Lagavulin Distillery Only 2017, 54.1%

Last April I visited Lagavulin distillery, and while the tasting was amazing, the tour was pretty shit. Luckily their shop was filled with all kinds of awesomeness. Even more lucky, I got my hands on most everything that was available at the end of the summer of 2017 through a fellow Usquebaugh Society member visiting the place.

Also, at the end of the annual Peated Whisky Tasting at De Whiskykoning last month, we got a dram of this whisky. I didn’t take notes since I had it open and could taste it more fresh (me being more fresh, not the whisky). So, here we go.

Honestly, I was a bit skeptical about the whisky. In 2017 Diageo released a lot of distillery only bottlings at their distilleries. I tried a couple of them but was not inclined at all to buy a bottle of them. I was afraid for the Lagavulin, but contrary to most others this is bottled at cask strength, and is actually good.

Sniff:
Quite medicinal compared to most contemporary Lagavulins. Some sweet peat smoke with the typical oranges and Lapsang Souchong tea. Sweet soot and a bonfire, with quite a lot of salinity. Seaweed and washed up wood.

Sip:
It has some bite to it, without being too strong. Warming, with a crisp edge because of the ‘sea breeze’ salinity. Quite some oak, with smoked tea and a sweet citrusy edge. Mandarin and orange. Lapsang Souchong. A bit of basalt covered in sea weed.

Swallow:
The finish is a bit lighter than the palate, and dryer. Some sawdust, some ground spices. Quite a bit of peat smoke, oak, sea weed for salinity and a hint of band aids.

This is much better than I anticipated, from the go. However, it still does improve a bit with some air in the bottle. I went through the last quarter of the bottle over the last couple of weeks and I absolutely loved it.

Also, what helps is that it’s gotten a bit chilly lately, and these peated whiskies suit me fine in weather like this!

90/100

Lagavulin Distillery Only 2017, 54.1%. Not sure about stocks at the distillery, but they go for some € 170 in the secondary market

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About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm. highly interested in booze, with a focus on whisk(e)y. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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