Islay whisky is Scotch whisky made on Islay (ˈlə/ eye-lə) 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 Whiskey

The whiskies of the dis­til­leries along the south­east­ern coast of the is­land, LaphroaigLa­gavulin, and Ard­beg, have a smoky char­ac­ter de­rived from peat, con­sid­ered a cen­tral char­ac­ter­is­tic of the Islay malts, and 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.[1] 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 late 2005. In lo­ca­tion it is un­like the other seven dis­til­leries, which are all by the sea.

Source: Wikipedia

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