I don’t know four of the six people mentioned in the title, but the other two (Bram and Floris) are the guys behind WhiskyNerds, and fellow Usquebaugh Society club members. What I also know is that they’ve bottled some amazing casks in the past, with me having fond memories of their GlenDronach, Springbank and Inchmurrins (obviously, I’m forgetting some, but so be it).
They sent me a sample of this for reviewing a week or two ago, and I finally had the time and attention to give it what it deserves: an hour or quiet, in which to properly assess this whisky, instead of scribbling down some quick notes.
I’m not going into too much else for Lagavulin, the brand is well known to and loved by many whisky drinkers. I spent a morning there in April in which we did an amazing tasting with Iain ‘Pinkie’ McArthur. Highly recommended if you randomly find yourself on the Queen of the Hebrides.
Oily and diesel-like. Lots of thick, engine smoke. Rosemary, thyme and acorns. Pine needles and wood. Some salinity and coastal scents, like washed up wood drying in the sun.
The palate is less sharp and smoother than I expected. Syrupy sweetness, with some pepper, lots of oak and acorns. Herbaceous with thyme sprigs and a bitter hint of twigs. Some salinity and iodine flavors too, with more drying oak.
In the finish, the diesel like smoke starts coming through before it becomes a lot more smooth. It’s a bit fresher and more crisp than before. Still heavy, it’s Lagavulin after all, but more like a windy walk on the beach than earlier.
Apart from the price of a bottle, this is an amazing whisky. Absolutely stunning and quite likely to become my whisky of the year (I’ve not tried that supposedly awesome Adelphi Mortlach yet).
I love that it’s so light on the sweetness and doesn’t show the typical fruits that come with more generic Lagavulin (the tea and oranges kind). It represents the surrounding area of Lagavulin, with coastal notes and the rocky, grassy shoreline.
Lagavulin 1997-2018, 21 years old, 56.6%, ‘Select Cask’ by Lagavulin, for Boris, Floris, Bram, Sebastian, Ronny and Rolf. It’s going to cost around € 1500 a pop.
Much obliged to Bram and Floris for sending a sample!