Known for fiery, heavily peated whiskies the island of Islay (pronounced eye-luh) is Scotlands smallest area of whisky distilleries. But this small whisky region punches above its weight, with 8 distilleries calling Islay home – 3 of which are World famous; Laphroaig, Lagavulin & Ardbeg.
Whisky production is big business in Islay, with most people living on the island working directly in the whisky industry or supporting it via tourism and agriculture.
The peat in Islay is unique from that used on the mainland. The Scottish Highlands gets its peat from the floors of old forests, which is wood-based, and when burnt gives an intense smokey flavour. Islay peat is taken from wet bogs made mostly of grassy roots, mosses and decaying fungus that are soaked over the years by the salty sea air and rough storms- leading to more complex earthy, medicinal flavours.