I was really excited to hear about the release of this ‘limited edition’ (over 20,000 bottles so not very limited). I’m not usually a sucker for such things, but Lagavulin is a solid distillery, and I do really love young peated whiskies. And over and above all of that, Diageo went and released a young whisky, with an age statement, and at a high ABV.
The point of this release is to celebrate the distillery’s 200th anniversary and according to the back of the box, Alfred Barnard mentioned tasting an “exceptionally fine” 8 year old at the distillery, and this release is meant to reflect that old style of malt. As I mentioned in my post on the Laphroaig Cairdeas from last year which was also meant to represent their 19th century spirit, I’ve never tried a 19th century Lagavulin to compare, but I’d be happy to try some if anyone has a sample.
Aged 8 years. 48%ABV.
Nose: Mix of mineral and earthy peat, not hugely dominant, but definitely the prime note here. Sea spray. Seaweed. Pears. Smoke from salty wood (like putting driftwood from the beach on the fire). Vanilla. Creme brulee. Olive oil.
Palate: Salty, mineral peat. Cut slate. Ash. Old engine oil. Bitter wood. Vanilla. Bit of a young grainy note on the swallow.
Finish: Medium-long. Salty. Bitter wood. A little iodine. Rubber. Slight note of cooked pears.
Would I buy this: Yes
Would I order this in a bar: Yes
Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes
Well, this one didn’t disappoint. It really shows how older does not at all mean better. This whisky was balanced, tasty and quite complex for its age. I really liked the gentle peat profile on this and the wide range of smoky notes on it. It’s also not terribly expensive either. Highly recommend picking up a bottle while they’re still around.