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 (Friday 25th. May to Sunday 3rd. June 2012.)
Like previous Festival bottlings, they’ll probably be much sought after.
But you’re going to have to be at the distillery bright and early because they’re only to be sold at the distillery and on a strictly first come, first served basis.
These two bottlings are a particular variant on the traditional styles of each whisky.
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).
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.
“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 the distillery’s open day, Saturday 26 May. The Caol Ila bottling will be sold on their open day – Monday 28 May.
Both bottlings will be priced at £85 per bottle.
During the Festival, a series of special events will also be held at the Lagavulin and Caol Ila distilleries. They will include tastings with the distillery manager and warehouse demonstrations as well as tours of the Port Ellen Maltings.