Scotland: Whisky & Distilleries
The pictures above have no relation with the Finlaggan distillery.
Anyway, the Finlaggan distillery does not exist. The whisky marketed
under this name is named after the residence of the Lord of the
Isles. The pictures represent the current Finlaggan site.
Finlaggan is one of the best kept secrets on the Isle of Islay. The distillery who produces this whisky is very discreet about it. The character of this exceptional whisky reminds those of the distillery Lagavulin .
The Finlaggan castle (in ruines now) was the residence of the "Lord of the Isles", who dominated Scotland in those times.
Here is something I found on a forum on the web about Finlaggan:
“ Finally my quest for the mysterious distillery behind Finlaggan has reached its goal !
You will find hereunder a copy of my message on another whisky forum (The Howff from Scotweb) : "A few weeks ago I contacted someone who works on Islay and this man happens to know the man who produces Finlaggan.
My "correspondent" warned me that the truth behind this mystery might be a disappointment. Here it comes: The man who set up in business to "produce" Finlaggan whisky (also sold as Ileach whisky) was formerly employed by one of the Islay distilleries. He purchases production from WHICHEVER of the Islay distilleries offers the best deal at the time of the purchase. This means that subsequent bottles sometimes do not always contain the same whisky as a previous bottling (since it is sold as a single malt, they are not blended together) !
However, most Finlaggan does come from Coal Ila and Lagavulin, but also sometimes from Laphroaig...
So, this confirms the different tastes from different expert panels and explains why it is such a secret in the whisky industry.
It is indeed a disappointment in a way that Finlaggan seems to be a pure commercial product. The result is a good single malt at a low price... The problem is that you will never know for sure which single malt is in your bottle."
Now, the reply:
" I have read with interest your correspondence re.our Finlaggan Old Reserve - the secret Islay and I am delighted that you enjoy it and regard it as an excellent single malt.
You will no doubt therefore not be surprised to learn that Finlaggan Old Reserve won a gold award in the Year 2000 Internat. Wine and Spirit Competition, scoring over 90 points and putting it firmly in the company of some of the older Islay malts produced by multinationals.
We are extremely proud of this achievement and we hope that many more people will realise just what a super product we are putting on the market at an affordable price.
Although we are determined to keep the source of Finlaggan secret there is no doubt this can sometimes lead to inaccurate speculation and people jumping to the wrong conclusion. Rather than reply on your friend who knows somebody who once met the owner of the Vintage Malt Whisky Co. let me give you some facts about our whisky.
1) Finlaggan Old Reserve comes from one Distillery and one Distillery only. It is a completely consistent product. The only thing that changes is the date of distillation from year to year and the palate of those who taste it.
2) Finlaggan Old Reserve is now sold in many European countries - France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, USA, and the UK.
3) Because stocks of Islay Malt are difficult to get, and to protect our source, we are only able at this time to produce one other age of Finlaggan ie 15 yo. We do plan however to lauch an 8 yo. Finlaggan sometime this year
4) We do not chop and change our Islay Malt depending on what is the "best deal" at the time. This is a complete falsehood and I suspect it was said to make mischief.
5) The coding on the bottle is a complete red herring - the L does not stand for any distillery and the figures only help us to identify different batches.
Hope this helps clarify the situation and good luck to all those in their search for Finlaggan.
Brian Crook M.D. THE VINTAGE MALT WHISKY CO. LTD ”
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