# 525 • Finlaggan Old Reserve Islay Single Malt

40% alc./vol.
The Vintage Malt Whiskey Company, Milngavie, Glasgow, Scotland

A few years ago, a mysterious malt found its way onto the shelves of the SAQ Signature. The Finlaggan Old Reserve Islay Single Malt. Although bottled up by the enigmatic Vintage Malt Whiskey Company, the secret of his origin is so well kept that even rumors about him are raging. Some even say it would be produced by Lagavulin!

Another bottling for which the company keeps a very strict and efficient motus and sewn-on as to the provenance of its whiskey. The only thing they let us know is that Finlaggan has always come, always comes, and always will come from the same Islay distillery. Bottled at 40% alcohol, cold filtered and colored with good old caramel, Finlaggan is named in honor of the ruins of Finlaggan Castle, a historic site on the Loch Finlaggan on Islay, which would have been the residence of Lord of the Isles.

Yet not a reason to sell in SAQ almost $ 100 a bottle which sells for US $ 18 in the states.

As the French composer said so well Ambroise Thomas (1811-1896) said so well:

All new faith begins with heresy.

Classic peat paleness, but with a few more degrees of richness.

Nose:
Big dirty and filthy peat as we like it. Sweet and earthy barley accents. Surprising and exciting.

Taste:
Peat, leather and white chocolate. Return of the cereal. Extremely sweet, few spices. Its slightly watery texture disappoints a bit.

Finish:
Short and light for an Islay, it is difficult to keep good memories in the mouth for long. Smoke and washed stone.

Balance:
A more than valiant effort, but it is cruelly handicapped by its puny alcohol level and its price tag of nearly $ 100.

Note: ★★★★★

# 524 • Dun Bheagan Islay 2008

46% alc./vol.
Ian Macleod Distillery, Broxburn, Scotland

Wow, it's been a long time since we met at Ian MacLeod's blenders, even if we risk finding ourselves there in each vintage of their little gem of Islay, the Dun Bheagan. Here we are talking about the 2008 version. Ouyouyouye.

Hmmm, an obscure single malt from the makers of Smokehead, with very precise stats, aged in sherry casks, cask # 315764 out of 315770, 5376 bottles.

Besides the fact that its name evokes a mountain-fortress of dwarves of a universe worthy of D & D or Tolkien, very little can be gleaned about this Islay malt. Like what when we sell or leave bottled, we prefer to cultivate the mystery.

As the King of Wessex and all the Anglo-Saxons said so well Alfred the Great (848-899) said so well:

I pity those for whom there is no mystery: they have no mystery for anyone; and also little life, in proportion.

A rolling fire of bright orange jumps to the eye.

Nose:
Sweet oily peat with earthy turf accents. Caramel, wood, heather and dried seaweed. Orange and a hint of leather.

Taste:
Arrival in the dry and peaty mouth. Light but not too much. Avalanche of fruits and grass.

Finish:
Long, peppery and smoky. Wind of peat and fruit, peated sherry cask festival.

Balance:
An interesting malt, a beautiful dram that warms up by the fire.

Note: ★★★★★