This just into my inbox:
“To celebrate this year’s Islay Festival of Malt & Music on 23-30 May, Diageo is once again making available two special Festival editions of its Islay Single Malt Scotch Whiskies. These very limited editions will be available only to personal shoppers, with a limit of one bottle per person.
The first-ever single cask bottling of Caol Ila by the Distillers is drawn from a European oak ex-sherry cask filled in December 1996, which has provided just 654 70cl bottles of 12 year old Single Malt Scotch Whisky. The cask was hand-selected by Caol Ila distillery’s long-established manager, Billy Stitchell.
From Lagavulin comes a 14 year old expression of this famous Single Malt, from a European oak cask filled in 1995, and hand-picked from Warehouse No. 1 by Iain McArthur, long-standing warehouseman at Lagavulin distillery. This edition consists of 660 bottles.
Both editions are bottled at natural cask strength, and will be on sale at £69.99.
Nick Morgan, Diageo’s Scotch Knowledge and Heritage Director, said: “The Lagavulin single cask edition for the Feis Ile has been a great success in previous years, and we hope this one will bring just as much pleasure to Festival visitors. The Caol Ila bottling is a first for us: I’m sure devotees of this Whisky will find it an interesting and satisfying dram. Both are genuine bottlings made specifically for this year’s Festival and are priced very fairly, we think, to meet the pockets of the hard-pressed Whisky enthusiasts who may have travelled a very long way, and at considerable expense, on their pilgrimages to Islay”.
The Lagavulin Festival Edition will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis at Lagavulin distillery during their open day on Saturday 23 May. The Caol Ila Festival Edition will go on sale at Caol Ila distillery during their open day on Monday 25 May.”
So a bit of a scramble along the road through the Kildalton distilleries is indicated on Saturday 23rd of May, with both the Ardbeg and Lagavulin festival releases being released on that day. Myself and pals from caskstrength.net are on the 9.45 ferry - hopefully there’ll be no unseemly stampede off the ferry once we hit land :). I just hope we get there in time.
Well, I know they’re a bit more expensive than last year’s offerings, and I’m slightly surprised that the younger Caol Ila costs the same as the older Lagavulin, but I think I’ll probably end up buying both of these - providing the quality’s up to muster and if I can get my hands on them!
Let me know what you think in the comments below.