Paula’s Feis Ile 2010 Odyssey – Part 2


My whisky odyssey had started in Campbeltown and Springbank’s open day would be a hard act to follow on an ordinary trip but I was heading to the peat-lover’s homeland for ‘FEIS ILE’. More commonly known as Islay’s Malt and Music Festival, this is an opportunity to visit all eight distilleries on Islay and maybe even Port Ellen Maltings (if you book your tickets far enough in advance), see how and where these smoky delights are made and to meet the people responsible. And, of course, to taste one or two… or three…

Friday 22nd May was the first of the distilleries’ Open Days and Lagavulin had the starting honours. Their festival bottling was their first Distillery Edition, limited to 6000 bottles. For the first time, Lagavulin sold out in the day. I queued with many others to get in the shop and I am kicking myself that I didn’t actually buy a bottle. Especially after tasting it a couple of days later…

Lagavulin Distillery Edition. 52.5% PX finish.

Nose: Poached peaches, tarry ropes, salt, chunky Milky Bar chocolate, Italian toasted nut biscuits.
Palate: A rich mouthfeel with cocoa and good, mellow tobacco leaf. An onrush of flavours with spice and chocolate tumbling over each other.
Finish:Nutty oiliness on the finish with a lightweight mouthfeel, drying into a lingering saltiness.
An intriguing dram but oddly unsatisfying – I felt I had to go back again to find the rest of the whisky.

Lagavulin Distillery Edition

Now, I know that I am a jammy ratbag and anyone who read last year’s festival blog will know that I met up with some crazy Belgians called the Lindores Whisky Society. These guys know good whisky and don’t mind sharing. Imagine my delight to meet up with some of them at Lagavulin and be invited to their legendary lobster night! Woohoo! The only drawback was the distressing bubbling of fifteen lobsters in the back of my car… a small price to pay for a night of epic whisky sampling and excellent company.
That is another story, though… Part 3,in fact.


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