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Islay whisky is Scotch whisky made on Islay ((pronounced /ˈaɪlə/; eye-luh)or Ìle in Gaelic, the southernmost of the Inner Hebridean Islands located off the west coast of Scotland. There are eight active distilleries on the island, as of early 2008, with a ninth being made ready for production. Islay is a centre of "whisky tourism", and hosts a "Festival of Malt and Music" known as Fèis Ìle each year at the end of May, with events and tastings celebrating the cultural heritage of the island.

Styles of Whisky


The whiskies of the distilleries along the southeastern coast of the island, Laphroaig, Lagavulin, and Ardbeg, have the strong peaty character which is considered to be characteristic of the Islay malts, and is ascribed both to the water from which the whisky is made and to the peating levels of the barley. Many describe this as a “medicinal” flavour. They also possess notes of iodine, seaweed and salt. Caol Ila, on the northern side of the island, across from Jura, produces a strongly peated whisky as well.

The other distilleries on the island make whisky in a variety of styles. Bunnahabhain and Bruichladdich make much lighter whiskies which are generally lightly peated, though Bruichladdich also produces several heavily peated products. Bowmore produces a whisky which is well balanced, using a medium-strong peating level (25ppm) but also using sherry-cask maturation. The newest distillery, Kilchoman, started production in 2006. In location it is unlike the other seven distilleries, which are all by the sea.

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Spirits, Whisky, Scotch Whisky, Islay Scotch

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review by . November 09, 2011
Not my favorite but others in my family disagree - Laphroaig
I love scotch.  So even if its not my favorite that does not mean I do not like it.  Laphroaig from the Islay region of Scotland is not one of my favorites, but it is still one that I will gladly accept if offfered to me.  Its one of the peaty scotches.  My partner Mark loves peat.  The smokier the better for him.  He says if it smells like band aid its a great scotch.  And you can smell the peat and the iodine band aid scent in Laphroaig.   Its has beautiful …
review by . August 20, 2010
Certainly the best of Islay single malts
Lagavulin™ is my favorite single malt scotch!!!  I came to this much sought-after single malt through many years of drinking blended scotch whiskeys like Johnnie Walker Black.  However, I warn you, one has to work their way up to this very bold smoky taste.  Among single malt scotch aficionados, Lagavulin™ is the “gold standard” of single malts with its massive peat-smoke flavor that's typical of southern Islay - but also offering a dryness that turns …
Quick Tip by . March 10, 2010
Iodine, peat and seaweed brine. Most Islays take a little getting used to. Bruichladdies tend to be my faves!
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Islay Scottish Whisky
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