It's fair to say that Feis Ile aka That Boutique-y Whisky Company On Tour 2013 was a rip-roaring success! Enjoyment was had by all, 3 fantastic Competitions were run and entered into with rabid enthusiasm. And nobody died, either! Great success.
From our Distillery Dog Peaty getting lost (and getting found again) to our Message in a Bottle Islay Treasure Hunt, to loads of you literally flagging us down with the signal, you (yes, you) all made this our best Fèis Ìle yet! We’re already hard at work planning next year’s shenannigans...
Adventure is out there!
We also brought back some whisky (fancy that!) so if you weren't in Islay this year, you can still get your hands on some of the delicious festival bottlings – although they're already selling like hotcakes so move quickly. Quickly, I say!
To ensure that as many people as possible have the opportunity to taste the Feis Ile bottlings, we have of course also made them available as 3cl sample drams! (Although these are selling pretty quickly too...)
Enjoy! (And be glad you didn't have to wake up at the crack of dawn to stand in a very long line every day!)
Lagavulin Feis Ile 2013 – 18 Year Old – 51% abv
Tasting note for Lagavulin Feis Ile 2013 – 18 Year Old:
Nose: Intense Sherry is supported by sweet barley with more herbal notes developing.
Palate: Big, rich and precise with plenty of fruit. Simply fantastic.
Finish: Clean and fruity with elusive lingering notes.
Overall: Tremendous 'old sherry' whisky and probably the single best release of Fèis Ìle 2013.
Bruichladdich Laddie Five-O Feis Ile 2013 – 47.7% abv
Tasting note for Bruichladdich Laddie Five-O Feis Ile 2013:
Nose: Sweet barley, yellow and green Wine Gums, hints of corn and raspberry. A little grist develops with butterscotch and Kettle chips!
Palate: White pepper and pear skin.
Finish: A slight saltiness alongside light fruit tang.
Overall: A very tasty Bruichladdich. Sláinte Jim!
Caol Ila Feis Ile 2013 – Triple Matured – 56.5% abv
Tasting note for Caol Ila Feis Ile 2013 – Triple Matured:
Nose: Sweet, shredded seaweed, honey, orange peel and glacé cherries.
Palate: Orange bread and Madeira.
Finish: Hazelnuts and dried orange.
Overall: A rich, unusual and tasty Coal Ila.
Laphroaig Feis Ile 2013 – Cairdeas Port Wood Edition – 51.3% abv
Tasting note for Laphroaig Feis Ile 2013 – Cairdeas Port Wood Edition:
Nose: A wisp of Laphroaig smoke is hiding amongst sliced blood oranges, grapefruit, raspberry bushes and a hint of pot pourri. Clotted cream and lemon zest develop.
Palate: Blackcurrants and sweet marmalade with more savoury pepper notes.
Finish: Fruity and drying.
Overall: Pink Laphroaig!
Bowmore Feis Ile 2013 – 56.5% abv
Tasting note for Bowmore Feis Ile 2013:
Nose: It really is just like Haribo Goldbears, there are also some lemon sherbet boiled sweets (before you get to the centre) but no peat.
Palate: Toffee and some mango.
Finish: Rich with a touch of Rich Tea biscuits.
Kilchoman Feis Ile 2013 – Limited Cask Release – 60.1% abv
Tasting note for Kilchoman Feis Ile 2013 – Limited Cask Release:
Nose: Cookie dough, lime curd, custard. Fizzy apple sweets, cloudy lemonade.
Palate: Boozy blueberry pancakes.
Finish: A touch of ice cream and peat on the finish.
Overall: Tingly, fruity and creamy.
Bunnahabhain Feis Ile 2013 – Sgeul Na Mara – 60.1% abv
Tasting note for Bunnahabhain Feis Ile 2013 – Sgeul Na Mara:
Nose: Christmas cake, marzipan, chocolate orange and a touch of sea air.
Palate: Big and mouth coating with spicy, sherried pecans and salted peanuts.
Finish: Rich, lingering saltiness.
Overall: Big, sherried Islay single malt whisky.
Ardbog – 52.1% abv
Tasting note for Ardbog:
Nose: Sea salt and brine with some dark fruit and hints of barbecue. Maple syrup, plum, orange, mint and more herbal notes with a touch of tomato vine. White coffee develops.
Palate: Big – it feels like all the moisture is being sucked out of your mouth at first but in a good way(!). Salt crusted raisins, rich nuttiness, pickled onions. Sounds odd but it’s honestly superb!
Finish: There's red chilli heat on the finish as well as paprika.
Overall: Ardbeg should be celebrated for their measured use of Manzanilla casks here – one of the best bottlings at Fèis Ìle 2013.
To read up on our adventures on Islay, including our hunt for fairies, our voyage at sea, and a certain cocktail that was very much improved with fire, check out our diary below!
Day 1: (Lagavulin) Master of Malt 'discover' some priceless bottles of Malt Mill new make (may contain fiction)...
Day 2: (Bruichladdich) The sun's out and so is Magnum P.I.! Wait, is that a cask on wheels?...
Day 3: (Caol Ila) Caol-Ito Mojito? No? Well how about a tasting of independent releases and a zip-slide over the ravine of doom?...
Day 4: (Laphroaig) An epic trek to the summit of the Fairy Hill in search of the little people and some pink whisky...
Day 5: (Bowmore) Our Message in a Bottle Treasure Hunters face off in a battle royale and we make some Flaming Bows...
Day 6: (Kilchoman) The ultimate showdown: Kikkoman VS Kilchoman!!!...
Day 7: (Bunnahabhain) Shlushies, solving the mystery of the Wyre Majestic and an incredible Port Ellen tasting...
Day 8: (Ardbeg) Ardbog. Need we say more? Oh, yeah – we’re almost lost at sea in an inflatable boat too...
Until next year, Islay! #HarderBetterFasterStronger