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Elements of Islay Whisky Range - From Single Malts to Blended Malts

elements of Islay whisky range Elixir Distillers

The Elements of Islay range was introduced in 2008 by the independent bottling arm of London-based Speciality Drinks, a sister company of The Whisky Exchange. This range was dedicated to whiskies from the Isle of Islay in the Scottish Hebrides. Islay is well-known for its peated style of whiskies, but it also offers a wide range of whiskies for enthusiasts that go beyond the typical style.

Over 14 years, 98 limited small-batch single malt expressions were released under the Elements of Islay range. The label of each bottle carried a shortened name of the distillery where the whisky was distilled and the batch number. In 2016, two blended Islay malts called Peat formed the permanent core range, with the red label bottled at 45% and the green at full strength of 59.3%.

In 2022, Elixir Distillers, created in 2017 to take over the independent bottler's side of Speciality Drinks, relaunched the range and introduced three new expressions: the green-labelled Cask Edit bottled at 46%, the red-coloured Sherry Cask and the blue-bannered Bourbon Cask, bottled at 54.5%. All new bottlings are 70cl bottles, replacing the previous size of 50cl. The move came after the sale of The Whisky Exchange to Pernod Ricard in 2021, which separated the Rajbir and Sukhinder Singh-owned Elixir Distillers from the portfolio of sister companies.

Unfortunately, 2022 was the last year single malts were bottled under the Elements of Islay range. In 2023, Elixir Distillers removed all information about the previous releases from its official website, focusing solely on the relaunched and redesigned range.

This article provides details about all the small-batch single-malt releases of Elements of Islay to honour the past releases.

Let's start digging.

Elements of Islay Peat Blended Malt current range launched in 2022

The Whisky Ardvark combined all images in this article using information and pictures from various sources, including Elixir Distillers, Whiskybase, and numerous auction sites.


Past Releases - 'Approved By'

Well-known figures in the whisky industry, from whisky writers to Elixir Distillers' head blender Oliver Chilton, sign all the bottles of Elements of Islay. Sukhinder Singh selected these experts to approve the quality of the bottlings.

Elements of Islay approved by people in the whisky industry

Billy Abbott - Whisky Writer & Educator, The Whisky Exchange

Charles MacLean - Whisky Writer & Founder and Director of MacLean & Bruce

Dominic Roskrow - Whisky Writer & Consultant

Gordon Homer - Spirit of Islay Website

Hideo Yamaoka - Independent Whisky Bottler, Japan

Ingvar Ronde - Whisky Writer, Malt Whisky Yearbook

John 'Jack' Milroy - Founder of Milroy's of Soho

Konstantin Grigoriadis - Whisky Maniacs, Germany

Mark Reynier - Whisky Revivalist & Owner of Waterford Distillery

Oliver Chilton - Head Blender, Elixir Distillers

Sukhinder Singh - Owner of Elixir Distillers (signed only one bottling for TWE 20th anniversary)


Ardbeg Bottlings

Ar-bottlings are a range of whiskies from Ardbeg distillery and are among the first introductions to Elements of Islay whiskies. The range includes 11 heavily peated expressions that showcase the cult distillery's diversity, ranging from traditional ex-bourbon casks to Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez sherry butt matured whiskies.

Elements of Islay Ardbeg Bottlings AR


Bowmore Bottlings

Bw-whiskies are distilled at Bowmore, Islay's oldest still-operational distillery. First introduced to the Elements of Islay range in 2012, these small-batch expressions are mainly aged in refill sherry and American oak barrels.

Elements of Islay Bowmore Bottlings BW


Bruichladdich Bottlings - Lochindaal, Octomore & Port Charlotte

Bruichladdich distillery is known for its wide range of whiskies. The distillery was revived by Mark Reynier in 2001 after years of uncertainty. It was sold as a successful distillery to Remy Cointreau in 2012 for £56m, with all the whisky made bottled as single malts.

