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Fèis Ìle 2022: Festival bottlings for Bowmore, Caol Ila, Lagavulin, Bunnahabhain and Ardbeg - prices and how to buy

Whisky fans are descending on Islay for the first in-person Fèis Ìle since 2019.

Published: May 27, 2022
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As Fèis Ìle has kicked off, many whisky fans will be making the pilgrimage to Islay to enjoy a few drams and get their hands on some of the limited edition bottlings.

From Ardbeg's peat monsters to the lighter Bunnahanhain, Islay has something for all whisky tastes including the range of 2022 festival bottlings.

Fèis Ìle is Islay’s renowned whisky and music festival, and runs this year from the 27 May to the 4 June.

Each of the nine Islay distilleries have their own festival day which can include tours, tastings and live music.

Here we take a look at what festival bottlings are on offer and how you can snap up a bottle.

Bunnahabhain

Bunnahabhain Day be celebrated at the distillery on 3 June 2022, along with a series of online events.

The series of events have been specially curated by the team at the distillery, led by Distillery Manager Andrew Brown, alongside Master Blender Julieann Fernandez and Master Distiller Brendan McCarron.

This team will all be on hand to guide whisky lovers through the distillery’s diverse portfolio of internationally sought-after expressions. 

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For those participating in Bunnahabhain Day, the team will also have a few surprises in store, with exclusive details on another new limited-edition product to be revealed live during the Masterclass tasting.

Bunnahabhain has released a collection of limited-edition expressions in honour of Fèis Ìleincluding: Abhainn Araig (£95), a non-age statement marriage of Bunnahabhain spirit, 2004 Moine Tokaji (£199) and 1998 French Calvados cask finish (£400).

Bottled at 50.8% abv, Abhainn Araig takes its name from the Araig River on Islay, a vital life source for the distillery.

It is a marriage of Bunnahabhain spirit that has been matured in ex-Pedro Ximenez sherry, in a selection of octave casks.

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A special edition 1998 Cask Finish has been bottled in celebration of Feis at 49.7% abv.

Finished in Calvados brandy casks, this bottle has slumbered peacefully for two decades on Bunnahabhain’s shores before spending the last two years of its life in casks that once held the finest French Calvados.

Available exclusively at the Bunnahabhain distillery and online, the Moine Tokaji finish is bottled at 52.5% abv, and is produced using Bunnahabhain Moine, meaning ‘peated’ in Scots Gaelic.

The 2004 Moine Tokaji was finished in casks which once held the finest Hungarian Tokaji white wine.

Bunnahabhain launch 1989 Oloroso cask finish at Fèis Ìle 2022

To purchase or to find out further details please visit the Bunnahabhain website.

Caol Ila

Caol Ila Fèis Ìle 2022 is a 15 year old that has been matured in refill American Oak Hogsheads and finished in virgin American Oak casks.

The ABV is 55.2% and it is priced at £165 - available from Caol Ila Fèis Ìle site and malts.com

The team say: "Caol Ila Fèis Ìle 2022 15-Year-Old full-bodied bottle opens with lightly oily and smooth texture and delightfully clean yet unexpectedly sweet notes.

"A slight taste of salt mid-palate adds balance as the peppery kick creeps in and the oak spice gently makes its presence felt. A drop of water brings out the smooth sweetness perfectly combined by the oaky wood-spice smokiness."

Lagavulin

Lagavulin Fèis Ìle 2022 is a 12 year old that has matured in refill American Oak Hogsheads and finished in virgin American Oak casks.

It has an ABV of 57.7% and is priced at £165 available from: Lagavulin Fèis Ìle and malts.com

The team say "Lagavulin Fèis Ìle 2022 12-Year-Old is an unusually rich, full-bodied and sweet-spicy dram.

"This unique bottling’s creamy touches blend into maritime notes of crystalline salt and tide-line seaweed joined by hints of medicinal salve.

"The long, intense and lightly drying finish lingers with tastes of smoke edged spice.

"Add a good splash of water to emphasise the smooth sweetness and the ashy smokiness, now backed more respectfully by the oaky wood-spice."

Ardbeg

A new limited edition Ardbeg, Ardcore, has been released ahead of the first in-person Ardbeg Day since the pandemic.

This year, the event falls on 4 June, with festivities set to take place at the distillery, online, and at local events around the world.

Ardcore has been created with roasted black malt – an unconventional choice, and a first for Ardbeg. It is Non chill-filtered at 50.1% ABV.

Ardcore is available to buy from Ardbeg Embassies, whisky specialists, online retailers and from the Distillery Visitor Centre.

Ardcore is available to committee members but you can find some online for about £250.

Bowmore

Bowmore Distillery
Bowmore Distillery. Picture: Creative Commons

Bowmore has a 25 yearold whisky for this year's 2022 Fèis Ìle and fans will have to sign up to a time slot in order to buy a bottle.

This means whisky fans will have to be on Islay to buy on Bowmore day on Wednesday 1 June.

There won't be any golden tickets or overnight queue.

For those that miss out, there will be a Bowmore 15 year old whisky matured in first fill bourbon casks available to buy in the distillery shop with no need to pre order.

Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind writes for The Scotsman on all things food and drink related as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.

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