Whisky Advocate

Special Caol Ila and Lagavulin whiskies for the Islay Whisky Festival

May 18th, 2010

I’m back. If you’re heading to the Islay Whisky Festival next week (or know someone who is), you might want to pick up a bottle of these two whiskies while you can. They look delicious!


Following the tradition of recent years, Diageo has announced that two limited-edition single cask bottlings of its Islay single malt Scotch whiskies will be sold to personal visitors only at this year’s Islay Festival of Malt and Music (22-29 May:

Diageo’s single-cask Festival bottlings are highly prized, and often sell out within the week of the Festival to the hundreds of aficionados who flock each year to this famous celebration of West Coast single malt whisky.

The 2010 bottlings will be from a Lagavulin™ cask filled in August 1994 and from a Caol Ila™  cask filled in August 1999. Both malts have been bottled at natural cask strength, and will be priced at £74.99. The bottles will be rationed to one per visitor.

The Lagavulin special bottling will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis at the distillery, starting on the distillery’s open day, Saturday 22 May. The Caol Ila bottling will be sold with effect from Monday 24 May which is the Caol Ila open day.

Billy Stitchell, long-standing distillery manager, whose family connections with Caol Ila distillery go back many generations, personally chose the Caol Ila special bottling. The Lagavulin bottling was chosen once again by warehouseman Iain McArthur, renowned among enthusiasts for his sell-out warehouse tastings.

This year’s single cask bottling of Caol Ila is taken from a European oak ex-sherry cask, which has provided just 558 70cl bottles of Single Malt Scotch Whisky at 61.9% ABV.

The Lagavulin has been drawn from a European oak cask hand-picked from stocks stored at the famous Port Ellen warehouse. This edition, bottled at 52.7% ABV, consists of 528 bottles.

Nick Morgan, Diageo’s Scotch Knowledge and Heritage Director, said: “We are pleased to acknowledge the efforts that whisky lovers from all over the world make to visit Islay each year.

“These two hand-picked single cask bottlings are both fantastic examples of Islay whiskies. And I would like to think of them being savoured and enjoyed by our guests once they have made their long journey home.

“Islay is a very special place and I think it’s wonderful to be able to take a very unique part of it home with you.”

During the Festival, a series of special events will be held at both Lagavulin and Caol Ila distilleries, including tastings with the distillery manager and warehouse demonstrations. There will be also be tours of the Port Ellen Maltings.

No Responses to “Special Caol Ila and Lagavulin whiskies for the Islay Whisky Festival”

  1. Gllaguno says:

    Wow! This is really a collector’s item, but one bottle per person? mmm anyways I just start to imagine how a trip like this might be…

  2. Red_Arremer says:

    Man– imagine if there was a year round cask strength 11 yo sherry Caol Ila offering priced just 10-20$ above Ugeadail. I’d like to see how that one would do.

    • brian bradley (brian47126) says:

      Well, I know that CI would become a member of my regular drinking stock. Right now I have to depend on Signatory releases that Binny’s has. It would be great if someone at diageo would act on your suggestion.

    • mongo says:

      am i correct in interpreting this as “11 years in an ex-sherry cask” and not “finished in a sherry cask”?

  3. Mark Davis says:

    I would buy a cask strength, single cask bottling at that price point if it was made available in the states.

  4. Neil Fusillo says:

    Ah… but to be able to attend the Islay festival… and not be diverted to Zimbabwe because of ash clouds over Europe.

    Ah well. I have a phone number in Port Ellen. That’s the next best thing to visiting the maltings, right?

  5. Finnegan says:

    Coming soon to an ebay near you.

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