Islay is a-buzz currently and we all know why. I won’t harp on about the festival as it is pretty much the only thing being talked about in the industry at the moment.
What I will say though is that two massive Islay distilleries in Lagavulin and Caol Ila have set the benchmank high with their annual distillery-exclusive bottlings.
Lagavulin’s release is a 19 year old that has been matured in three different casks: a refill American oak cask, a second Sherry-treated American oak cask and finally a European oak puncheon and bottled at 53.8% ABV.
‘This bottle is extra special because it’s been chosen by everyone here – from the visitor centre to the warehouse teams.’ Says Colin Gordon, Lagavulin distillery manager.
‘We’re sure it will surprise and delight both the familiar and new faces at this year’s festival.’
Gordon explains the whisky to hold ‘green, mossy aromas with peppery dryness and smoky Lapsang Souchong notes’
We believe the expression is priced fairly for its age at only $270 AUD. However, only 6,000 bottles have been released and it is only available from the distillery door, having gone on sale yesterday. *Hint Hint to my friend Matt Bailey
Caol Ila will release a whopping 22 year old fully matured in Sherry-treated American oak hogsheads and bottled at a cask strength of 58.4% ABV. ‘fresh mint, citrus, spicy medicinal notes finished with a dominant note of spice’ on the palate.
Pierrick Guilaume, Caol Ila Distillery Manager, states: ‘We’ve taken the usual complexity of Caol Ila and used the cask influence to balance this, creating something really unique from our distillery.’
Releasing only half that of the latter, just 3,000 bottles will be available from today, at (you guessed it) the distillery door only. Priced at mere $250 AUD stocks will sadly not last long.