Finlaggan The Original Peaty Review

“In the Court of the Lord of the Isles”

Country: Scotland
Region: Islay
Brand: Finlaggan The Original Peaty
Bottled By/For: The Vintage Malt Whisky Company Limited, Glasgow
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: NAS
ABV: 40%
Sample provided by Jan from the Netherlands. Many thanks!

Colour: Light Amber (Artificially Coloured)

Nose: The Sweet Peat is all over the place. This is a perfect example of a young and rough Islay Malt. I find Cold Smoke, Ashes, Wet Mud, Medicine, Band-Aid, Plastic, Rubber, Burning Newspaper, Wet Tarmac, Salt Water, Sweet Cereals, Burnt Toast, Alcohol, Smoked Fish & Pork, Banana, Pineapple, Apple Vinegar, BBQ Sauce, light Honey, Lemon, Caramel, light Menthol, light Aniseed and light Licorice. On the Nose, the Original Peaty is quite similar to the Finlaggan Secret of Islay that I reviewed earlier.

Palate: On the Palate, the Original Peaty is Bitter-Sweet but a bit Thin and Watery with Sweet Barley, Sugar, Cold Smoke, Wet Grass, Ashes, Plastic, Rubber, Salt Water, Charred Oak, Lemon, Banana, light Vanilla, Apple Vinegar, Bacon, Pepper, Nutmeg and Metallic- and Mineral notes.

Finish: Middle-Long and Sugary Sweet with a light Bitterness towards the end. I find Wet Mud, Cold Smoke, Ashes, Tar, Medicine, Plastic, Sweet Barley, light Vanilla, Burnt Toast, light Menthol, Salt, Licorice, Lemon-Pepper and hints of Charred Oak and Milk Chocolate.

This Finlaggan does not improve with added Water.

Rating: 81 

Nose: 21 - Taste: 20 - Finish: 20 - Overall: 20

General Remarks: The Original Peaty Single Malt is distilled by one of the Distilleries on Islay. Which one is a real secret, only known to a few. This Whisky is named after the ruins of the Finlaggan Castle. It was constructed in the 13th Century and served as the home of The Lord of the Isles and the Clan MacDonald. It is located on a little Island called Eileen Mor in Loch Finlaggan. Finlaggan means Fort of the Island. It was demolished in the 15th or 16th Century. There are other expressions in the Finlaggan series being the Secret of Islay, the 10 Years Lightly Peated and the Cask Strength at 58%. The Original Peaty sells at an average 30 US Dollars, but it can go as low as 20 US Dollars depending on where you live. This Malt was Chill-Filtered before bottling.

Drinking Experience Neat: Good  

Conclusion: A typical Young and Edgy Islay Malt. At this age (5-7 Years) most peated Islay Malts tend to present similar Aromas and Flavours. That's why it's very difficult to guess where this Finlaggan was distilled. Most likely it's either at Lagavulin, Caol Ila or Laphroaig but I guess it will remain a secret for a long time. In general I found this Original Peaty very similar to the Finlaggan Secret of Islay and the Ileach Peated. All are dominated by Coastal Peaty Aromas and Flavours. Both Finlaggans present an artificial Sweetness and a clear Plastic note that slightly turn me off. If you are not into Peat you should leave this type of Whisky alone. But for Peat Lovers, these Malts are interesting and quite cheap alternatives for the regular standard Islay Single Malts. The price difference is such that you might want to forgive the Finlaggans for their flaws. So while the two Finlaggans and the Ileach certainly would not qualify as Lords of the Isles, they probably would be allowed as advisers to the court!

Jan van den Ende                                                             December 28, 2015

The ruins of Finlaggan Castle

I would like to wish all readers of Best Shot Whisky Reviews and their Families a Happy and Healthy 2016. May the Dram be with us!

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