilleries still practicing floor malting, we also grow our own barley at the distillery, completing all parts of the production process at the distillery – from barley to bottling.

http://kilchomandistillery.com/

LAGAVULIN

Since 1816, Lagavulin Single Malt Scotch Whisky has been made in a picturesque huddle of buildings on Lagavulin Bay. Perhaps the most beautifully situated of distilleries, Lagavulin makes arguably the most intensely flavoured, smoky and rich whisky of all. For many, this is the definitive Islay malt

Above all, Islay means peat. Miles and miles of peat bog in the west of the island provide the raw material whose influence so characterises the south eastern Islay malts, of which Lagavulin is perhaps best known. The rich peaty water of Lagavulin runs down the brown burn to the distillery from the Solan Lochs in the hills above the distillery.

There’s nothing rushed about Islay, nor is there about Lagavulin™; before being bottled, the malt spends sixteen unhurried years maturing in oak casks, the longest maturation period for any of the Classic Malts offerings.

Long fermentation, long distillation and long maturation together ensure that Lagavulin develops all of its long, rich, peaty character. It’s is a spirit that likes to take its time. The definitive Islay malt demands nothing less.

http://www.malts.com/index.php/en_gb/OurWhiskies/Lagavulin/Introduction

LAPHROAIG

It is named for the area of land at the head of Loch Laphroaig on the south coast of the Isle of Islay. The meaning of the toponym is unknown but a commonly suggested derivation implies the elements “lag” (Gaelic: hollow), “breid” (Norse: broad) and “vik” (Norse: bay), implying an original Gaelic form something like “Lag Bhròdhaig” (the hollow of Broadbay). The name may be related to a placename on the east coast of Islay, “Pròaig”, again suggested as meaning “broad bay”. The distillery and brand are owned and operated by Beam Suntory, the American subsidiary of Japan’s Suntory Holdings.

The Laphroaig distillery was established in 1815 by Donald and Alexander Johnston. The Johnstons who founded Laphroaig were from the Clan Donald and are likely to be from the MacIain of Ardnamurchan branch of the clan. The family anglicized their name to Johnston. The last member of the Johnston family to run the distillery was Ian Hunter, a nephew of Sandy Johnston, who died childless in 1954 and left the distillery to one of his managers, Bessie Williamson.

The distillery was sold to Long John International in the 1960s, and subsequently became part of Allied Domecq. The brand was in turn acquired by Fortune Brands in 2005, as one of the brands divested by Pernod Ricard in order to obtain regulatory approval for its takeover of Allied Domecq. Fortune Brands then split up its business product lines in 2011, forming its spirits business into Beam Inc. Beam was then purchased by Suntory Holdings in April 2014.

Laphroaig has been the only whisky to carry the Royal Warrant of the Prince of Wales, which was awarded in person during a visit to the distillery in 1994. The 15-year-old was reportedly the prince’s favourite Scotch whisky

Laphroaig calls itself one of the most strongly flavoured of all Scotch whiskies, and is most frequently aged to 10 years, although the 15- (now discontinued) and 18-year-old varieties are common (the 27-, 30- and 40-year-olds are rare and expensive). The whisky has a peaty/smokey flavour.

The Laphroaig Quarter Cask was introduced in 2004. This expression is aged in smaller casks and is not chill filtered. Due to the smaller barrels used, the oak surface contact is 30% greater than with standard barrels. The company describes the effect of this as “creating a soft and velvety edge”. The Quarter Cask is bottled at 48% ABV (96 proof). The standard bearer 10-year-old bottling is bottled at 43% ABV.

http://www.laphroaig.com/distillery/

PORT ASKAIG

The single malts of Islay are arguably Scotland ‘s most talked about whiskies and are recognised for their sweet, fruity flavours and smoky, peaty character. Port Askaig is a range of single Islay malt Scotch whiskies that achieves the perfect balance of these flavours and embodies the unique spirit of Islay and its people.


The range has been developed to appeal to the novice whisky drinker while meeting the demands of the most discerning of whisky connoisseurs. In selecting the source distillery, we chose what we believe is the most perfectly balanced Islay single malt and created a range that, in time, will become recognised as a true Islay classic

http://www.portaskaig.com/port_askaig.html