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Islay Malt Whisky

Lagavulin Distillery on Islay

Islay, a small island off the west coast of Scotland, may be only 25 miles long but is home to 8 distilleries. The whiskies from this area have more than a hint of saltiness due to the fact that Islay is frequently lashed by Atlantic storms. Sea spray blows across the island, impregnating the peat used in the malting of the barley and blows into the warehouses where casks of Scotch Whisky lie maturing, thus affecting the taste and aroma.

The result is that some of the Islay whiskies are pungent and powerful with a distinctive whiff of sea air in them. Other distilleries that are in a more sheltered location, and use less peat during the malting have a gentler but still clearly identifiable character.