Good gracious. One of the rarest Fèis Ìle bottlings ever produced, we gladly welcome iconic Distillery 29 back to the roster for this year’s festival. One of the three iconic Kildalton distilleries in the south of Islay, something truly magical happens when this spirit reaches an advanced age and still maintains a delightful old smoke, or “sm’oak” as we’ve gone with. A rich tarry iodine note carries through the distillate from 29, and after 25 years of age, this particular rare release has held up the flavour and smoke just gloriously. A combination of shave, toast, re-char Oloroso casks and ex-bourbon barrels have harmoniously brought this to life just wonderfully since being distilled in 1998.

Let’s start with the most obvious one, and here it was the prevailing feature – oak and smoke! Think tobacco, burnt toast, venison, peanuts, tofu, plums and coal tar. On the palate there was no respite: incredibly smoky, like beef jerky and Mexican ancho chillies dried over hickory-smoked wood, as well as a plate of smoked tofu pad thai. Additionally, that medicinal, maritime flavour was always lurking in the background. Following the addition of water we opened an old smoker barbecue pit, added smoked olive oil to barbecued langoustines and black cardamom to a hot dog. To taste, we tucked into a beef massaman curry and smoked mackerel maki rolls.

Register as a Taster!