Islay is usually associated with peaty single malt whiskies, and it is unsurprising for the three powerhouse distilleries on its south coast, that have become world famous, produce some exceptional peaty single malt whiskies. Ardbeg, Laphroaig and Lagavulin all enjoy a sort of cult status. There are also some less peaty drams. Take Bunnahabhain. The distillery sits to the north of the isle and produces fruitier single malts. There's also the Bruichladdich distillery known for their experimental stance when producing single malt, Bowmore in the island's pretty administrative capital, Caol Ila and the newer farm-distillery of Kilchoman, both of which are usually peated, but not to the same level as the three mentioned at the top. Single malt whisky must be produced at a single distillery, from nothing other than yeast, water and malted barley before being distilled in pot stills and matured for a minimum of three years and a day in oak casks.
The best way to get an introduction to Islay Whisky would be to attend a local whisky tasting session, these can be a very good starting point to introduce yourself to whiskies from this area and also give you some indepth information from a whisky expert.