Big Peat marks Islay road with 2020 Fèis Ìle whisky

Independent bottler Douglas Laing has unveiled its limited edition Big Peat whisky for this year’s virtual Fèis Ìle festival: an eight-year-old blended malt that celebrates an iconic Islay road.

The new Big Peat 8 Years Old A846 is aged for eight years and bottled at 46% ABV. It is made without any added colouring and is non-chill-filtered. The whisky honours the A846, a "legendary" road that links whisky fans to distilleries across the Scottish island of Islay. On the nose, the whisky has notes of “peat, smoked ham and a fresh seaside saltiness”. The palate brings “chewed leather, streaky bacon and rock salt” followed by notes of Madeira cake and smoked ham on the finish. Every year Douglas Laing releases a new Big Peat whisky for the Fèis Ìle festival on Islay. However, this year’s event was turned into an online festival due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Douglas Laing CEO Chris Leggat said: “A journey along the A846 is a rite of passage for Islay whisky lovers, and a road that carries countless memorable moments for many. “Whilst Fèis Ìle – Islay’s annual festival – exists in an entirely different virtual form this year, we (and Big Peat) wanted to mark the occasion the best way we know how – with a particularly innovative limited edition, featuring a cracking story and spectacular spirit within.” The label for the eight-year-old depicts the brand's character ‘Big Peat’ on his Hebridean island home and is packaged in a gift box. There are only 500 cases of the whisky available globally. The brand is currently hosting a competition on its Facebook page, offering fans the chance to win one of 40 tasting packs, and to join the Douglas Laing team for a virtual tasting this month. Cara Laing, director of whisky, added: “Each year, we proudly donate to the Fèis Ìle charity, an organisation that works tirelessly to showcase Islay to the world. “At a time when many of us are dreaming of one day making the journey back to the Queen of the Hebrides once more, a sip of Big Peat’s A846 edition seeks to bring his much-loved island home to you, via its unmistakably Islay notes of chewed leather, streaky bacon, punchy peat smoke and rock salt.” Big Peat 8 Years Old A846 Edition will be available from specialist spirits retailers globally from 8 June 2020. It is expected to retail at £45 (US$56.50).