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Finlaggan?

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Finlaggan?

Postby Nock » Tue Feb 22, 2005 2:18 am

Hello

I have just discovered this wonderful forum
and I have been learning a lot these past few days just lurking.

But I have a question about
Finlaggan
Inslay single malt Old reserve.

I picked it up when I was down in San Francisco for $17
and was told by my cousin (also a single malt fan)
that it was secretly a 5 year old Lagavulin.

I have found various theories on the internet and I am just
wondering if

A. anyone has tried it and likes it

B. does anyone know anything else about.

By the way I really enjoy it (especially for $17!!)
and plan on picking up more next time I can find some.

Thanks
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Postby rthomson » Tue Feb 22, 2005 3:55 am

Ok, this is third hand information and I have no way of verifying. This could be just another Finlaggan rumor floating around but I'll share it anyway-

Supposedly someone was able to talk to an "insider." The insider revealed that Finlaggan actually comes from several distilleries, hence the mystery and the reluctance of the bottler to reveal the source (clever marketing, btw). Primarily, the bottlings will be from Caol Ila or Lagavulin but occasionally from Laphroaig also. The best price available at the time dictates the source. What do you think? Does it sound like a plausible explanation?

I've never come across a Finlaggan but I've heard the buyer finds a good single malt at a great price. And at only $17.00 I think you got yourself a treat, even if we never get to the bottom of it.

Ron
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Postby islayjunkie » Tue Feb 22, 2005 6:45 am

I'm going to have to try a bottle now! We have it here too.
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Postby peatreek1 » Tue Feb 22, 2005 1:05 pm

Finished off a bottle about a year or so ago.

Definitely, the smokiest whisky by far that I have ever tried, which is consistent with it being a young whisky. Much more so than Ardberg 10. Strong odor of burning paper.

Not the most complex of drams, but interesting and certainly worth trying for the price.
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Postby Lawrence » Tue Feb 22, 2005 5:38 pm

My understanding is that it's quite young therefore it will be smokier than older whiskies. I'll keep an eye out for it, it sounds interesting.
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Postby JimHall » Mon Feb 28, 2005 12:42 pm

you need to get the "old reserve" or it is a waste of time hunting it down.
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Postby Jeroen Kloppenburg » Mon Feb 28, 2005 3:29 pm

The origins of Finlaggan (as well as other branded singles like Ileach etc) have been discussed quite a efw times on this forum.

You could get quite a bit of extra information form those previous threads by using the search functionality on this forum.
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Postby islayjunkie » Tue Mar 01, 2005 5:47 am

I'm sipping the Old Reserve now... tastes like a combination of Laphroaig and Ardbeg... a hint of Lagavulin. More Laphroaig style than anything else. The nose is a bit like a Lagavulin (smoky). This is a confusing malt at first... a bit original even.

I like Finlaggan Old Reserve better than Laphroaig 10yo... at least the current bottling. Very drinkable. Peaty, smokey, not to sweet and smooth. A winner at $17.00 USD :D

The screw cap was a bit off a turn off however I'm getting over it.
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Postby Nock » Tue Mar 01, 2005 11:09 am

I completely agree with you islayjunkie

I am still very new to the Islay malts, but my impression was that between Laphroaig, Lagavulin, and Ardbeg the Finlaggan Old Reserve most resembles the Laphroaig. However, I can easily see how it might be a very young and explosive Lagavulin. Well, explosive might not be the best word. It is just that Finlaggan lacks the refined and mellow smokiness of the Lagavulin that is typical for the 16yo (keep in mind that this is the only expression I can get my hands on, so no expert here).

Ya, I am not sure what it is but I know I like it. :D
Especially at a third the price of Lagavulin or Laphroaig.

I also hate the screw cap. I have had more problems with pouring that stuff then any other bottle. I always hate to see those precious few drops run down the side. :(

Aaron
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Mar 01, 2005 5:09 pm

Well, there's a point in the screw-top debate I haven't seen before--you find the bottle doesn't pour as well?
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Postby islayjunkie » Tue Mar 01, 2005 6:48 pm

No, just looks cheap.
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Postby Nock » Tue Mar 01, 2005 9:25 pm

MrTattieHeid

Ya, I find the bottle doesn't pour as well as the standard bottles. I think it is just a cheaper bottle (what with the screw top and all). BUT don't take my word for it I might just be a "challenged beverage pourer." :oops:

I will try another dram tonight and see if I still have the same problem as before . . .

Aaron
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Postby jeffk » Sun Nov 13, 2005 7:10 am

I picked up a bottle of Finlaggan today to try it out. At $17 (and they have cork tops now) it was hard to pass up.

On initial uncorking there was a strange nose, I can't quite describe it other than a foul asphalty smell. It went away immediately and was followed by a rather malty Islay, with a somewhat medium peatyness on the nose, with a certain thinness to it.

Finish is a bit harsh, not quite as nice as Ardbeg 10.

