Finlaggan Red Wine Cask Matured (2019)
I had no idea, but it seems Finlaggan has been around for three decades already (according to the corporate website). Founded by the Vintage Malt Whisky Company, Finlaggan is an undisclosed Islay single malt that’s now available in a range of expressions, from a traditional bourbon matured whisky bottled at the lowest possible abv to a a cask strength release and several interesting wood maturations.
There’s a sherry finish and port wood finish, as well as a Finlaggan expression that wholly matured in red wine casks—which I’ll review today. I don’t know what type of red wine, or how old it is or where it was distilled, but I suppose that’s why it is fairly affordable.
Finlaggan Red Wine Cask Matured (46%, OB, 2019)
Nose: Sweet, fruity and smoky. That pretty much sums it up, but I’ll try to go into a little more detail. Almost candy-esque at times, like one of those cherry candy canes I used to buy at the fair when I was a kid. The smoke is coastal, with hints of seaweed. Fruits? Think red berries. And lots of vanilla too.
Taste: Peaty and spicy (cloves and chili peppers). A hit of tar, charcoal and rubber as well. There’s a touch of red wine sweetness (and raspberries) in the background, but not much. I get a whiff of candied bananas as well.
Finish: Sweet, candied smoke. Medium in length.
This is one for the peat lover with a sweet tooth. The balance is pretty much in order. Not too shabby at its current price point of 40 quid or so.
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.