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Finlaggan Cask Strength

Average score from 3 reviews and 9 ratings 85

Finlaggan Cask Strength

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Finlaggan Cask Strength

Finlaggan is produced by the Vintage Malt Whisky Company who own other well-known brands in the market such as “The Ileach” and “Islay Storm”. It is bottled as an undisclosed Islay malt, although rumour has it that it is mainly Lagavulin that is used to create the Finlaggan whiskies.

The nose starts off with lots of citrusy flavours, followed by notes of brine, iodine and walnuts. Quite sooty too and somewhat austere.

The palate is medium-bodied and brings with it more citrus flavours (lemons and grapefruits) as well as brine and iodine. There are now also notes of herbs and a hint of liquorice. Not as sooty as the nose but lots of peat smoke instead.

The finish is of medium length, sooty and salty. The ubiquitous citrus flavours are there too.

Good and decent stuff, ideal for a cold winter weekend, and not expensive either. In short: recommended.

@RianC I would prefer to get almost anything over Bowmore 15.

@BlueNote I can get this or a bottle of Bowmore 15 for the same price. What would you, or anyone, choose? My gut is saying Finlaggan ...


When I first tried the Finlaggan Cask Strength, I was quite satisfied. So when my whisky buddy Pat offered me a sample of a recent release – 18th May 2015 – I gladly took and will try that today.

Soot, asphalt and dried grasses with a good dose of butane gas precede hints of citrus fruit, young apples and some almond paste. This nose also shows a bit of salt and a lovely dose of peat. Unmistakably Islay.

It is very smoky, spicy and surprisingly sweet on the palate. Oh, boy, this is quite a spicy fellow. I’m sure the ABV has something to do with that as well. I get all warm inside. Apples, grapefruit and lime go hand in glove with salt, ginger, liquorice and some pepper. Honey joins in, but does not stand a chance against the overwhelming saltiness. This goes from sweet to salt to very brackish and it works like a charm.

The finish is long, smoky and nicely warming.

Nice whisky that reminds me of Lagavulin, but obviously I cannot be certain about that.


This Finlaggan has a cask strength of no less than 58%, so buckle up. It is named after the old Finlaggan Castle on Islay, from which the Lords of the Isles and Clan MacDonald ruled the area. Today, it is nothing but a ruin. The whisky, however, is still very much alive. Even though it is a NAS bottling, I am told the contents is a 6 Year Old (most likely Lagavulin).

Ouch! It is off to a very weird start on cow pat and dried grasses, warm asphalt and soot. Lighter fuel. The fruit struggles to get past it. What succeeds is dark. Think plums and a kriek. Then some caramelized apples and something of walnuts with finally some lemon. It opens up, luckily (for the first whiff on cow manure was quite a scare). Oh, lest I forget: a truckload of peat and salt.

Wow, it is a whole lot sweeter on the palate. The fruit arrives first (apple, lime), inundated with a strong mix of herbs, before the peat and mostly the silt attack without remorse. Midpalate it turn quite earthy, if you know what I mean.

The long finish on liquorice and salt fades very, very slowly.

Well, this was quite the adventure. Might as well (and maybe it is) be a single cask Lagavulin, but at a dumping price. Recommended! There is also a Finlaggan The Original Peaty, a Finlaggan Old Reserve, a Finlaggan 6 Year Old and a Finlaggan 10 Year Old.


Can I ask if this review was of the older green bottle version, or the newer clear bottle version? I just ordered this, and was slightly disappointed to see that at least in the new clear bottle version there's added caramel colorant.

@Tandem, it came from the green bottle as depicted here.

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