It’s been ages since I tasted a new one from the guys at The Whisky Exchange / Speciality Drinks Ltd. / Elements of Islay. The bottles have become available at other shops in the meantime, but I just haven’t gotten around to trying any other ones than the ones before the first Bowmore I think.
Of course, they’ve gathered a lot of attention by winning the 2012 Malt Maniacs Awards for their Port Charlotte whisky. But, while I haven’t been a huge fan of all releases, they’ve all been at least pretty good. Some were even really, really good.
Add to that that I’m a rather massive Lagavulin fan (but don’t seem to get around trying those often enough either) and we’re set for the Lg range. Typing this I have to suppress the urge to start looking for more bottles to buy.
Oh, and to add to the NAS discussion. These bottlings are NAS and highly flavour driven. A few good examples of how it can be done too. I personally wouldn’t spend too much on Bruichladdich, Bunnahabhain and Caol Ila from this range, but Lagavulin, Laphroaig, Ardbeg, Kilchoman and Bowmore are all fairly affordable. It is, of course, only half a liter, but you get something that a lot of capable people have selected, so I’m willing to go out a limb here.
The first scent you get is salt, brine, and herring. Well, fish in general. The background to all that is rather heathery and grassy so it’s actually a very Ardbeg like Lagavulin. It does have some iodine, sand and white oak. A tiny hint of vanilla manages to get through.
A massive hit of white pepper to start off with. Peat, dry and really sharp. Oak, and salty. I get not so much a coastal feel, like where the distillery is, but more like Port Ellen, where the fishing ships come in.
I could just repeat the ‘sip’ part here. There is nothing new to say except that the flavour sticks around for quite a while and the salt is more pronounced.
While this is a rather simple dram, it is very tasty. I didn’t mind finishing this bottle with a ridiculously big glass yesterday (I always underestimate the bottom end of a bottle). It’s a great whisky for easy drinking and not thinking too much about it. This is sometimes called a ‘session dram’ by people who have drinking sessions I guess.
Anyway a very tasty whisky, and an indie Lagavulin, at cask strength, for about € 45 or so (back then) was a pretty good deal. Also, these are meant for drinking since all except the Pe (Port Ellen) range are fairly steady in price. No use in collecting them.
They’re up to batch four by now, by the way.
Lagavulin Lg1, 56.8%, Elements of Islay. About € 50