Situated at the southernmost point of the beautiful Scottish Hebridean Islands, Islay is a single malt scotch whisky region of true character, history and distinction. With a history of whisky production which stretches back to the thirteenth century, Islay whiskies today are all about authenticity and expressing the unique character of this stunning, windswept island. While there have been dozens of distilleries on the island throughout the ages, today there are just eight, and each have their own interpretation of the classic Islay style.
This whisky region is one of only five in the British Isles which benefits from legal protection, meaning the distinctive characteristics of Islay single malts can continue to be made in a time honoured fashion for future generations to enjoy. This also means that traditions can be upheld, modern methods and short-cuts are kept at the door. Partly because of this reverence for doing things the old-fashioned way, Islay has become a major port of call in whisky tourism, something which has boosted the fortunes of the island in recent years.
The main feature of Islay single malt whisky is its extraordinary smokiness and peatiness - indeed, the whisky is produced by malting the barley over burning peat, which infuses the whisky with powerful flavors known as phenols. The whiskies of Islay also have a distinctly briney note about them, too, reflecting the island’s close and tempestuous relationship with the stormy North Sea.