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Elements of Islay launches Fèis Ìle bottling

Elixir Distillers-owned Elements of Islay has revealed its Fèis Ìle bottling for this year: a blended malt called Fireside.

Elements of Islay
Bottled at 54.5% ABV, Fireside is available for £84.95 (US$107)

The whisky was made specially for Fèis Ìle 2024, the annual celebration of Scottish island Islay that this year takes place from 24 May to 6 June.

For inspiration, head blender Oliver Chilton looked to Islay’s unpredictable elements and had an image of ‘enjoying a smoky dram with friends by the fire during an Islay downpour’.

Fireside combines whiskies from two distilleries on the island’s north coast – Caol Ila and Bunnahabhain – and was matured in heavily recharred barrels, American oak oloroso Sherry hogsheads and European oak oloroso Sherry butts.

Chilton said: “Fireside is a simple blend of two distilleries and three cask styles, with rich, warmth, unctuous feeling brought in by Caol Ila matured in Pedro Ximénez, married with Bunnahabhain matured in American oak oloroso Sherry hogsheads, giving a base of wood smoke and sweet spice.

“Lastly, we used some Caol Ila matured in recharred Spanish wine casks that delivered sweet berry fruit notes and a sense of fun – inevitable when staying up late next to the fireside on Islay.”

Other notes see warm milk chocolate and smoked cherries on the nose, with additional smells of strawberry shisha tobacco and a hint of lemon zest; dark chocolate, fruits and blackcurrant tea on the palate; and a finish that lingers with red fruit.

Bottled at 54.5% ABV, Fireside is available at the Islay Whisky Shop during Fèis Ìle for £84.95 (US$107), with only 264 bottles available.

The brand said a global release will follow in early June.

During Fèis Ìle, the island’s nine distilleries open their doors to the public and host unique events. Recently, we rounded up some of the other whiskies that distilleries have bottled for the festival.

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