Bruichladdich produces three distinctive whisky styles: unpeated Bruichladdich, peated Port Charlotte, and extremely peated Octomore. These whiskies are bottled under Elements of Islay as Br, Pl, and Oc and include exciting wine cask expressions.

In 2016, Bruichladdich released the first of two editions of Lochindaal, abbreviated Ln. Lochindaal is a heavily peated whisky with a peatiness level of around 50 ppm between Port Charlotte and Octomore.

A total of 22 expressions from the Elements of Islay range have been distilled at Bruichladdich distillery.

Elements of Islay Bruichladdich Bottlings BR
Elements of Islay Bruichladdich Bottlings Octomore and Port Charlotte OC PL


Bunnahabhain & Margadale Bottlings

Known as one of the few Islay distilleries mainly producing unpeated single malt whisky, Bunnahabhain has been bottled under Elements of Islay as Bn since 2011. All ten expressions are primarily aged in American oak, with a few sherry cask-aged whiskies thrown in. Released the same year as Bruichladdich's Lochindaal, the heavily peated Margadale—Ma—made its first appearance in the range in 2016.

Elements of Islay Bunnahabhain Bottlings BN Margadale MA


Caol Ila Bottlings

Islay's biggest distillery, Caol Ila, produces mainly peated whiskies. Known also as Diageo's workhorse distillery, it produces an abundance of whisky, reflected in the multiple bottles of Cl under the Elements of Islay range - 14 to count.

Elements of Islay Caol Ila Bottlings CL


Kilchoman Bottling

Elements of Islay released a single small batch of Kh, distilled at Kilchoman distillery, established in 2005. This bottling, released in 2011, is one of the few independently bottled Kilchoman whiskies. The distillery prefers to bottle all its single malts as officially labelled expressions.

Elements of Islay Kilchoman Bottling KH1


Lagavulin Bottlings

The legendary Lagavulin distillery single malts were bottled as part of the Elements of Islay range with the abbreviation 'Lg', totalling 12 expressions. While some of the early releases were aged at least partially in refill sherry casks, most of the bottlings matured in American oak. As an interesting collaboration between two distilleries with a history of rivalry, the Lg9 was aged in peated ex-Laphroaig casks.

Elements of Islay Lagavulin Bottlings LG


Laphroaig Bottlings

Known for its medicinal iodine-led character, Laphroaig single malts first appeared as part of the Elements of Islay range in 2008, designated with the letters 'Lp'. With 12 expressions, Laphroaig was one of the most commonly seen bottlings of the range in specialised retail.

Elements of Islay Laphroaig Bottlings LP


Port Ellen Bottlings

The new Port Ellen distillery officially opened its doors in March 2024, almost 40 years after the old distillery closed in 1983. From 2009 to 2011, old Port Ellen whiskies were bottled with the letters 'Pe' as part of the Elements of Islay range. The releases were aged in sherry casks, except for Pe3, matured in bourbon casks. Due to the diminishing stocks of old Port Ellen single malts, only five expressions of Pe were released.

Elements of Islay Port Ellen Bottlings PE


Elements of Islay Peat - Blended Malts

In 2016, the first expressions of Elements of Islay Peat blended malts were introduced - the red-labelled and bottled at 45% and the green-labelled and bottled at 59.3%. In 2018, the range was expanded with the introduction of the blue-bannered Peat & Sherry, which was aged in sherry casks and bottled at various cask strengths. These releases inspired the new Elixir Distillers range launched in 2022.

Please find below information about the limited releases of Elements of Islay's blended malts, including the 2023 expressions of Bonfire Beach.

Elements of Islay Peat Blended Malt Red, Green, Blue, Orange and Purple Labels
Elements of Islay Peat Blended Malt Red, Green, Blue, Orange and Purple Labels


Thank you for reading The Whisky Ardvark. Please take a moment to check out some of our other informative articles listed below.


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