The Islay Connection (part1)
A new serie of Islay whiskies presented in a beatiful wooden box painted in black. Our intention is to make more Islay 'Connections' so you can taste all the different whiskies from Islay.
1. Celp the seaweed experience
2. Caol Ila 12 YO
3. Caol Ila 18 YO
4. Caol Ila Natural CS
5. Lagavullin 12 YO CS
6. Lagavullin 16 YO
7. Port Askaig 17 YO
8. Ardbeg Blasda
9. Ardbeg Corryvreckan
10. Bunnahabhain Toiteach
11. Octomore 02.2 Orpheus
12. Octomore 03.1 Ochdamh-mòr
THE WHISKY KIT* ‘TIC’ 1
You will find a fine selection of whisky of the most famous Islay distilleries. With this selection of 12 is a small choice of all the Islay whiskies there are available.
Islay Peat and Water
Islay is very largely composed of peat. The water on Islay is brown, even the water in the burns is brown. Winter gales drive salt spray far inland, and this saturates the peat, which is dried again by the briny, seaweedy breeze. All these characteristics go into the whiskies of Islay, to a greater or lesser extent.
There are eight distilleries on the island, all coastal and battered by salt-winds, except for the new Kilchoman Distillery. Among their products are the strongest flavoured of all malt whiskies, a property which endears them to some and disgusts others. Most of the maltings, used for the production of whisky on Islay, is done at Port Ellen Maltings according to the specific specs (peat level) of each distillery.
The southern distilleries - Ardbeg, Laphroaig, Lagavulin and Port Ellen (the latter was closed in 1983) - are the most powerful, producing medium-bodied whiskies, saturated with peat-smoke, brine and iodine. Not only do these distilleries use heavily peated malt (54 ppm at Ardbeg, 40 ppm at Laphroaig), they use the island’s brown water for every stage of production. Until they were closed in the early 1980s, Ardbeg had its own floor maltings and used to steep the barley in the same water.
The northern Islay distilleries - Bruichladdich (the ‘ch’ is silent) and Bunnahabhain (‘Boona-hah-ven’) are, by contrast, much milder. These draw their water direct from the spring, before it has had contact with peat, and use lightly or un-peated barley. The resulting whiskies are lighter flavoured, mossy (rather than peaty), with some seaweed, some nuts, but still the dry finish.
Bowmore Distillery, in the middle of the island on the shore of Loch Indaal, stands between the two extremes - peaty but not medicinal, with some toffee, some floral scents, and traces of linseed oil. Caol Ila (‘Cal-eela’), although close to Bunnahabhain, produces a delicate, greenish malt, with some peat/iodine/salt balanced by floral notes and a peppery finish.
Kilchoman: A Farm Distillery
Kilchoman (pronounced kilhoman) is a Farm Distillery and the first to be built on Islay for 124 years. It is the 8th distillery on the Island and opened in 2004. The whole production process is done on Islay including growing their own Barley on the Island. The location of the distillery is near Loch Gorm and only 500 metres (as the crow flies) from Machir bay on the Atlantic Ocean. The perfect ingredients for another great Islay Malt.
*’TIC’ The Islay Connection part one