Origin: Isle of Islay (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing barrels: Ex-Bourbon
Added coloring: Yes
Average price: € 100,00
Official website: www.malts.com/en-row/distilleries/lagavulin
2016 marked an important anniversary for a well-known distillery on Islay: Lagavulin turned 200 years old.
One of the most popular labels among connoisseurs, it has always had a special place in the hearts of those who love peated whiskies, and a limited edition for the bicentenary that doesn’t hide behind a usual NAS but prefers a very specific ageing is a choice to be appreciated. As is the unchillfiltering, but there seems to be some caramel in the colour…
8 years old, exactly half the age of the best-known bottling, Lagavulin 16, so the choice of a fairly young spirit was also made for historical reasons (on the label you will find a quote from the Victorian historian Alfred Barnard, who at the time greatly appreciated this very expression). The one in question is the limited edition for the bicentenary (still available online at reasonable prices), a bottle that then became part of the basic whisky line.
Will the two editions be different? If you send me home the one that came out later I’ll be able to tell you…
On the nose the marine salinity is predominant, a very pleasant scent of the ocean enveloping the other aromas: slightly smoky peat, red fruit, a hint of vanilla and pepper. And bread, that perfume of leavened bread which betrays its youthfulness.
The ocean remains very present on the palate, a pronounced salinity accompanying the warm, fleshy peat, more humid than burnt, together with sweet and fruity aromas (also dried fruit), more bread (and biscuits!) and a trace of citrus: the similarities with the 16 year old (it is inevitable to compare them) are there, but in this expression the marine part is very marked, with a greater sweetness. The higher alcohol content also makes itself felt, adding a touch of roughness.
And, needless to say, the ocean remains present long after drinking, with a bit of astringency accompanied by a sweet meatiness.
Its youthfulness it’s all there, but it brings out notes that have been somewhat lost or attenuated with age: intriguing rather than excellent, if you appreciate the saline and iodine notes then it is not to be missed.
The Whiskey Wash