Finlaggan Eilean Mor Review

“Tarry Tarry Night”

Country: Scotland
Region: Islay
Brand: Finlaggan Eilean Mor
Bottled By/For: The Vintage Malt Whisky Company Limited, Glasgow
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: NAS
ABV: 46%
Chill-Filtration: Yes
Whisky Review: # 544

Colour: Pale Gold/Straw (Artificially Coloured)

Nose: Young, Sweet and Dirty with Wet Clay, Tar, Cold Smoke, Iodine, Burnt Rubber, Band Aid, Brine, Wet Tarmac, Ashes, Acetone, Smoked - and Fresh Fish and Shellfish, Bacon on the BBQ, Sweet Cereals, slightly Burnt Toast, light Vanilla, Caramel, Lemon, Sour Apples, Green Banana, Menthol, Aniseed and a few Herbs. The Alcohol is not fully integrated. There's no doubt we are talking about a young Islay whisky. On the Nose it's similar to young Ardbeg! 

Palate: A little Thin despite the adequate ABV. I find Wet Mud, Cold Smoke, Tar, Iodine, Plastic, Burnt Rubber, Brine, Ashes, Sweet Cereals, Burnt Toast with Salted Butter, Caramel, light Vanilla, Green Banana, Grapefruit Juice, Apple Vinegar, Lemon-Pepper, Nutmeg, Bacon and a little Oak.    

Finish: Medium-Long and mostly Sweet. There are some light Bitter - and Sour notes as well. I find Sweet Cereals, Burnt Toast, Sugared Tea, light Vanilla, Tar, Wet Mud, Band Aid, Plastic, Burnt Rubber, Cold Smoke, Ashes, Lemon, Licorice, Menthol, Lemon-Pepper and a little Oak. Hints of Salted - Peanuts and Pork.    

I Added a little Water but it becomes too Thin for my taste. Feel free to try out a few drops though. It does make the Malt a little milder.

Rating: 82  

Nose: 21 - Taste: 20.5 - Finish: 20 - Overall: 20.5 

General Remarks: The Finlaggan Eilean Mor is distilled by one of the Distilleries on Islay. Which one is a real secret, only known to a few. The 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 Eilean Mor in Loch Finlaggan. Finlaggan means Fort of the Island. It was demolished in the 15th or 16th Century. There are 2 other expressions in the Finlaggan series at the moment being the Old Reserve at 40% and the Cask Strength at 58%. Ileach and Islay Storm are marketed by the Vintage Malt Whisky Company as well. The Eilean Mor sells at an average 40 US Dollars (May 2016). That's close to the price (50 US Dollars) of the Cask Strength in many places. Makes you wonder if people won't pay the extra buck to get the CS!

Drinking Experience Neat: Good   

Conclusion: If you're a big fan of Young and Dirty Islay whiskies you'll be okay with this Finlaggan Eilean Mor. It's also kinda fun to keep guessing where this Single Malt was distilled. On the Nose it reminded me a lot of young Ardbeg but on the Palate it felt more like Caol Ila. Who knows! My guess is as good as yours! I must admit however that when I feel like drinking a young peaty Islay I prefer to go for standard 10 Years like Ardbeg or Laphroaig or the 12 Years from Caol Ila just to name a few. They are a bit more expensive of course but you get more balance as well, especially between Peat and Fruit, something I miss in the Finlaggan series. I haven't tasted the Finlaggan Cask Strength as yet so I will try to find a sample somewhere. Finlaggan Eilean Mor is not a bad Single Malt but it is a bit too Young and One-Sided for my Taste!

Jan van den Ende                                                                       June 2, 2016

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