A few weeks ago, the annual festival, Feis Ile, took place on Islay. One of the most popular festival bottlings is the one from Lagavulin, known for its good quality. Last year’s release was really really great, so I am curious what this year’s edition, the Lagavulin Feis Ile 2017 will bring.
The hype is big and the demand for these festival bottlings is high. Immediately after they are released, the bottles will already appear on auctions. Even now that the Lagavulin festival bottling isn’t really that limited anymore. It had an outcome of no less than 6.000 (!) bottles. Before 2013, it was always a single cask release, but since then it has changed. The edition in that year was suddenly increased to 3.000 bottles, and this number has risen to 6.000 since last year. But they still manage to sell out rather quickly. I guess it’s just a matter of supply and demand.
This Lagavulin has double matured in Moscatel casks, that previously held Caol Ila Distiller’s edition, and is bottled at 56,1% ABV.
Lagavulin Feis Ile 2017 tasting notes:
Nose: It starts quite smoky, with lemon. Later caramel as well, and a hint of menthol. Later plums too. With water, more citrus and briny.
Taste: Liquorice, smoke and tar. The lemon is here as well, but more on the background. And briny as well. With water the citrus comes back more strongly, but it is also more bitter. There is also a little bit of sweetness here. Even a hint of raw vegetables (?!). Weird.
Finish: The finish is mid-long with peat, liquorice and a sweetness that I can’t define.
Water isn’t really adding something to it. It becomes more bitter in the taste, a bit too much if you ask me. I think last year’s edition is a lot better. It’s certainly not a bad Laga, but it’s a bit too expensive for what you get. In my opinion, the standard 16 year old is just as good and that one is much less expensive.