To mark this year’s Islay Festival of Malt & Music, Lagavulin and Caol Ila Distilleries have now announced details of their special Festival natural cask strength bottlings available only to visitors.
The CAOL ILA™ special bottling was personally selected by David Wood, Caol Ila Distillery Manager. It was distilled in 2002 and has been matured in Refill American Oak Hogsheads. It has been bottled at 55.5% ABV in an edition of 1,500 bottles.
David Wood’s tasting notes read:
Nose: Soft, elegant, vanilla, sea breeze, touch of smoke, meadow flowers.
Palate: Developing peat smoke, spice, vanilla. Citrus fruits. Typical Caol Ila character. Oily and acidic.
Finish: Exceedingly long. Smoke lingers as the vanilla and sea breeze fades.
The LAGAVULIN™ bottling is drawn from casks filled in January 1995. Matured in European Oak Sherry Butts, the liquid was personally selected by Lagavulin warehouseman Iain McArthur. At 54.7% ABV, it comes in an edition of 3,500 bottles.
Tasting notes offered by Georgie Crawford, Distillery Manager at Lagavulin, state:
Nose: Neat the initial nose is boat tar and peat ash balanced out with spicy sweet stewed apples. Water releases some star anise and sweeter wood smoke.
Palate: Without water there is hot ash up front smoothing away to reveal hints of marzipan. Water brings out a sharp sweetness of floral perfume.
Finish: Long, initially hot and dry with sweetness developing. A good lingering Lagavulin with plenty of damp wood and peat ash in the finish.
Both whiskies are priced at £99 per bottle. Sales are limited to two bottles per personal visitor.
Georgie Crawford commented:
“Once again we are pleased to be able to present two very appealing and exceptional whiskies from Lagavulin and Caol Ila.
“The Festival gets stronger and better every year, and all of us at Lagavulin and Caol Ila Distilleries hope that this year’s special Fèis bottlings, and those offered by other distilleries on this wonderful island, will add to the delight of those visitors who come to celebrate Islay’s great whiskies and whisky-making traditions with us during the Fèis.”
Diageo asks Fèis visitors to consume their whiskies responsibly.
This year’s annual Islay Festival runs from 23rd to 31st of May 2014: see http://www.islayfestival.com/. The Lagavulin Distillery Open Day is on Saturday 24th May. The Port Ellen Maltings Open Day is on Sunday 25th May. The Caol Ila Distillery Open Day is on Monday 26th May.