Thanks to Assaf for the sample
One of the most disappointing things about my visit to Lagavulin distillery in July was the fact that there were no special bottlings available, not even to taste. I was particularly disappointed that I didn’t get the chance to try their 2016 Feis Ile (Islay Festival held at the end of May each year) bottling and I’d tried the festival bottlings from all of the other Islay distilleries.
Luckily I have some very wonderful friends and one of them, upon hearing about my disappointment, gave me a sample from a bottle he’d bought while attending the festival, particularly because it was supposed to be one worth trying. Released with a respectable age statement and matured in a mix of European oak and Sherry butts.
Aged 18 years. 49.5%ABV. Matured in European oak and Sherry butts. No colourant added, non-chill filtered and bottled at cask strength.
Nose: Very Lagavulin peat profile on the nose. Rich, salty and earthy. Quite medicinal. Oil smoke. Burned fruits. Citrus zest. Ash. Wine tannins. Grape flavouring. A bit of creamy vanilla.
Palate: Char. Dry woody ash. Grape drink. Burned citrus. Salt & Pepper. Vanilla. Aromatic green herbs, menthol, wintergreen, peppermint.
Finish: Long. The aromatic green herbs carry on through, like a glorious peaty throat lozenge. Also a good deal of oil smoke, ash and charred wood. Some mild salty and spicy notes linger on the tongue.
Would I buy this: Yes
Would I order this in a bar: Yes
Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes
This was a really nice one. Reminiscent of the classic 16-year-old Lagavulin but so much more than that. The high ABV really adds a huge punch of flavour and the finish is something truly spectacular.