The (not yet) big fat list of Feis Ile 2016 whiskies

Feis IleThe annual Feis Ile is an almost sacred festival of malt and music on Scotland's most famous whisky island. The 8 Islay distilleries will welcome a few thousand maltlovers in the last week of May. Every distillery will present a special whisky that is exclusive to the festival visitors who got up early and had some patience.

At the time of writing this blogpost (early January), most of the Festival Bottlings are still shrouded in mist. Ardbeg revealed - more or less - the 2016 edition called Dark Cove. Others like Laphroaig Cairdeas and Jura Tastival are also certainties. Let's have a look at what we know already.


Date: Saturday 28th May 2016

Ardbeg's release will be a NAS single malt and available world wide in a very - hum hum - limited edition. The label hints at the use of Pedro Ximenez sherry casks imparting a lot of sherry sweetness to the Ardbeg spirit. Two labels went public already: one cask strength version for Ardbeg Committee members and a more mainstream version bottled at 46.5% ABV.

Ardbeg Day will be held on 28th May 2016.


Ardbeg Dark Cove

  • 55% ABV (or 46.5% ABV)
  • Output: unknown.
  • Availability: Worldwide.
  • Price: unknown.

Ardbeg Dark Cove
The first label. 46.5% ABV
Ardbeg Dark Cove
The second label. Special Committee Only. 55% ABV

Ardbeg Dark Cove
This one is about to be confirmed... 


Date: Thursday 26th May 2016

The Isle of Jura Distillery has been naming its festival bottling Tastival for a a few years. The 2015 edition was revealed fairly last minute. Jura sent out four drams of the 2016 edition to four artists around the world. One of their designs will feature on the definitive packaging of the Feis Ile whisky.


Jura Tastival designs
The four designs from which fans could choose.

Jura Tastival 2016 winning design
The winning design

Jura Tastival 2016

  • 51 % ABV.
  • Available worldwide.
  • Price: £85
Jura Tastival 2016


Date: Tuesday 24th May 2016

Laphroaig has not revealed anything. But chances are that the Feis Ile Bottling will be baptised Cairdeas (as they have been doing for quite a few years now). Update: The pattern in the ABV has been confirmed: from 51.1 in 2011 it steadily rose to 51.6 in 2016.


Laphroaig Cairdeas Madeira Cask

  • 51.6 % ABV
  • Output: unknown.
  • Availability: Worldwide.
  • Price: unknown.
  • Matured in ex-bourbon barrels, finished in madeira-seasoned hogshead.
Laphroaig Cairdeas Madeira Cask

Laphroaig Cairdeas Madeira Cask

Laphroaig Cairdeas 2016 Feis Ile


Date: Sunday 22nd May 2016

Bruichladdich's Feis Ile Edition will be the first one signed by the new Distillery Manager Adam Hannet. Although it wouldn't surprise us if Jim McEwan had one last trick up his sleeve...


There will be three Bruichladdich bottlings available on Open day.  Adam Hannett created a vatting from casks distilled back in 2001, when Bruichladdich reopened after six silent years. He has also chosen two provenance casks that were filled with spirit distilled from barley grown on single Islay farms, Starchmill and Dunlossit.

Bruichladdich Feis Ile poster
Poster Bruichladdich's Feis Ile.


Date: Wednesday 25th May 2016

Bowmore usually releases three Feis Ile whiskies so there's something for everyone's budget. Sad news: The Islay Ales matured in Bowmore casks won't be there in 2016!

Bowmore Feis Ile

  • ABV: 54.9%
  • NAS
  • Output: 1.500 bottles
  • Price: £55
  • Available at the distillery visitor centre from May 21
  • Vatting of 4 virgin oak casks and 1 oloroso sherry butt

Bowmore Feis Ile 2016

Bowmore Feis Ile Vintage: 25yo single malt finished in French Oak wine casks for 12 years. 200 bottles available. Price: £350.

Bowmore Feis Ile Bottle Your Own: Pedro Ximenez sherry cask filled on 20th of January 1999. Price: £100.

