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.
Fishermans Retreat Edition No.6 Bruichladdich, Rivesaltes French Wine Cask. With just 249 bottles available, this is an amazing release.
Distilled on Wednesday the 23rd of May 2007 and bottled in 2019, Fishermans Retreat Edition No.6 Bruichladdich, isn’t been on the market that long. It is therefor a privilege and an adventure to enjoy this 50.4% limited edition, single malt whisky.
The Balvenie Distillery, built in 1892 by William Grant, is located north of Dufftown near Glenfiddich and they are one of Scotland’s most traditional distilleries.
The Balvenie 12 yr old Single Malt whisky; ‘The sweet toast of American Oak’, is the 1st part of a series of 3, with the name; ‘The Stories of Balvenie’. Charred virgin oak barrels are filled with bourbon whisky cask aged Balvenie.
This combination of virgin oak and ex-bourbon provides an amazing fruity taste and rich color.
The Islay Sea Collection, a group of seven malt whiskies from each of Islay’s coastal distilleries presented in a one of a kind display case is set to go under the hammer in this month’s Just Whisky auction with all proceeds going to the Portrush and Islay volunteer lifeboat crews.
The bottles and cask staves, which form the display case, were collected by a group of keen sailors who rowed 110 miles from Northern Ireland to Islay earlier this year.
Award winning Highland distillery, Tomatin, has announced the release of an exquisite single malt whisky: Decades II. The unique expression is a marriage of 21 casks, selected from key years throughout the last five decades.
As a tribute to the Tomatin way of life, and the generations of staff that to this day remain custodians of this exceptional Scotch Whisky.
Tomatin recently released two new limited-edition expressions, the 2009 Caribbean Rum Finish and 2006 Amontillado Sherry Finish.
Tomatin’s ability to experiment with creatively finished expressions comes from the distillery’s exceptional wood policy which ensures there is a wide range of casks sourced from prestigious partners within the industry.
The Echlinville Distillery (County Down, Northern Ireland) has unveiled its highly anticipated award winning Dunville’s VR 18 Year Old Port Mourant Rum Finish Single Malt Irish Whiskey.
This cask strength (57% abv) limited release is from the first of eight incredibly rare casks from the lost Port Mourant Estate Distillery in Guyana – casks that previously nurtured an exceptional 41 year old Demerara Rum from the world’s last surviving double wooden pot still.
Littlemill 29 year old, the latest expression from Littlemill’s Private Cellar collection, will be released this September, using liquid carefully selected from some of the last remaining casks to be laid down at the Littlemill Distillery.
Now recognised to have been the oldest licensed distillery in Scotland, the distillery fell silent in 1994 and was destroyed by fire in 2004, making this liquid exceptionally rare and covetable.
The Bimber Distillery tweet tasting held on Wednesday the 21s of august, was a blast.
An interesting fact to start with: Their founders are from Poland – and have a family history of moon-shining. Moonshine in Polish = Bimber!
At Bimber Distillery their mission is to produce a world-class single malt whisky, handcrafted with passion in West London. They combine generations of rich distilling heritage, with the finest quality ingredients to create the ultimate craft whisky experience and help drive forward the emerging English whisky category.
Whisky fans can enjoy a packed programme of events when Fife Whisky Festival returns to the Kingdom next March.
Tickets go on sale for the third Fife Whisky Festival on Saturday September 7 while the showcase event is being launched with a Twitter Tasting session on Wednesday August 28. The online session – under the hashtag #fifewhiskyfest – will give whisky lovers the chance to discover what a team of bloggers think about four delicious drams which they will be tasting blind from 7pm.