Bought – Justminiatures, 2nd May 2014
This mystery malt is rumoured to be Lagavulin but the staff at Whisky Exchange say this “seems a little unlikely to us”. I have to wonder if this comment prompts two of their reviewers to say they think it’s Caol Ila. One suggests it’s “young-ish Coal Ila” which, given this Finlaggan is NAS and reasonably cheap, ‘young’ is what you’d expect.
With the Lagavulin 16yo costing around £50 and this Finlaggan NAS costing £27, it could potentially be Lagavulin based on the price. At the heart of the Finlaggan is likely to be malt half the age of the Lagavulin 16yo, so why not half the price? If only the world of whisky pricing was that simple.
Assuming I enjoy this Finlaggan, my next choice will be the cask strength version. Although Jim Murray, author of the Whisky Bible, doesn’t review my 40% bottle he gives the Finlaggan Cask Strength (58%) 94/100, which is an excellent mark. The Caol Ila NAS cask strength (£80+) is over twice the price of the Finlaggan version (c.£38). Likewise the Lagavulin 12yo cask strength (£80+). So, whichever Islay distillery the Finlaggan is based on, the cask strength version shows extremely good value, and the 40% version (the miniature I have) is pretty good for the money too.