Islay region – 43%ABV – 750ml bottle – $80 | £49 | €63 (the US price shown is for the 1991/2007, the UK/EU prices are for the 1993/2009 edition as I could not find the 1991/2007 edition pricing for them)
As mentioned in a previous post, I’ve got some work ahead of me. I just received 4 new samples to review and all of them are titans in their own right. This, The Lagavulin Distillers Edition 1991/2007, 2009 George T Stagg Bourbon (at over 70% ABV!!), Port Askaig 17yr & the Laphroaig 30yr – talk about a line up!
I decided to start with the Lagavulin Distillers Edition for no reason other than the fact that it was a cold rainy evening and I needed to get warm. I needed comfort and, if you know the Lagavulin, the peat in their whiskies really helps to get you to that warm, safe place in your mind whether it’s memories of a family campout back in the 70’s, the birth of your first child or the first time you listened to John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme” — Lagavulin takes you there. It’s that great.
and here’s a picture of the sample I worked from (a nice & healthy amount as you can see):
So, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty, shall we? Yes. Yes, we shall:
Initial whiffs — Very “Lagavulin”, almost more Lagavuliny than the standard 16yr (if that makes sense – if ‘Maximum Strength Tylenol’ is like regular tylenol, only more potent – this is how this nose is, without increasing the ABV), noticeably sweeter, warm-campfire-peat, dying embers, a bit pungent, fried banana, candle wax, very seaweedy, candied citrus fruits, wet leather — this has to be one of the most complex noses out there (that I’ve nosed) – absolutely lovely – I’ve been nosing this for 5 minutes now… I think it’s time to taste.
Palate — Rubbery, both in flavor and mouth feel, big tobacco, very salty but less sea-like, anise, not as sweet as the nose, oily smoke, quite nice though, compared to the standard 16yr… the balance seems a bit off here (can’t place it but, it’s off – could be me). Still, very-very nice.
Finish — Peppery, lasting smoke, a bit more biting than I expected given the 43%ABV, some vanilla, salty — Yum!
In sum — As amazing as this one is, for some reason, I like the standard Lagavulin 16yr expression a bit more. Perhaps it’s because that’s what I’m used to or maybe it’s that off-balance feel I got from the nose to the palate, not sure. This is a nice little treat especially if you want the big warm peat but something a wee more sweet (should I keep rhyming here? Because, I totally can. Don’t think I can’t or won’t… Oh, you don’t believe me?? “Beat Street, the king of the beat, I see walk that beat from across the street, uh-huh-huh, beat street is a lesson too, ’cause you can’t let the streets beat you…”)
Wow, that was unnecessary! Carrying on — This is without a doubt a warmer-upper to be enjoyed during a cool autumn evening but again, as much as I liked it, I’d be happy to keep paying the lower $$ for a Lagavulin I like more (the standard 16yr expression).
A special thanks to The Scotch Hobbyist for the sample trade! Cheers to you my friend!