The Top Peaty Islay Single Malts Under $100

Islay (EYE-la) is a true bucket list destination for fans of peaty single malts. But, if you can’t make it to the isle in person, you can take a trip to Islay one sip at at time. Just pick up one of our favorite peaty bottles, each available for $100 or less.
Dec 28, 2019
  • 12
    12 Kilchoman 100% Islay 8th Edition
    86
    Peaty
    The 100% Islay series from Kilchoman is made using Optic barley harvested on the isle. The peat level here is ~ 20ppm versus the brand's standard 50ppm offerings. Unlike previous editions, this is matured in oloroso sherry butts in addition to ex-bourbon barrels. This no-age statement single malt has no color added and is non-chillfiltered. Bottled at 50% ABV, this is a limited edition release which yielded 12,000 bottles. Kilchoman 100% Islay 8th Edition is available beginning fall 2018.
  • 11
    11 Bowmore 15 Year
    86
    Rich & Fruity
    Fans of sherried scotch and you wine lovers out there, step right up! Bowmore 15 Year is a whisky aged in a combination of ex-bourbon and sherry casks, but it's the portion of the whisky that gets aged the final 3 years in 1st fill sherry casks that really give this whisky that deep rich color and fruity taste. Note: Formerly called Bowmore Darkest 15 Year.
  • 10
    10 Laphroaig Quarter Cask
    87
    Oily & Peaty
    Harking back to the days of the 19th century, this bottling takes 5-11 year old aged whisky into smaller casks only 125 liters large (a quarter of a Sherry cask). This was the size that two men could carry to market for sale back in the day. Giving more surface area to the amount of liquid in the barrel brings out more vanilla and oily notes from the wood.
  • 9
    9 Ardbeg An Oa
    88
    Rich & Full Bodied
    An Oa (pronounced an oh) is a peated Islay single malt comprised of whiskies that were aged in several types of casks of including Pedro Ximenez, virgin oak, and ex-bourbon. These whiskies were then married together in a large French oak vat in Ardbeg's Gathering Room. The whisky is named for the Mull of Oa located on the Oa peninsula. This is the most southwesterly point of Islay. This Ardbeg release marks the first permanent addition to their portfolio in close to ten years. Bottled at 46.6% ABV, this is non chill-filtered. Released September 2017.
  • 8
    8 Lagavulin 9 Year (Game of Thrones-House Lannister)
    88
    Oily
    Lagavulin 9 Year House Lannister is one of eight single malts Scotch whiskies made to commemorate the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones. Set to hit shelves in the fall of 2018, this Islay single malt was aged 9 years and bears the sigil for House Lannister--a golden lion.
  • 7
    7 Caol Ila Distillers Edition
    90
    Fruity & Rich
    Not to bore you with the technical data of Moscatel sherry wine, but what is important to note is the taste profile of the wine so you can have an idea of why your beloved Caol Ila is showing you a softer, more delicate side. Moscatel is sweet, honeyed, and often showing tastes of peaches, apricots, and oranges and is rarely bottled on its own.
  • 6
    6 Port Charlotte Islay Barley 2011
    90
    Peaty & Rich
    Port Charlotte Islay Barley 2011 is made using barley grown on three Islay farms: Dunlossit, Kilchiaran, and Sunderland. In addition, it is made from two different barley varieties, Oxbridge & Publican. Distilled in 2011, the barley is malted and peated to a level of 40ppm. The single malt matures in a combination of casks: 75% in 1st fill American whiskey casks and 25% in 2nd fill wine casks. Bottled at 50% ABV.
  • 5
    5 Bunnahabhain Ceòbanach
    90
    Smoky & Sweet
    The barley used to make Bunnahabhain Scotch has not been peat-dried since 1963 (any effects of peat flavor come from the local water used to make it, which naturally runs through the peat bogs on its journey to the distillery). Ceòbanach, which is Scots Gaelic for "smoky mist" is the first release to be made with Islay-grown, peat-dried barley since the 1960s. Fun fact: the stills used to process it are kept separate from the other stills at Bunnahabhain so as not to affect the other releases. Though without a formal age statement, it is the product of 10 years of work from Master Distiller Ian MacMillan, released un-chill filtered.
  • 4
    4 Port Charlotte 10 Year
    91
    Peaty & Rich
    Port Charlotte 10 Year is a permanent addition to Bruichladdich's portfolio and replaces the multi-vintage Scottish Barley bottling. Made using 100% Scottish barley from the Inverness Shire region. This 10 year old bottling matures in a variety of casks: 65% in 1st fill American whiskey, 10% in 2nd fill American whiskey, and 25% in 2nd fill French wine casks. Port Charlotte bottlings are the heavily peated single malt line distilled at Bruichladdich with the barley peated to 40ppm. Bottled at 50% ABV, it is non-chillfiltered and has no color added. Available beginning May 2018.
  • 3
    3 Lagavulin 16 Year
    92
    Full Bodied & Peaty
    Though not officially (read, legally) established until 1816, there are records that date distillation here going back to 1742. Malted barley produced just a hop, skip, and a jump away at neighboring Port Ellen is utilized. Everything is long at this distillery: fermentation, distillation, and maturation. Good things do indeed come to those that wait. Bottled at 43% ABV after 16 years in oak barrels.
  • 2
    2 Ardbeg Uigeadail
    93
    Fruity & Rich
    First launched in 2003, Ardbeg Uigeadail [Oog-a-dal] is a marriage of some young and some very old oloroso sherry aged single malt along with Ardbeg aged in ex-bourbon barrels. The name Uigeadail means "a dark, mysterious place." Fun to say and even more fun to drink. It is also the name of the loch from which Ardbeg gets its water. Bottled at cask strength with no age statement.
  • 1
    1 Laphroaig 10 Year
    96
    Peaty & Vanilla
    Far from a shrinking violet, Laphroaig 10 Year is loud and proud, get used to it. They have managed to produce a whisky showcasing the sights and aromas of the island. The peat, burned to dry the malt, is abundantly clear as is the seaweed found lapping the shores just steps from the distillery. That sweet salty sea air found on Islay is woven throughout their whiskies. NOTE: This is sold at 40% abv or 43% abv depending on your market.