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