Lagavulin and Caol Ila unveil their Fèis Ìle limited edition releases

Two of Islay’s best-loved single malt distilleries, Lagavulin and Caol Ila, are launching three limited-edition bottlings to celebrate the Fèis Ìle festival 2024.

Lagavulin is releasing the Skies of Fèis Ìle 29-year-old and the Fèis Ìle 2024 10-year-old – whilst Caol Ila’s offer is the Fèis Ìle 2024 13-year-old.

Skies of Fèis Ìle is inspired by the aurora borealis, which can at times be seen as it illuminates the skies of Islay.

With what is described as a ‘luminously deep amber hue and intense fruity notes’, this release has been finished in a heavily charred Amoroso-seasoned American Oak hogshead cask.

Only a limited number of bottles will be available at Fèis Ìle and each one will be personally hand filled and signed by distillery manager, Jordan Paisley.

Whisky author Charles MacLean describes Lagavulin Skies of Fèis Ìle: “As good as it gets! This is a hugely satisfying and complex whisky and a superb example of Lagavulin, whose distillery character still shines through its considerable age and unique finishing.”

Delving into ‘uncharted territories’ the distillery is also releasing the Lagavulin Fèis Ìle 2024 10-year-old, drawn from extra-heavily-peated stock, the ‘prototype’ of which was previewed for a lucky few during the Lagavulin Malt Mill experience at last year’s festival.

The distillery team utilised malt with higher peating levels than usual and matured its resulting liquid in refill, heavily charred and first fill ex-bourbon American oak hogshead casks to create this ‘powerful’ expression.

Lagavulin distillery manager Jordan Paisley said: “This year we’re releasing two very different expressions, but with a very similar inspiration: the way special moments, like Fèis Ìle or the Northern Lights on Islay, are capable of bringing people together.

“Just like Lagavulin has been uniting fans all over the world through its unique whisky, it is a very special moment for us.”

Caol Ila’s Fèis Ìle 2024 13-year-old is described as introducing a ‘unique twist on the characteristic bonfire peat’ from Caol Ila, finished in ex-Ruby Port French Oak casks sourced from the Douro Valley in Portugal.

Said to be inspired by the rich history of the island and the waters between Caol Ila and neighbouring Jura, the Fèis Ìle 2024 13-year-old offers a ‘bold fusion of maritime notes and chilli spiced Mediterranean flavours’.

Caol Ila distillery manager Eva Cumming said: “I wanted to celebrate this year’s Fèis Ìle with a truly exceptional bottling, especially since this marks my inaugural Fèis Ìle as Caol Ila’s distillery manager.

“This expression beautifully captures Caol Ila’s signature maritime smokiness, complemented by a twist with those sweeter tones. I’m looking forward to raising a glass with all of our fans!”