What makes the Isle of Islay produce the world’s best whiskies? During the early 14th century, the Irish monks first introduced the art of distillation to Islay. Abundant with fertile land, barley, peat and pure water, the island had just the right ingredients to produce such amazing whisky. Connoisseurs always say “peaty” when used to describe Whisky hailing from Islay. What exactly is peat? On the island, there is layer after layer of moss and a variety of vegetation that compost and create black banks of peat. This is saturated by the water on Islay then becomes dried again by the briny seaweed laden breeze. The dried peat is then used to fuel to fire to heat the water used in distillation. This results in some of the Islay Single Malt Whiskies being the strongest flavoured of all malt whiskies, a property which makes it very popular. The southern Islay distilleries produce powerfully aromatic whiskies. Bowmore, in the heart of the island, has these characteristics but is not quite so powerful as Ardbeg and Lagavulin. Bruichladdich and Bunnahabhain are lighter and much less smoky. All Islay's Malts have a dry finish, with the southern ones having quite a bite. Celebrate National Scotch Day by trying our featured whiskies from Islay. Enjoy the smoke, peat, and its story, cheers!