Two limited edition single-cask individually numbered bottlings of Lagavulin™ and Caol Ila™ Single Malt Scotch Whiskies will be released for the 2012 Islay Festival this weekend, Diageo has announced.
Like previous Festival bottlings, it is anticipated that they will be much in demand from enthusiasts. These bottlings, each a particular variant on the traditional styles of Lagavulin 16 year old (intensely flavoured, smoky-sweet, with seaweed flavours and a huge finish) and Caol Ila 12 year old (fresh, sweetly fruity and smooth-bodied with a sweet-smoky, lingering finish) have always been greeted with acclaim for the quality and interest of the liquids. Often selling out within hours of going on sale, they will be available to personal shoppers at the distilleries only.
14-Year Old Lagavulin™
The Lagavulin Festival bottling comes from a Refill Sherry Butt filled in February 1998, selected from Warehouse Number 1 by Iain McArthur, long-time warehouseman at the distillery. It has been bottled at its natural cask strength of 55.1% ABV, in an edition of 654 individually numbered bottles.
Tasters’ comment: “A richly sweet and smoky Lagavulin with some medicinal notes and a subtle perfumed freshness”.
11-year old Caol Ila™
The Caol Ila single cask bottling – hand selected by Billy Stitchell, long-standing distillery manager, whose family connections with Caol Ila distillery go back many generations – has been drawn from a Sherry Butt filled in January 2001. It enjoys a high natural cask strength of 60.4% ABV, in an edition of 618 individually numbered bottles.
“Caol Ila’s characteristic maritime oiliness enhanced by a rich and sweet fruity character” has been the reaction from some expert tasters.
The Lagavulin Festival bottling will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis at the distillery, starting on the distillery’s open day, Saturday 26 May. The Caol Ila bottling will be sold with effect from Monday 28 May which is the Caol Ila open day.
Both bottlings are priced at £85 UK RRP per bottle.
During the Festival, a series of special events will be held at both Lagavulin and Caol Ila distilleries, including tastings with the distillery manager and warehouse demonstrations. There will be also be tours of the Port Ellen Maltings.
Note: The Caol Ila and Lagavulin words and associated logos are trade marks. © 2012
Photos by Mark Unsworth, Islay Studios