The Best Islay Whiskies Everyone Should Try

The Best Islay Whisky Everyone Should Try

Islay is one of the most iconic whisky-producing regions in Scotland, known for its bold, peaty, and smoky whiskies. If you’re a fan of whisky, whether you’re a seasoned enthusiast or a curious beginner, exploring the best Islay whiskies is a must. And if you’re looking to expand your whisky collection, a whisky subscription is a great way to discover new bottles and distilleries from this unique region.

In this article, we’ve gathered the 10 best Islay whiskies everyone should try, from the classic smoky expressions to the more subtle and fruity ones. Whether you like your whisky with a punchy, peaty flavour or prefer a more delicate profile, there’s something for everyone on this list. For example, the Laphroaig 10 Year Old is a classic Islay whisky with a bold, smoky flavour that’s perfect for those who like their whisky with a kick. And if you’re looking for something more complex, the Ardbeg Uigeadail is a heavily peated whisky with a rich and multi-layered taste. And with a whisky subscription, you can explore these and other Islay whiskies, discovering new flavours and distilleries along the way. So pour yourself a dram, and let’s explore the best Islay whiskies together.

LAPHROAIG 10 year old whisky

Laphroaig 10 Year Old

Laphroaig is a classic Islay distillery known for its smoky, peaty whiskies. The 10 Year Old expression is a great introduction to this style, with a bold, peaty flavour that’s not overpowering. Laphroaig is one of the oldest distilleries on Islay, dating back to 1815.

  • Nosing notes: Smoky, medicinal, peaty
  • Tasting notes: Smoky, peaty, salty
  • Try it if you like: Ardbeg 10 Year Old
bowmore 12 year old

Bowmore 12 Year Old

Bowmore is the oldest distillery on Islay, founded in 1779. Their 12 Year Old expression has a mellow, smoky flavour with a hint of sweetness. It’s a great option for those who want to explore Islay whiskies without diving headfirst into a heavily peated flavour profile.

  • Nosing notes: Smoke, citrus, honey
  • Tasting notes: Subtle smoke, honey, fruit
  • Try it if you like: Highland Park 12 Year Old
lagavulin 16 year old

Lagavulin 16 Year Old

Lagavulin is one of the most famous Islay distilleries, and their 16 Year Old expression is a true classic. It’s a rich, smoky whisky with a bold flavour profile that’s not for the faint of heart. The distillery has been operating since 1816.

  • Nosing notes: Smoke, seaweed, iodine
  • Tasting notes: Smoky, peaty, salty
  • Try it if you like: Talisker 10 Year Old
ardbeg 10 year old

Ardbeg 10 Year Old

Ardbeg is a legendary Islay distillery known for producing some of the smokiest, peatiest whiskies in the world. Their 10 Year Old expression is no exception, with a bold flavour profile that’s not for the faint of heart. The distillery was founded in 1815 and is located on the southern coast of Islay.

  • Nosing notes: Smoke, tar, seaweed
  • Tasting notes: Peaty, smoky, spicy
  • Try it if you like: Laphroaig 10 Year Old
caol ila 12 year old

Caol Ila 12 Year Old

Caol Ila is one of the lesser-known Islay distilleries, but their 12 Year Old expression is a hidden gem. It’s a complex, smoky whisky with a subtle fruitiness that sets it apart from other Islay whiskies. The distillery was founded in 1846 and is located on the northeastern coast of Islay.

  • Nosing notes: Smoke, citrus, sea salt
  • Tasting notes: Peaty, complex, fruity
  • Try it if you like: Talisker Storm
kilchoman machir bay

Kilchoman Machir Bay

Kilchoman is one of the newest Islay distilleries, but they’ve already made a name for themselves with their unique, smoky whiskies. Machir Bay is a great introduction to their style, with a bold, peaty flavour that’s balanced by sweet, fruity notes. The distillery was founded in 2005 and is one of the few distilleries that still practices traditional floor malting.

  • Nosing notes: Peat smoke, vanilla, tropical fruit
  • Tasting notes: Smoky, sweet, fruity
  • Try it if you like: Ardbeg Uigeadail
bruichladdich classic laddie

Bruichladdich Classic Laddie:

Bruichladdich is known for their unpeated whiskies, and their Classic Laddie expression is a great example of this style. It’s a light, fruity whisky with a subtle sweetness and hints of vanilla and citrus. The distillery was founded in 1881 and is located on the western coast of Islay.

  • Nosing notes: Vanilla, honey, citrus
  • Tasting notes: Fruity, subtle, light
  • Try it if you like: Glenlivet 12 Year Old
bunnahabhain 12 year old

Bunnahabhain 12 Year Old

Bunnahabhain is another Islay distillery known for their unpeated whiskies. Their 12 Year Old expression has a smooth, mellow flavour with notes of honey, vanilla, and sea salt. The distillery was founded in 1881 and is located on the northeastern coast of Islay.

  • Nosing notes: Honey, vanilla, sea salt
  • Tasting notes: Smooth, mellow, slightly peated
  • Try it if you like: Glenmorangie 10 Year Old
port charlotte 10 year old

Port Charlotte 10 Year Old

Port Charlotte is a heavily peated whisky from the Bruichladdich distillery. Their 10 Year Old expression is a great example of their bold, smoky style. It has a complex flavour profile with notes of dark chocolate, smoke, and sea salt. The distillery is named after the nearby village of Port Charlotte on the Rhinns of Islay.

  • Nosing notes: Smoke, dark chocolate, sea salt
  • Tasting notes: Peaty, smoky, complex
  • Try it if you like: Lagavulin 16 Year Old
smokehead whisky

Smokehead

Smokehead is a heavily peated whisky from an undisclosed Islay distillery. It’s a bold, intense whisky with a smoky flavour profile that’s not for the faint of heart. It’s a great option for those who love peaty whiskies and want to explore Islay’s unique flavour profile.

  • Nosing notes: Smoke, vanilla, toffee
  • Tasting notes: Bold, intense, smoky
  • Try it if you like: Ardbeg Corryvreckan

Islay whiskies offer a range of bold, smoky flavours that are sure to satisfy any whisky lover. From classic expressions like Lagavulin 16 Year Old to lesser-known gems like Port Charlotte 10 Year Old, there’s no shortage of unique and exciting bottles to explore. And if you’re looking to expand your whisky knowledge even further, a whisky subscription can provide regular deliveries of curated bottles, tasting notes, and insider information. So whether you prefer your whisky with a peaty punch or a more subtle complexity, there’s an Islay whisky out there waiting for you. SlĂ inte!