If there is one Scottish whisky festival that I’d recommend over all the others it’s the Islay Whisky Festival or “Fèis Ìle” to give it the correct Gaelic title.
The Fèis Ìle started in 1985 as a celebration of Islay & Gaelic culture and was not really conceived as a whisky festival. But whisky is a big part of Islay culture so it was inevitable that it would become an important element of Feis Ile.
The festival in its current format, whereby each distillery hosts an open day, started in earnest in 2000. Since then the festival has become firmly established as one of the highlight events in the whisky calendar and this popularity means you need to be well prepared.
So here are some top tips that will help you make the most of a visit to Fèis Ìle.
Whilst restrictions remain in place around the world, the annual World Whisky Day will return Saturday 16th May, as an online celebration of the whisky community. A series of events will take place online, featuring Jura Single Malt Whisky, and key figures from across the industry including World Whisky Day Founder, Blair Bowman, and special guests.
The world has had to respond to the challenging times we face, including the whisky community in Scotland and worldwide. WWD and Whyte & Mackay responded with a reimagined online event, to provide an opportunity for the community to come together, mark the day, and recognize the people in the industry in aid of The Drinks Trust – the charity for the drinks industry.
Jura Single Malt Whisky has unveiled new additions to its family of single malt whiskies with the launch of Jura Tide and Jura Time, both aged for 21 Years, they bring to life the tiny island provenance for the super-premium market.
With not one, but two 21 year old expressions, Jura offers a classic Single Malt age statement popular with enthusiast whisky consumers worldwide. The pair offer a unique point of difference for collectors and are produced to strict allocation due to the limited availability of Jura’s older aged maturing inventory.
On the night of December 5 there was an opportunity to try 5 new expressions, The Jura Sherry Cask Collection. The Jura Sherry Cask Collection, is comprised of five whiskies; The Bay, The Loch, The Road, The Paps and The Sound, which have been matured in ex-bourbon barrels before being finished in Pedro Ximénez casks for different periods of time.
Each whisky has it’s own character, what makes it a big adventure for the taste buds. From The Sound to The Paps, it sounds like a Netflix series, and a good one too.
A new house style of whisky, featuring a new combination of sweetness from American white oak ex-bourbon barrels and a hint of subtle smoke, with each further enchanted by special selected casks from around Europe.
Time to go on the road, with one distillery and one purpose; Discovering Jura, a distillery operating on the island of Jura to the north of Islay.