Bowmore Feis Ile 2016 whiskies
Photo credits: Peter Alexander Maclellan


Date: Saturday 21st May 2016

Lagavulin is the third Kildalton distillery that celebrates its bicentenary. Laphroaig and Ardbeg could celebrate last year. 2016 will be the year of Lagavulin. Very likely the Diageo people will do something special for the anniversary.

    Lagavulin 18

    • ABV: 49.5%
    • Output: 6.000 bottles
    • Price £125
    • Vatting of ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks

    Caol Ila

    Date: Monday 23d May 2016

    Caol Ila

    Caol Ila 12

    • ABV: Unknown
    • Output: 1.500 bottles
    • Price: £99
    Caol Ila 12 Feis Ile 2016 whisky


    Date: Thursday 26th May 2016


    Kilchoman Oloroso sherry butt 429/2007

    • ABV: unknown
    • Vintage: 2007
    • Output: 637 bottles
    • Price: £90
    • Exclusively available at Kilchoman's visitor centre 26th May 2016 
    Kilchoman Feis Ile 2016


    Date: Friday 27th May 2016

    Bunnahabhain will present their Feis Ile whisky on Monday 23th May on a special event with Distillery Manager Andrew Brown. The complete program has been published on their website and tickets are available in the webshop.


    Bunnahabhain Moine Pedro Ximenez 12-Year-Old

    • Peated Bunnahabhain
    • Unknown ABV
    • 2004 Vintage
    • Output: unknown
    • Availability distillery-only
    • Price: £95
    • 9 years in ex-bourbon cask, finished in Pedro Ximénez sherrycasks. 
    • 833 bottles

    Bunnahabhain Amontillado 16-Year-Old

    • Unknown ABV.
    • Output unknown
    • Availability: distillery-only
    • Price: £250
    • 10 years in ex-bourbon casks and finished in Amontillado casks. 
    • 250 bottles
    Bunnahabhain Feis Ile 2016 whiskies
    Photo credits: Peter Alexandor Maclellan

    • 23 May: Launch Feis Ile botteling - £100
    • Dr Kirstie's Warehouse No 9 Session - £35
    • Distillery Tours - £7
    • Bunnahabhain Feis Ile George & Scott Talkin' Drams Tasting Sessions 2016 - £25
    • Bunnahabhain Class of 2016 - Tasting The Oldest Bunnahabhain Ever Released - £300
    • Long John’s Warehouseman’s Walk - £35

    Bunnahabhain revealed a poster of their Open Day.

    Feis Ile 2016 at Bunnahabhain

    Feis Ile at Bunnahabhain Distillery

    Douglas Laing

    Douglas Laing will roam the beaches of Islay from 23 till 25 March. Their calendar has been published and looks very promising! Pilgrims get a chance to blend a true Big Peat (but only if they wear a white lab coat!

    Douglas Laing's entry for Feis Ile 2016 (last year they bottled a 14yo Old Particular Laphroaig) is a limited edition of their Big Peat Blend. Only 500 bottles will be made available. The Feis Ile edition has a slightly higher ABV than the regular Big Peat: 48% ABV.

    And another Old Particular whisky has been announced to celebrate Feis Ile:
    1999 Bowmore Old Particular

    • 23 May: Remarkable Regional Dinner
    • 24 May: Big Peat's Be the Blender
    • 24 May: Our Favourites for Feis
    • 24 May: A Taste & A Tipple
    • 25 May: Bridgend Brunch
    Tickets are for sale via Biletto

    Blending a Peat. Make it Big.

    Scotch Malt Whisky Society

    The festival bottling of the SMWS is a 127.44 called "Cantina Mexicana". 12yo, 580 bottles  (Spoiler alert: it's a Port Charlotte).
    SMWS 12744

    All information on the official Feis Ile 2016 site


    1. Just ordered a committee bottle dark cove - price $149.99AUD

    2. Great ;-) You bought it on the official web shop? You were one of the fast ones probably! I don't see it on the website anymore. Feel free to let me know what you think of it.

    3. Bought direct from the Official Australian Distributor

      Will let you know what I think of it when it arrives.

    4. They are 8 working distilleries on Islay ;-) not 7 !

    5. Hmmm. I probably had one dram too much when I wrote the intro.


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