June 12, 2016
This week's review focuses on the Finlaggan Cask Strength, which has been bottled at a rather robust 58% abv. The brand itself takes its name from Finlaggan Castle, which was the seat of the feudal Lord of the Isles and is located in the area which bears the same name as the castle.
The brand itself is owned by independent bottlers, The Vintage Whisky Company, and it falls into the category of mystery malts as the identity of the distillery which is used to produce the whiskies within the Finlaggan brand is kept a very closely guarded secret (although more experienced palates would probably be able to guess its origins).
This particular expression seems to do justice to the phrase "iron fist in velvet glove" as it carries its rather robust nature and alcohol strength well and doesn't sear the palate as much as one would expect from a whisky bottled at 58% abv.
So, let's get on to the review!
Finlaggan Cask Strength (58% abv)
Nose: Peat smoke, sea salt and grass are immediately apparent on the nose, followed by a whiff of sea spray, black pepper and struck matches. With time, the sweeter elements come into play, with light citrus, barley sugar and chewy malt making an appearance. There is an aromatic element which seems to remind one of camphor.
Palate: Sweet peat, black pepper, coastal brine and iodine are very much the dominant aspects in this dram and there is a spiciness that one would associate with aniseed. Malted barley, cigar ash, struck matches and just a hint of barley sugar emerge after some time, giving this dram an added level of complexity.
Finish: Long and lingering finish, with cigar smoke, sweet peat, sea salt and barley sugar intermingling well with one another.
Balance: The smoky and peaty aspects are very much the dominant aspects of this dram, but the sweet barley and the coastal saltiness also have a hand to play in this complex and enjoyable dram. Quite well-balanced and it does exhibit a sophisticated oily yet drying mouthfeel. Exceptionally smooth for a whisky bottled at 58% abv!
The Finlaggan Cask Strength is available for purchase by the bottle or the dram from the bar and it is also featured in our Secrets of Islay whisky flight, so head on down to sample this delicious dram!
Written By Brendan Pillai for The Single Cask
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