Whisky regions

Did you know?

The abundance and type of peat found on the island is a major factor for the unique flavour of whisky that Islay is reknowned for producing. This versatile material is also used by many of the islanders as a fuel in their homes

example whisky banner


The island of Islay (pronounced eye–luh) is the traditional home of smoky whiskies. Six of the eight operating distilleries produce the best smoky whiskies in the world and include some very famous names (the six are Ardbeg, Bowmore, Caol Ila, Kilchoman, Lagavulin and Laphroaig). The other two are Bruichladdich and Bunnahabhain, whose whiskies are normally unpeated and non smoky, but they do both occassionally produce limited edition smoky ones. The Islay whisky industry is booming and production on the island is at an all time high to meet demand. The industry runs the island's economy by giving jobs not just in manufacturing but in other areas, such as tourism. The whiskies are full bodied, smoky and complex. However, they are not to everyone's taste as they are so full on but are definitely worth a try. How will you know if you like it (or don't like it) if you don't try some?

  • Islay distilleries
  • Ardbeg
    • − the iconic distillery that was reborn in 1997 and produces some of the smokiest whisky in the world
  • Bowmore
    • − Islay's oldest distillery that produces a rich but less smoky whisky
  • Bruichladdich
    • − an innovative and experimental distillery that was re-opened in 2000
  • Bunnahabhain
    • − the non smoky and lightest of Islay single malt whiskies
  • Caol Ila
    • − Islay's largest but one of its least known distilleries, popular with independent bottlers and blenders
  • Kilchoman
    • − a new, small distillery that started production of heavily peated whisky in 2005
  • Lagavulin
    • − a rich, powerful and robust smoky whisky that is Islay's representative in the 'Classic Malts' series
  • Laphroaig
    • − the home to the best selling smoky single malt in the world