• Join, for peat' sake
  • or

    Can't find what you're looking for? Suggest it!

    Finlaggan Old Reserve Reviews

    Finlaggan Old Reserve 67
    Based on 24 reviews.
    Rated on a scale of 50 to 99
    Distillery
    Finlaggan
    Style
    Single Malt
    Release
    Unspecified
    Age
    Unspecified
    Alcohol
    40% abv.
    Region
    Scotland, Islay
    Bottled For
    Distillery

    Finlaggan is very much the secret Islay, as the name of the distillery from which it comes is a closely guarded secret and known to only a select few. Only those who have sampled Islay malts over a long period and who are familiar with the subtle differences of nose and taste, could begin to guess at the pedigree of this true son of Islay.

    Finlaggan Old Reserve
    Review by Anonymous

    5050/99
    Color
    Pale amber
    Nose
    Heavy smoke mixed with turpentine or some kind of paint thinner.
    Body
    Nasty and oily.
    Palate
    The floor of a car mechanic's garage after a fire.
    Finish
    Way too long...still can't get the taste out of my mouth.

    Absolutely disgusting...essentially what I would imagine the water from a fire hydrant would taste like after it's been used to put out a gas station fire. $20 that could have been put to better use on a different bottle.

    Like

    Finlaggan Old Reserve
    Review by Anonymous

    7150/99
    Color
    Amber
    Nose
    Earth, Peat, burnt leather
    Body
    Gritty, light to medium
    Palate
    Peaty smoke, salty leather, medicinal, more hot leather
    Finish
    warm to hot, long lingering finish, but not in the best way

    Interesting. Taste like it was cask on the hottest day of Islay's history. All residents that wore leather (e.g. boots, hats, wallets and especially sweaty belts, every sweaty belt on the island mandated for submersion were thrown in the cask for at least five years, along with every catcher's mitt and baseball glove on the island. Then granny dropped by with a pepper shaker and somebody had a cough and thought to pour a bottle Robitussin, but ordered man-servant to get a case of cough syrup and in went all the Robitussin with a box of band-aids. Maybe this will help: its like drinking in your 10th grade gym room on a hot day. The thing is it gets more pleasant/acceptable as you drink it - like hunting camp after a few days.

    Like

    Finlaggan Old Reserve
    Review by Duelles

    8750/99
    Color
    Honey
    Nose
    Islay, the peat, slight mediciny fragrance.
    Body
    Feels Aged more than It might actually be
    Palate
    Light Lagavulin
    Finish
    Start and finish match. Lasting, lightly smoked peat

    A Trader Joe's staple. A bargin. . . For me. A nice treat from my Balvenie, Talisker, and Oban. Great value for the Islay . . . wonderful winter whiskey

    Like

    Finlaggan Old Reserve
    Review by Anonymous

    5550/99
    Color
    Pale amber
    Nose
    Band aid, light peat
    Body
    Light oily
    Palate
    Iodine, band aid, light peat
    Finish
    Long finish, too long.
    Like

    Finlaggan Old Reserve
    Review by San Diego Drammer

    7950/99
    Color
    Deep Amber
    Nose
    Strong peat smoked, sea salt, ocean, slightly medicinal, iodine, leathery
    Body
    Light to Medium.
    Palate
    Smoke and peat, earthy, a slight cereal sweetness, very smooth.
    Finish
    Smoke smoke and peat! Fades into a more medicinal note. Short to Medium finish, with lingering peat and smoke.

    A young, peaty Islay. An astounding deal for the price of 18$ at Trader Joes. Whether it be Caoil Ila, Lephroig or Lagavulin, it's undeniably Islay. Big peat, big smoke, young, lacking in complexity, but very smooth, drinkable and effective at what it does.

    Like

    Finlaggan Old Reserve
    Review by Anonymous

    8250/99
    Color
    pale amber
    Nose
    Good Smoke and Peat.
    Palate
    peat, sea salt
    Finish
    strong
    Like

    Finlaggan Old Reserve
    Review by Anonymous

    6050/99
    Color
    light amber
    Nose
    Dreadful
    Body
    Big
    Palate
    Trademark Islay peat and sea salt, touch of honey, but also some nasty hydrocarbon and rubber. No sulfur is present though, so this isn't an off barrel, it's just not A-game whiskey
    Finish
    Terrible. The charming peat and sea salt give way to this whisky's true colour, which is a reminiscent of a swamp on a contaminated industrial site

    I am reviewing the cast strength 56%. The comments below do not apply to the 40% bottling, which I have yet to try. Based on the 56%, the 40% is not high on my list though!

    Like

    Finlaggan Old Reserve
    Review by Anonymous

    5050/99
    Color
    amber
    Nose
    smokey beyond belief
    Body
    like a stale cigar
    Palate
    not mine
    Finish
    horrible I would like the old Trader joes scotch back

    smells like a dirty cigar and tastes like it too...ackkk

    Like

    Finlaggan Old Reserve
    Review by Anonymous

    5950/99
    Color
    Pale Amber
    Nose
    Lightly peaty, lightly iodine
    Body
    Gritty
    Palate
    A slight touch of peat and iodine, Chinese Cassia, and
    Finish
    Coarse finish that evaporates quickly.