I feel it's more closely similar to Laphroaig than Lagavulin but that's just me. But definately a decent dram for $17 USD.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sun Nov 13, 2005 8:12 am

Just a shot in the dark, jeff, but was that initial aroma perhaps from the cork?
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Postby jeffk » Sun Nov 13, 2005 4:17 pm

Interestingly enough, I wondered that too...in fact, I called it a "cork" because it wasn't the screwoff top, but appears to instead be a plastic cork, not a real cork. So, it's possible I suppose that the first aroma could have been due to the plastic residue of that "cork" material. Good question, and perhaps I'll have to open the bottle and do some more research ;)
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sun Nov 13, 2005 7:35 pm

Take a good whiff of the stopper and see if you can detect any remnant of that odor. Again, I'm just guessing, but it might be that the stopper gives off a minuscule bit of odor which, over time, accumulated in the neck of the bottle, but might otherwise be nearly undetectable.
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Postby Lord_Pfaffin » Sun Nov 13, 2005 10:21 pm

Lawrence wrote:My understanding is that it's quite young therefore it will be smokier than older whiskies. I'll keep an eye out for it, it sounds interesting.


I'd just love the opportunity to put this Finlaggin up against the Dun Bheagan 8yo. Islay that i am into. The two whiskys sound as if they were vatted for a similar flavour profile.
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Postby jeffk » Sun Nov 13, 2005 10:57 pm

MrTattieHeid wrote:Take a good whiff of the stopper and see if you can detect any remnant of that odor. Again, I'm just guessing, but it might be that the stopper gives off a minuscule bit of odor which, over time, accumulated in the neck of the bottle, but might otherwise be nearly undetectable.


I did so, and can no longer detect any off-odors. I also inspected the "Cork" and I'm now not convinced it's plastic, it might be just a real clean cork, either way, it no longer has the smell. *shrug*.
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Postby jeffk » Mon Nov 14, 2005 4:23 am

BTW, here's my tasting notes for Finlaggan Old Reserve, from a dram I enjoyed tonight:

Nose: Phenolic, medicinal, butter cream, moderate to a bit more than moderate peatiness, slight chocolate, and a slight bit of fruitiness - pears I think.

Palate: Green grass, more peat, oak/woody, burnt caramel. A bit "thin" though, and somewhat lacking in character and complexity.

Finish: Medium finish, but I still get a bit of burning down the throat and into the stomach. Actually, it's a combination of burning and warmth, unlike some others (Laphroaig) that just provides warmth.

Rating: 77

Well, it's not half bad, again, and I think it's worth having in the cabinet for either filling a flask with, or giving to someone who's not really into Scotch that much and just wants to see what an Islay is like. It's definately a decent Scotch for the price, and I'd certainly prefer it over a moderately good Speysider or Highlander, but that's just my preference.
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Re: Finlaggan?

Postby islayjunkie » Sun Dec 27, 2009 6:41 am

OK, it's been 4 years and Finlaggan still tastes about the same! Maybe better... maybe not as smooth. My high end scotch drinking days are over but this one is still a favorite at the price :thumbsup:
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Re: Finlaggan?

Postby Ganga » Mon Dec 28, 2009 3:55 pm

Mikey and I opened up several different bottles (different batches) this summer. We were convinced that the source was from multiple distillers. Some appeared to be clearly Laphroaig while others were more indiciative of Caol Ila. One in particular bore a fair resemblance to Ardbeg but there was just something not quite right for this.

It seems every unknown Islay whisky is a "Lagavulin" as SoI states. Classic of Islay has this same reputation. I don't believe it.
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Re: Finlaggan?

Postby sku » Mon Dec 28, 2009 8:01 pm

Fascinating stuff Ganga. Do you have a list of notes per batch?
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Re: Finlaggan?

Postby Spirit of Islay » Mon Dec 28, 2009 8:23 pm

Rich , i think you are spot on with your assumption that some are Caol Ilas and some are Laphroaigs , as they are the ones that seem to turn up regularly in Non-attributed Single Malts . They usually turn up together in N-A Vatted Malts as well . Bowmore used to be another one . I was told a couple of years ago that some Bunnahabhain Peated had been used in Finlaggan .
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Re: Finlaggan?

Postby Ganga » Mon Dec 28, 2009 9:02 pm

Gordon, that's great to hear. There was one in particular that we tried that we said, "This is like peated Bunnie." We wrote it off as we thought peated Bunnahabhain would be too scarce to put in Finlaggan.
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Re: Finlaggan?

Postby AnnieB » Wed Dec 30, 2009 6:13 am

Lagavulin 8 years..I have heard from a very reliable source after tasting it at last years Whisky Fest in Victoria. Great little??? whisky & a good price. (for BC) Only 3 weeks till the next Festival...can't wait. Thank the Gods for Lawrence!
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Re: Finlaggan?

Postby Beau Jolly » Wed Oct 23, 2013 5:00 pm

Having just started stocking this I thought I should have a google. The first thing I came accross was an article about the castle which mentioned that Finlaggan in Gaelic meant Port in Eileen. Is it foolish to think the distillery may be Port Ellen? As a distillery it is certainly not as well known as the 3 or 4 that keep being mentioned.
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Re: Finlaggan?

Postby Ganga » Wed Oct 23, 2013 6:02 pm

Port Ellen is a closed distillery. The product in their would be around 30 years old. And even going back to when I first picked up a bottle of Finlaggan, Port Ellen would have at least been 20 years old. What is in the bottle is a young whisky, not Port Ellen. I believe that it varies by batch and who the bottler can get casks from. It wouldn't surprise me if most of the operating Islay distilleries have been in these bottlings including peated Bunnahabhain.
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