This was the dram I was waiting for. The one that made me say “I am going to this tasting, no matter what. I tried the old Lagavulin 21 from a couple of samples a few years ago and a new one was spectacular news. Until you heard about the equally spectacular price, that is.
I heard from my father in law (and others) that a single cask 19 year old was part of the warehouse tasting and that was a stunning dram, so everybody was hoping the new 21 year old would be anything like that.
At first I was surprised by how timid it was. It might have to do with the previous dram, that belter of a Kilchoman. I got hints of light peat and lightness in general. The feeling was light I mean, the scens themselves were rather heavy. Leather and Lapsang Souchong tea. A little tar and fishing nets. Also lemon and blood orange, for added freshness. Some iodine too, and some spices, but I can’t really pinpoint which.
Light and lemony, with lemon curd too. There’s some peppery heat in there with mostly white pepper. Also heather, peat and smoke, a touch of salt and brine as well. The tea flavour is back again but not so much Lapsang Souchong as Earl Grey. Very gentle with me searching for the heavier Lagavulin flavours. Some are there, some aren’t.
Tea, heather and a long lasting sense of dry, cracking leather, peatsmoke and a bonfire. Charcoal maybe. The lemon is present too.
This dram is so much more gentle than I expected that, at first, I had trouble really appreciating it’s complexity. I had to taste it again and I think it’s place after the Kilchoman wasn’t optimal. I do think, compared to the earlier release from 2007, this one is too gentle. I understand older whisky tends to get that way, but I feel that for a € 500 bottle I have to work too hard to find the flavours I like and appreciate it.
Having said that, it still is a damn delicious dram, but maybe just a tad too light.
Lagavulin 21, 2012 Diageo Premium Releases, 52%, around € 500 I guess.
Thanks to Rob for letting me take my leftovers in a sample bottle. I was driving so couldn’t finish anything and I really wanted to try this one again!