    Cheap but not enjoyable. Save up for a bottle of smooth and rich Lagavulin. Finlaggan is a bland watered down Islay.

    Like

    Finlaggan Old Reserve
    Review by Judgecrater

    8950/99
    Color
    Pale amber.
    Nose
    Peat smoke.
    Body
    full
    Palate
    peat and smoky

    For those that enjoy Islay malts this will be a treat. Similar to Laphroaig and Lagavulin. I have been enjoying this scotch from Trader Joe's at $19 a bottle for years and find it very consistent. At one third the price of the big boys it is excellent. If you don't like Ardbeg or Laphroaig, you won't enjoy this either.

    Like

    Finlaggan Old Reserve
    Review by Anonymous

    8250/99
    Color
    Light Caramel
    Nose
    Wet Tarmac Road, Bananas, Strawberries
    Body
    Smooth and light.
    Palate
    wet peat, sea salt, with a light flavor of burnt rubber.
    Finish
    Very short and wet finish.

    For the under $20 price, this is a MUST buy IF yo are an Islay lover. I drank this in a taste test side to side with my 16 year Lagavulin: Its very similar, but watered down in Comparison. It's like a watered down Lagavulin. Past reviewers who compared it to Gasoline should stick to their bud light beers.

    Like

    Finlaggan Old Reserve
    Review by Anonymous

    7850/99
    Color
    just over straw,pale green/gold
    Nose
    big big peat hit,nose prickle if you linger too long ,rubber doggy toys,inner tubes, but a fishy hint,and a bit of mint,does remind me of a caol ila crossed with ledaig,
    Body
    smooth yet dry, can't really call it oily
    Palate
    smokey and dry, peat an iodine rule,slightly salty
    Finish
    medium finish but very dry and salty, slight burn and hint of pepper/spice

    If you are into Islays you are in for a treat

    Like

    Finlaggan Old Reserve
    Review by Anonymous

    9550/99
    Color
    Light Yellow
    Nose
    Earthy
    Body
    Thick and Rich
    Palate
    Hot Peat
    Finish
    smokey, strong and long

    My favorite so far , but have tasted only a few.

    Like

    Finlaggan Old Reserve
    Review by Anonymous

    9750/99
    Color
    Pale amber.
    Nose
    Reminiscent of laphroaig 10 y.o. but not as strong.
    Body
    Medium body.
    Palate
    Very tasty, reminds me of laphroaig but not as strong - decent enough.
    Finish
    Peaty finish. Warm and tasty. Highly drinkable. If you want to start your peat exploration, this is a good start bottle.

    Great bottle. Has braille on the bottom of the bottle for the blind. Excellent. Finlaggan is the first bottle I came across who's taking consideration for the handicapped. Nicely done. This is a big point booster.

    Like

    Finlaggan Old Reserve
    Review by Anonymous

    8550/99
    Color
    Amber
    Nose
    Peat, mild smoke
    Body
    Surprisingly light and delicate for an Islay
    Palate
    Peat, iodine
    Finish
    Relatively short finish. I disagree with a reviewer on one web site who suggested this had a bad aftertaste. No such aftertaste discerned.

    I've tried most of the Islay Scotches and am fond of the Laphroaig 10, Caol Ila 12, and Lagavulin 16. Given the price, I had to give this one a try, especially after reading one reviewer's "gasoline" description. Now I can't say whether this is a Lagavulin cast-off, as some contend, or a Laphroiag or something else, but I can say that it is excellent -- not at all like gasoline or any other form of motor fuel. As Islay Scotches go, in fact, the Finalggan is downright mild-mannered, and I do mean positively shy and retiring. This is a rather light Scotch, smokiness notwithstanding. You want gasoline, you go with the Ardbeg 10 year old. That stuff is in-your-face gruesome, a bitter mouthful of bog. The Finlaggan Old Reserve is to the Ardbeg 10 as a ballerina is to a professional wrestler. For Islay Scotch drinkers (something Mr. Gasoline obviously is not) this is a real bargain. Buy it!

    Like

    Finlaggan Old Reserve
    Review by Anonymous

    8250/99
    Color
    Wet straw.
    Nose
    Mild cedar, pinesol. Peat, dried dulce on a beach. A nose only appreciated by the initiated.
    Body
    Silky. Cough medicine.
    Palate
    Clover honey, smoke, almond extract.
    Finish
    Enveloping and lasting. Radiant warmth.

    This is old reserve owned and bottled by Bruichladdich. It's not Lagavulin per se as some have surmised here, but it does have those honey notes and the thick legs that you'd expect there. It is sold by Bruichladdich on the island and there is a bit of a hint that it was bottled by Bruichladdich in that Jim MacEwen is quoted on the box. It is a great bargain because you are getting the best of all Islay worlds: peat, seaspray and honey.

