To commemorate Islay’s annual festival of malt and music, Feis Ile, Douglas Laing & Co has released Big Peat’s Pals and Provenance Caol Ila 6yo.
If you entered the brand's social media competition earlier this year, then your face (and 300 others) could well be plastered on the Islay blended malt, Big Peat's Pals.
When it comes to the liquid, Fred Laing and team vatted the classic Big Peat recipe (comprising spirit distilled at Ardbeg, Bowmore, Caol Ila and Port Ellen Distilleries), before finishing the whisky in Spanish sherry butts - for the first time.
'Every year, our big pal Big Peat travels (big time!) all over the world, meeting old, and making new friends everywhere he goes...Some of them even look just like him, with the handsome (?) face, bushy beard and dark hair windswept by the harsh Hebridean weather!
'We so frequently receive photos of these avid Big Peat aficionados that we felt it time to give something back, and our gift to them is this limited edition bottling that features over 300 of their faces and is finished in sherry butts in a first for our feisty Ileach pal,' Fred Laing said.
Big Peat’s Pals Feis Ile 2017 Limited Edition (48% abv) is 'proudly' without colouring or chill-filtration. Just 1,600 bottles will be available globally.
So, to the second release: Provenance Caol Ila 6yo is a single cask bottling. The flavour profile is said to comprise smoked meats, bonfire smoke and charred wood, with a honeycomb sweetness prevailing on the finish.
'We have enviable stocks of Islay whisky, and were spoilt for choice when selecting our single cask release for Feis Ile 2017,' Cara Laing, third generation in the Douglas Laing family business, said. 'This feisty Caol Ila captured our imaginations, with its youth preserving that archetypal peat smoke character that Islay Malts are celebrated for.
'By making our Feis Ile bottlings available to our global distribution partners, we’re striving to deliver the ultimate taste of Islay to those who can’t make it to the festival in person. Big Peat’s Pals and Provenance Caol Ila 6yo are sure to transport those Islay enthusiasts to the whisky island during its most magical time of year.'
Keen to try some? Head down to Douglas Laing & Co's tasting or Big Peat’s 'Be the Blender' masterclass during the Islay Festival.