For my second whisky review, I will be showcasing the five different whiskies that I tried during my Premium tasting at Lagavulin distillery. The five whiskies are as follows:
1) Lagavulin 16 Years Old
2) Lagavulin PX Distiller’s Edition
3) Lagavulin cask sample (ex-bourbon cask, 17 years old)
4) Lagavulin 12 Years Old
5) Lagavulin cask sample (ex-bodega sherry cask, 11 years old)
Lagavulin 16 Years Old (43% abv)
Colour: Bright gold
Nose: Intense yet elegant smokiness, herbal tea, maritime notes definitely present, sweet peat, tobacco pouch, some sherry notes, spiced vanilla, ham hock, smoked bacon.
Palate: Rich, malty goodness. The elegant smoke carries through from the nose. Coats the palate well with a slightly oily mouthfeel. Sweet fruity character which marries well with the peat. A hint of sherry is definitely present. Spiciness builds to a fore but never overpowers.
Finish: Spicy, peaty, smoky, malty, fruity. A myriad of flavours present themselves in the very long finish. This is a whisky that you will remember for a very long time.
Lagavulin PX Distiller’s Edition (43% abv)
Colour: Deep gold
Nose: The sweetness is apparent in this one. Sweet sherry goodness with noticeable peat smoke. Malty and mouth-watering.
Palate: Sweet and full-bodied. The PX does not shy away and coats the palate very well before giving way to the peat smoke. Hints of stewed fruits and coffee midway through before the vanilla takes over.
Finish: Exceptionally long finish with the fruit and the peat working hand in hand to provide an amazing one-two combination for the senses. Definitely not something you will forget anytime soon.
Lagavulin cask sample (ex-bourbon cask, 17 years old, unknown abv but definitely cask strength!)
Colour: Pale gold
Nose: Clean, smoky, somewhat astringent with just a hint of sweetness.
Palate: Phwoah! The bourbon sweetness does not do much to quell the heat of the cask strength spirit. Malty, sweet bourbon notes intermingled with Islay peat. Very different from the 16 Year Old but definitely a Lagavulin from the taste of it. Quite spicy.
Finish: Medium to long finish with an emphasis on spice. Aniseed and cloves dominate before giving way to the peat and just a touch of smokiness. Quite an experience overall!
Lagavulin 12 Years Old (54.4% abv)
Colour: Sunset gold
Nose: Smoky, peaty and yet somewhat sweet. Does smell similar to its older sibling but the age does show in some aspects. Peppery, with citrus and some woody elements to it. Not as ripe as the 16 but then again a treat on its own.
Palate: Sweet initially, but quickly gives away to the smoke. Slightly muddled and the peat is slightly restrained. Spiciness to the fore.
Finish: Long finish with an emphasis on the smoke and spice combination. Quite a departure from the 16 Year Old but definitely a treat.
Lagavulin cask sample (ex-bodega sherry cask, 11 years old, unknown abv)
Nose: Wonderfully sweet, with the sherry playing a central role. Fruity and smoky in equal measure. Definitely seems more mature than its age suggests. Vanilla and some spice apparent.
Palate: Bloody hell! An explosion of sweet sherry coupled with sophisticated peat smoke. Blackcurrants, cough drops and a certain woodiness combine brilliantly with the peat to produce a masterclass. Slightly drying but very luxurious. I still can’t believe this is only 11 years old!
Finish: All night long. Sweet, smoky, malty, woody, raisiny goodness. Definitely something that I wouldn’t want to ever forget.