    Like

    Finlaggan Old Reserve
    Review by Anonymous

    8250/99
    Color
    warm amber
    Nose
    light peat and earthy
    Body
    soft, somewhat light with a satisfying aftertaste -- more refreshing than most Spesides
    Palate
    complex and hard to pin down -- subtle
    Finish
    not as warm as expected but also not harsh

    I like this whisky. Am not an expert, but have been to Scotland several times and have tasted my share

    Like

    Finlaggan Old Reserve
    Review by Commander Whitehead

    9250/99
    Color
    Pale amber
    Nose
    so much like an Islay four times the cost!
    Body
    Robust, mouth feel of a fine brandy or cornac,superb
    Palate
    smoke,peat,sea foam, with a touch of black oak
    Finish
    Long finish, so much like Lagavulin it is scary

    Two fingers can be enjoyed by the fireside with a good book,I loved it!

    Like

    Finlaggan Old Reserve
    Review by Anonymous

    5050/99
    Color
    amber
    Nose
    Horrid hospital iodine
    Body
    Bites and then I pucker and wish I never tried it.
    Palate
    Just as well drink gasoline
    Finish
    Long and strong, and with this scotch whiskey, long is a bad thing.

    I tried it briefly and poured it down the drain.

    Like

    Finlaggan Old Reserve
    Review by Anonymous

    8050/99
    Color
    Lagavulin
    Nose
    Lagavulin
    Body
    Lagavulin
    Palate
    Lagavulin - with a bit more smoke and lacking a hint of richness
    Finish
    Lagavulin - slightly shorter and drier than the 16 year old.

    I actually have two bottles of Finlaggan - one of them is the 40% "Old Reserve", which is unabashedly and unmistakably Lagavulin. The silliness about the "most secret distillery" is all utter rubbish. There is no mystery, other than its age. Compared to the standard 16-year bottling of Lagavulin, I'd guess this at ~12-14 years, since it doesn't quite have the same richness or length of finish. Now the other bottle I have truly _is_ a mystery. It's a cask strength (56%) bottling, which is both (a) unrecognisable, and (b) undrinkable. It is horrible, HORRIBLE stuff--not just poor or bland, but aggressively unpleasant, unbalanced, and just plain nasty. Everyone who has tried it agrees--we'd rather be drinking cheap rye than this cask bottling. If 50 is the lowest score, than that's what this would get. However, it galls me to assign a value of 50 to this stuff. AVOID!

    Like

    Finlaggan Old Reserve
    Review by Anonymous

    8550/99
    Color
    dark amber
    Nose
    peaty, earthy, farmlike; smells like the Irish countryside, smokey, verdant
    Body
    full, astringent, dense. I absolutely love the way this stuff smells; I regularly put my face into the glass and inhale.
    Palate
    peat, iodine, smoke, grassland
    Finish
    The finish is warm and long. It has an enjoyable aftertaste which subsides very gradually.

    Admittedly, I'm not a scotch connossieur. I've come to this recently and have drunk some example of speyside, some blendeds, some Kentucky bourbons (some cheap, some expensive) but this is the most interesting and satisfying bottle I have in my bar. I've gone through 2 bottles and stocked up on a few more, The taste and smell are not to everyone's tastes, but if you like complexity and something which tastes organic/of the earth and soil, this is a good place to start.

    Like

    Finlaggan Old Reserve
    Review by Anonymous

    8150/99
    Color
    Golden
    Nose
    Heavy smoke, earthy, grassy
    Body
    Smooth
    Palate
    sea salt, the moor
    Finish
    Warm to the end, dry after taste

    I disagree with some of the other reviewers. This is pretty good islay and you can't beat the price at Trader Joe's. I may have an overwhelming bite at first, but when opened up with a tablespoon of room-temp water and left to breathe for a moment, it's quite delightful.

    Like

    Finlaggan Old Reserve
    Review by Anonymous

    6350/99
    Color
    amber, slightly pale
    Nose
    Smoky but a sharp petro distillate background, like creosote. Yes, I get the "rubber tires" too.
    Body
    med. full
    Palate
    Tastes better than it smells. Has a bite but not too much. Can't compare to Jamesons or Bushmill for smoothness. No more raw than Knob Creek.
    Finish
    A good long finish.

    I drink Irish & US whiskies mostly. I don't prefer the smoky scotch but I can appreciate it done well. This isn't it. It has a lot of flavor but the aroma is off in a big way.

    Like

    Finlaggan Old Reserve
    Review by Jsokol

    5150/99
    Color
    Light Amber
    Nose
    strong peat aroma mixed with fresh manure and compost
    Body
    raw and dangerous.
    Palate
    Rubber Tires, Aluminum pots, horse dung, high discordant,
    Finish
    more of the same, oxalic acid

    Very strong peat but mixed with other stuff. This is barely drinkable, Not smooth at all. Really jarring and unenjoyable.

    Like