Today starts Feis Ile 2017, Islay’s annual whisky craze. While round about 3,500 inhabitants call the beautiful Hebridean island their home for the remaining 51 weeks of the year, almost three times as many people tread its marvelous grounds during the Feis Ile festivities, causing the entire isle to shake for eight days without respite. Unfortunately, I will not be around to witness the frolicsome get-together of whisky lovers from all corners of the world first-hand. But thanks to my friend Big Peat, I will have my own little Feis Ile experience at home. Cause this year the gentle giant with the full beard and weatherbeaten face has again produced a limited Feis Ile bottling for me and his many other pals (the faces of 300 of which grace the beautiful tube of said whisky). As is to be expected from the Islay expression of the Remarkable Regional Malts range, this special edition of Big Peat wholeheartedly embraces its Islay heritage. But there is more. For the first time ever, the Big Peat Feis Ile 2017 received a finish in sherry casks, which added a marvelous fruitiness to the strong and stormy spirit. Congrats on that superb special edition, Big Peat, and cheers for bringing a little bit of Feis Ile into my own four walls!
Eye: To be well rested for this year’s Islay festival, good ol’ Peat took some extra hours of sleep in a sherry cask. This added a slight copper note to that lovable Ileach’s pale complexion.
Nose: Seems like our bighearted friend put on a fruity eau de cologne especially for Feis Ile. While his signature scent does normally go into a salty, sooty and buttery direction, it is now enriched by notes of mashed currants, candied strawberries and other red fruits.
Palate: Bottled with a raised ABV of 48 per cent, Big Peat’s Feis Ile 2017 bottling has a robust body and a brawny frame. Although the Islay peat might be a bit less dominant in this one than it is in the regular edition, it still sticks out its chest proudly and forms a wonderful union with the newly found sherry sweetness.
Finish: As expected from an old companion who is always welcome in our midst, the first-ever sherry-finished Big Peat keeps us good company. The longer he stays with us, the more he warms up and the sweeter he becomes.
Type: Blended Malt Scotch Whisky
Region: Scotland (Islay)
Age: No Age Statement
Cask: Sherry Finish
Alc. volume: 48%
Bottle size: 0.7 litres
Price range: ~60.00 Euro (original list price)
More info: http://www.douglaslaing.com/ (Bottler) ; http://www.bremerspirituosencontor.de/ (Importer)