Islay Festival 2018 (Feis Ile) bottlings [25th May — 2nd June 2018]

Feis Ile 2018 is almost around the corner, and in this page i shall track the upcoming special releases and bottlings that are going to be featured / sold this year. Not everything is clear at the moment, but the page will be updating as news unfold. You can find the open days schedule and info at the official Feis site.

Distillery Bottlings: (Updated : May 31st, 2018)

Bowmore – Wednesday, May 30th, 2018

we have 2 different bottles available this year, and another hand filled option (as always).

The exclusive Fèis Ìle release this year is a marriage of some finest Oloroso Sherry casks. A release of only 3,000 bottles in total. 1,500 of these bottles will be available to buy
exclusively from the distillery visitor centre from Saturday 26th May at 10am, with the remaining 1500 bottles being kept for release on Bowmore’s Open day, Wednesday 30th May from 10am.
£85.00 (Maximum 2 per person / transaction… )


This year’s Vintage Fèis Ìle Edition  is a vintage 1989 28 year old, single cask ex-Bourbon matured. Only 212 bottles of this precious liquid will be available to buy, exclusively on Wednesday 30th May.
Price – £400 (Strictly 1 per person)



This year the Bruichladdich Feis celebrations puts the Port Charlotte line of heavily peated whiskies in focus, and there are two PC editions sold at the Laddie shop for festival comers:

The festival bottle is the Port Charlotte “The Heretic” , distilled in 2001  bottled at 55.9%,  priced at £125 with a total if  1300 bottles. “The Last of the First”: The very last five casks from Port Charlotte’s first year of distillation in 2001. Adam has carefully married these five casks which previously held either American whiskey, rum or fine French wine. It also is featured in the new PC bottle design just announced a few weeks ago.

the 2nd offering is Port Charlotte 2005, The Distillery Valinch sold in 50cl small fill your own bottled at 59.3%, 956 bottles, £75 per bottle.  This is a a single cask bottling of the heavily-peated Port Charlotte spirit; distilled in 2005 and matured entirely  in an Oloroso sherry butt.


Laphroaig –  Tuesday , May 29th 2018

Like every year, Laphraoig is calling their bottling Cairdeas (friendship in Gealic), and this year’s edition will be a Fino Sherry cask , bottled at 51.8% abv.

Ardbeg –  Saturday, June 2nd 2018

Ardbeg has revealed this edition a few weeks ago, and this time it’s called “Grooves”. Director of distilling, whisky creation and whisky stocks Dr Bill Lumsden has matured part of the whisky in re-toasted red wine casks.These casks were intensely charred to create heavy grooves in the surface of the wood, designed to produce more intense flavours of ‘smoked spices, distant bonfires and chilli-seasoned meats’. Two different expressions will be launched to mark Ardbeg Day: one bottled at 46%, priced at £98 and another bottled exclusively for members of the Ardbeg Committee at Cask Strength of 51.6%, and shall be priced at £89 a bottle.

Bunnahabhain – Friday, June 1st 2018

there are two Feis bottlings this year:

Moine Oloroso Matured, distilled 2007 and bottled in 2017 (10 years old) peated and bottled at 59.5% abv. Limited to 1,881 bottles RRP £95 

Spanish Oak Finish , distilled in 2002 and bottled in 2017. Finished in Spanish Oak Gran Reserva barrels between 2013-2017 and bottled at 58.2% abv,  only 1,500 bottles priced at £250 RRP.

Kilchoman distillery ,  Thursday 31st May 

Anthony Wills and Robin Bignal made their way down to the warehouse a few weeks ago and went in search of some casks suitable for some experienced Feis Ile visitors. There wasn’t much produced back in 2007 when the distillery was newly opened but they have located some 2007 bourbon barrels that were filled in March of that year, making this an 11 year old release, something Kilchoman have rarely done! ~740 bottles for release on the 31st.

These bottles will only be available from the distillery shop from 10am onwards. The price will be £111 and due to the limited amount there will be one bottle available per person.


The Lagavulin festival bottling (Lagavulin 18 Year Old) has been personally selected by Iain McArthur and is a marriage of refill and rejuvenated American Oak Hogsheads and ex Bodega European Oak Butts. Bottled at natural cask strength, it will be a limited edition run of 6,000 bottles. ABV 53.9%, RRP £130

Caol Ila

The Caol Ila bottling (10 yo)  has been matured in Refill American Oak Hogsheads and Rejuvenated European Oak Butts. Bottled at natural cask strength, with a limited edition run of 2,496 bottles. ABV 58.2%, RRP £100


Independent Bottlings:


For those fortunate enough to be travelling to Islay, the SMWS will be releasing Cask No. 29.244: Weaving wondrous dreams, which will only be available for existing and new members to purchase on the island. The bottling is an 8-year-old peated whisky at 62.2% abv, from a refill ex-bourbon barrel. The palate is intense, with an earthy sweetness and all the familiar medicinal notes you would expect from this distillery. With only 222 bottles available to members, this will be a very limited edition and sought-after bottle.

Other Islay bottlings include:

Islay exclusive: 29.244: Weaving wondrous dreams.
Islay exclusive: 29.244: Weaving wondrous dreams.

Cask No. 3.307: A journey into joy. A big sherried dram from a refill ex-oloroso butt with lots of depth and balance, 20-years-old and 55.9% abv from our Peated flavour profile. (UK and EU bottling)

Cask No. 3.308: A maritime meander. 13-years-old from a second-fill hogshead, perfumed and easy-going from our Peated flavour profile. (UK Members’ Rooms and Islay)

Cask No. 10.141: Indulgence by the sea. A 12-year-old from the Oily & Coastal flavour profile, bottled at 59.5% abv. (UK and EU bottling)

Cask No. 10.146: Sweet smoky succulent sensation. A feisty and sweet 9-year-old Peated bottling at 60.1% abv. (UK and EU bottling)

Cask No. 29.241: A perfect moment. A 20-year-old from our Oily & Coastal flavour profile, perfectly balanced and refined at 49.3% abv. (UK and EU bottling)

Cask No. 53.248: Slapped by Poseidon’s glove. Lots of sea shells and smoked fish in this 11-year-old Lightly Peated bottling at 58.0% abv. (UK Members’ Rooms and Islay)

Cask No. 53.252: Smoky incarnations. Sweet fennel seeds in among plumes of smoke in an 11-year-old Lightly Peated at 57.8% abv. (UK Members’ Rooms and Islay)

Douglas Laing

D.Laing are bottling a special Big Peat expression for the festival. 3,000 bottles, at 48% abv. priced at £49.99.

Hunter Laing

Hunter laing has announced the release of the 2nd Kinship series: six bottlings created to mark the Islay Festival 2018, and our construction of Ardnahoe Distillery. As last year, each bottling has been hand selected by Jim McEwan and will form the basis of his two tastings to be held during the Festival. Each bottle is numbered, and comes in a presentation gift tube. As always, they are bottled without added colouring or chill filtration. The range will go on sale on Islay at 10am on Friday 25th May from the Ardnahoe Shop, Islay House Square, Bridgend. The six bottlings are:

Highland Park 21yo, 51.4% (2 Hogsheads w/ 6 months Sherry butt finishing) £195
Springbank 25 yo, 53.7% (Sherry butt) £495
Jura 26yo, 52.7% (Refill Hogshead) £198
Bowmore 21yo 53.2% (2 Refill Hogsheads) £150
Bunnahabhain 30yo, 52.8% (2 Sherry Hogsheads) £330
Laphroaig 20yo, 55.2% (2 Refill Hogsheads) £285


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