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Top 9 Islay Whisky Brands to Drink

Someone holds a bottle of 16 years aged Lagavulin single malt whisky at the Lagavulin whisky distillery with old oak cask on the background.

Welcome to the captivating world of Islay whiskies, known for their distinctive smoky, peaty flavors. Whether you’re a seasoned whisky connoisseur or a curious enthusiast, exploring the best Islay whiskies promises a journey of rich, complex flavors. From the warmth of the peat to the depth of flavors, the best Islay whiskies offer a unique experience that can captivate anyone seeking to delve into the world of whisky. Whether for sipping and savoring or for sharing with fellow aficionados, these whiskies are sure to leave a lasting impression. Cheers to the peaty pleasures!

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Lagavulin 16 Year Old Whisky

Lagavulin 16 Year Old Whisky
source: masterofmalt.com

Embodied in the essence of Islay’s finest, Lagavulin 16 Year Old Whisky stands as a pinnacle of peaty delight.  Distilled with time-honored traditions on the shores of this legendary Scottish isle, its deep, smoky character and rich complexity beckon seasoned enthusiasts and newcomers alike.  With each sip, one embarks on a sensory voyage, discovering the soul of Islay in this esteemed expression, making it a must-try for any whisky aficionado seeking the epitome of Islay’s allure.


Laphroaig 10 Year Old Sherry Oak Finish

Laphroaig 10 Year Old Sherry Oak Finish
source: laphroaig.com

Unveiling a harmonious marriage of tradition and innovation, Laphroaig 10 Year Old Sherry Oak  Finish pays homage to Islay’s time-honored legacy while embracing a touch of modern sophistication.  Aged to perfection for a decade, this distinguished whisky is then graced with a sherry oak finish, infusing it with intriguing layers of sweetness and complexity.  Embodied in the spirit of Islay, this expression offers a unique and delightful twist, appealing to whisky connoisseurs eager to explore the evolving landscape of Islay’s renowned distilleries.

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Ardbeg Uigeadail

Ardbeg Uigeadail
source: ardbeg.com

Introducing Ardbeg Uigeadail, a captivating expression that embodies the very essence of Islay’s mystique.  A symphony of smoky, peaty notes harmoniously intertwines with luscious flavors of dark chocolate, dried fruits, and a subtle sweetness from its sherry cask maturation.  Best enjoyed neat or with a splash of water, Ardbeg Uigeadail invites enthusiasts to explore the depths of Islay’s rugged character, leaving a lasting impression of boldness and sophistication.  The allure lies in its unrivaled intensity and the mesmerizing fusion of flavors, making it an absolute favorite in the realm of Islay whiskies.


Kilchoman Machir Bay

Kilchoman Machir Bay
source: kilchomandistillery.com

Kilchoman Machir Bay, a true Islay gem, artfully balances its ingredients to create an exceptional whisky experience.  The rich malted barley, grown and malted on the distillery’s own farm, forms the heart of this expression, bestowing a distinctive sweetness and depth.  Combined with peat smoke, it exudes the island’s signature smokiness, while the maturation in ex-bourbon and sherry casks imparts a delightful complexity of vanilla, tropical fruit, and spice.  Indulge in Kilchoman Machir Bay and embark on a journey through Islay’s finest flavors, leaving your taste buds craving for more.


Caol Ila 18 Year Old

Caol Ila 18 Year Old
source: masterofmalt.com

Caol Ila 18 Year Old, a beloved Islay single malt, entices with its refined flavors derived from the perfect blend of ingredients and aging process. The malted barley contributes a smooth and malty base, while the peat smoke subtly weaves through, adding an alluring smoky character.  Matured for 18 years, this expression boasts a remarkable complexity of maritime notes, citrusy zest, and a delicate sweetness, culminating in a harmonious symphony on the palate.  Its popularity is earned through its masterful craftsmanship, embodying the soul of Islay in a way that captivates whisky enthusiasts worldwide.

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Bowmore 18 Year Old

Bowmore 18 Year Old
source: bowmore.com

Bowmore 18 Year Old, a distinguished Islay whisky, offers a delightfully straightforward serving experience that caters to all palates.  Its rich flavors of dark chocolate, tropical fruits, and gentle peat are expertly balanced, making it approachable for both seasoned connoisseurs and newcomers to Islay whiskies.  To enjoy this exquisite dram, simply pour it neat into a whisky glass, allowing its complexities to unfold with each sip.  Whether you’re a whisky aficionado or a curious newcomer, Bowmore 18 Year Old promises a memorable and accessible journey into the world of Islay’s finest.


Port Charlotte Islay Barley

Port Charlotte Islay Barley
source: bruichladdich.com

Port Charlotte Islay Barley, a true whisky marvel, tantalizes with its bold and complex flavor profile.  This exceptional single malt is crafted from barley grown exclusively on Islay, lending a unique coastal charm to the spirit.  Embrace the rich, peaty essence that seamlessly intertwines with nuances of citrus, vanilla, and butterscotch, creating a symphony of tastes that dance on the palate. Embark on a journey to the wild heart of Islay with Port Charlotte Islay Barley, where the untamed elements converge to create an exceptional whisky experience.


Bunnahabhain 18 Year

Bunnahabhain 18 Year
Source bunnahabhain.com

Introducing Bunnahabhain 18 Year, a pinnacle of Islay whiskies celebrated for its refined taste and timeless elegance.  This distinguished single malt delights the palate with a harmonious blend of sherry oak and gentle peat smoke, unveiling luscious notes of dried fruits, toffee, and a hint of coastal brine, all gracefully mingling in perfect harmony. Whether shared amongst friends or savored in solitude, this exquisite whisky invites you to relish the essence of Islay’s coastal beauty. Raise a glass and embrace the allure of Bunnahabhain 18 Year, a true testament to the island’s distilling prowess.

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Laphroaig Triple Wood

Laphroaig Triple Wood
source: laphroaig.com

Laphroaig Triple Wood is a unique single malt whisky, meticulously aged in three distinct cask types: ex-bourbon barrels, quarter casks, and Oloroso sherry casks, setting it apart from traditional single malts. Best served neat or with a splash of cool water, indulging in Laphroaig Triple Wood entices with a bold smokiness, intertwined with notes of rich toffee, dried fruits, and a subtle sweetness, leaving a lingering warmth and satisfaction on the palate. Experience the captivating allure of Laphroaig Triple Wood, a whisky that marries the best of Islay’s traditions with a modern twist, promising an unforgettable journey of flavor and complexity.

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Paul Kushner

Written by Paul Kushner

Founder and CEO of MyBartender. Graduated from Penn State University. He always had a deep interest in the restaurant and bar industry. His restaurant experience began in 1997 at the age of 14 as a bus boy. By the time he turned 17 he was serving tables, and by 19 he was bartending/bar managing 6-7 nights a week.

In 2012, after a decade and a half of learning all facets of the industry, Paul opened his first restaurant/bar. In 2015, a second location followed, the latter being featured on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

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