A few years ago I bought half a bottle of this from Jeroen Koetsier, aka Fullproof when he was selling some samples and such. It took me a while to empty it, but I was in no rush to finish some rare independent Lagavulin which actually states that it is Lagavulin on the bottle. You don’t come across those things often.
Usually Murray McDavid’s bottlings are clearly from the guys at Bruichladdich with all kinds of weird finishes. Luckily, that didn’t happen to this stuff. It was matured in a bourbon cask without any sherry finishing, so in that way it is a rare Lagavulin!
A bit thinner and sharper than we’re used to from Lagavulin and the sweetness that I know is less direct. The lack of sherry is rather clear. Quite some vanilla and rather a lot of wood, for a 14 year old. Grass, heavy and sharp spices that become sweeter after a bit. Straw, farmy notes, barley sugar, sweet malt and a dusty grain store.
Sharp and salty. Smoke, wood, dust, grain dust. Dry. It does get smoother after a few seconds of swimming with some vanilla and caramel. Rather creamy with heather honey.
The finish is not too long but not short either. I reckon this is what they call medium. It gets very gentle then, with a lighter smoke, vanilla and icing sugar.
Almost Brora-esk in the farmy notes on the palate but the style is rather different without the usual sherry notes. Very delicious and very interesting to find out what those few months in a PX butt normally do to Lagavulin! A rare treat! Not the full five stars because of a slight lack of depth.
Lagavulin 14, 1984-1999, Murray McDavid, 46%, long, long gone.