Origin: Isle of Islay (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing barrels: Ex-Bourbon First Fill, Refill and rejuvinated
Added coloring: N/A
Average price: € 50.00
Official website: www.malts.com/en-row/distilleries/lagavulin
Travel Retail Exclusives, or bottlings released exclusively for airport retailers, are the category of bottles that titillate collectors and sometimes leave enthusiasts disappointed.
Created to attract customers on the move with the advantages of duty free, these are bottles that “slip” through the cracks of the official bottlings, fishing in the magnum sea of the NAS or inventing as yet unexploited ages, such as this 10-year Lagavulin that seems to want to fill the hole between those already in existence.
But things could change…
The pandemic caused by COVID-19, among many other things, has almost completely eliminated long-haul travel, bringing to its knees the economy of Travel Retailers which, for example, found much of their wealth in Chinese customers: all the special editions to celebrate the Chinese New Year will now be gathering dust…
Once the emergency is over (and with Brexit ready to come into full play), we’ll see how (and if) this market will change, and with it the plethora of exclusive bottlings.
But let’s deal with this ten-year-old, whose information is very sparse, released in September 2019 after the announcement during Lagavulin Day at Fèis Ìle.
Dark amber (probably fake) in the glass.
The aroma is peaty, maritime and meaty, with notes of leather and tobacco, as masculine as the man in Marlboro Country but without the stench of horse shit. Underneath, however, you can feel a sweet soul, of caramel, nutmeg, sesame crunch and liquorice. Layered and complex, a rough but buttery man like a cross between John Goodman and Ed Harris in Westworld.
In the mouth you get smoked herring wrapped in leather, maybe hard to chew, with lots of liquorice, caramel, a drop of honey, cereals, salted butter, ripe apple. Touch of ginger. What struggled a little to emerge on the nose here blends in harmony, with a slight preponderance of sweeter notes, but remaining proudly Lagavulin although at a more tame alcohol content.
The finish is quite long, like a used ashtray soaked in seawater, cereals and hazelnuts.
Lower alcohol and youth could have done the damage, but this Lagavulin defends itself well (which one doesn’t?) and indeed, even gives a certain complexity while being drinkable.
Other bottlings in the blog:
Lagavulin 8yo Limited Edition
Lagavulin 9yo Game of Thrones – House Lannister
Lagavulin 11yo Offerman Edition
Lagavulin 12yo Limited Release 2018
Lagavulin 12yo Special Release 2019
Lagavulin 12yo Special Release 2020
Lagavulin Distillers Edition 2019
Whisky for Everyone