Great Islay Swim "Explorer's Cask" Quarter Cask - ARCHIVED


This is history in the making...

Back in July 2017 Single Cask Nation & WhiskyGeek Tours sponsored three intrepid swimmers and their expedition to swim around the Hebridean island of Islay in support of RNLI.

While SCN & WhiskyGeek Tours brought 6 guests to Islay to cheer on the swimmers for their 8 day swim, the swimmers had with them a camera crew, a paramedic, nervous family members, and an expert Islay boating captain to help them along the way.

An arduous task, the swim around Islay. It stands to reason no one has done it... until now! To make things even harder, The Great Islay Swim chaps had a quarter cask in tow that they needed to fill with whisky along the way.

The swimmers made 8 stops starting from Ardbeg distillery. Day 1 had the chaps stopping at Lagavulin, Day 2: Laphroaig, Day 3: Bowmore, Day 4: Bruichladdich, Day 5: Kilchoman, Day 6: Bunnahabhain, Day 7: Caol Ila, and Day 8 had the swimmers circling back to Ardbeg distillery and celebrating the end of a swim that many thought impossible - and celebrate, they did!

Now back to that quarter cask that accompanied our brave swimmers as they negotiated the dangerous waters surrounding Islay.

Great Islay Swimmers with Anthony and Robin of Kilchoman distillery

The whiskies in the Explorer's Cask range from 10 to 23 years of age and have been marrying in that very same quarter cask that made its own journey around Islay since the conclusion of the swim nine months ago.

The result is a cask of Islay malt whisky unlike any ever produced before.

Cask # 613 produced only 145 bottles at a natural cask strength of 57.5% alc. with fewer than 100 bottles being released worldwide. Proceeds from the sale of these bottles will go to RNLI.

Color: Deep Honey

Rich and warming with an earthy and vegetal peat smoke to the fore which turns quite campfire-like. Beneath this complex layer of smoke one will find buttered and honied crumpets, green apple slices, hints of marzipan and even a little caraway seed. Deeper investigation reveals wonderful sherried notes of fig paste and burnt dates. 

Mouthcoatingly viscous yet lively as the whisky dances across the tongue. Incredibly malty with a pleasant minerality and hints of an Islay dunnage warehouse. Notes of fresh baked croissant, stewed pears developing into cooked Meyer lemons and ripe star fruit. Milk chocolate and sticky toffee pudding. The peat is unmistakeable but is complimented by a wonderful spiciness as we near the finish

Lasting pepper with a melon-like sweetness and a return of that campfire-like smoke.

Share this