Whisky Magazine Issue 89
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Our man gets to the heart of the Islay Whisky Festival and uncovers some gems.
This year's Feis Ile festival on Islay promised to be the best yet, with several celebrations taking place and some rather interesting limited bottlings indeed. Firstly, Ardbeg turned the distillery into a virtual fairground, complete with a miniature rollercoaster to celebrate 10 years since the formation of their committee, offering a 1995 refill bourbon single cask bottling to lucky festival goers during their open day.
Over at Bruichladdich and the team were proudly showing off their 2010 festival Valinch, which is the very first Bruichladdich bottling in recent years to feature 100 per cent locally grown barley, harvested from the Kentraw Farm, situated approximately a mile from the distillery.
At Lagavulin, a brand new cask strength ‘Distillery Only' bottling went on sale, to compliment their regular Feis single cask release, (the 4th in the distillery's history) this year a 16 Years Old, distilled in 1994 and matured in European ex sherry Oak.
Selected by Lagavulin warehouse supremo Iain McArthur, the bottling (limited to around 530 bottles) proved so popular that it sold out during the distillery's open day, which is a first.
This year, Bowmore take the honour for the most limited (and expensive) festival release with a highly exclusive 25 Years Old bottling, selected and hand signed by Eddie MacAffer. Costing £325 and with only 100 bottles on sale, it is no wonder that there were queues outside the distillery many hours before their doors opened for their midw...