# 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: ★★★★★

#519 • Bowmore 17 years old

43% alc./vol.
Bowmore Distillery, Bowmore, Islay, Scotland

An old Bowmore here, probably available a few years ago, a bridge between the 15 and the 18 years? Around 2014 I think it was an official bottling of the distillery's “Core Range”!

There isn't much info left on that, but it's part of the game when we exchange samples, we have some, but we have so many that sometimes we lose track!

As the American war journalist and writer said so well Ernest "Ernie" Taylor Pyle (1900-1945) said so well:

Culture is like a parachute jump: when you don't have one, you crash

Her plump, swift legs drown in a golden bath.

Nose:
Peat and apples. We quickly replace these smells with passion fruit and caramel. Rather absurd and far from the usual style of the distillery. Subtle sherry as a backdrop.

Taste:
Silky texture. Caramel, grape and peat. The sherry shines a bit brighter here, but it's hard to ignore that it looks like a Bowmore that doesn't quite deliver the goods.

Finish:
Soft and slightly peaty, the leather and the fruits of the barrel do all the work. Quite pleasant smoked and salted meat.

Balance:
Hard to believe it's that old. Some notes ring false. Again, an overly diluted malt.

Note: ★★★★★