Recently, Whisky Import Nederland, the company behind the First Cask brand, released a series of six whiskies. There were some interesting bottles in that batch, but the one that stood out was this ‘An Islay Distillery’.
Why, you ask? This:
After seeing the image on the label there shouldn’t be any doubt about which distillery this is, unless they just put the wrong distillery on the label. I find that unlikely.
So, there is a 12 year old single cask Lagavulin available for less that € 80! I don’t expect it to be on par with the annual 12 year old, but it’s also about € 50 to € 60 less. Consider me intrigued!
Quite earthy on the nose, with a hint of dried lemon and washed up wood. There’s a hint of vanilla, with some leather and dried apple. It’s pretty herbaceous too, with a mix of dried herbs.
The palate is as rich as the nose, but adds a few coastal notes that I didn’t pick up before. There’s black pepper and oak, but also vanilla and some syrupy sweetness. Dried thyme and basil.
The finish is rather gentle for a cask strength whisky, and pushes the coastal notes further, with slightly medicinal smoke. Some black pepper, some dried herbs, syrupy sweetness.
This is actually pretty nice. What I like is that it displays a different aspect of Lagavulin that normally is used for the annual 12 year old. The herbaceous notes are nice and combined with the sweetness it reminds of some kind of savory pastry that I can’t put my finger on.
Also, yes, this does taste like Lagavulin, albeit an atypical one. Of course, I’m utter shit at recognizing distilleries, but still.
Anyway, it’s a solid dram. It’s not as good as the regular annual 12 year old, but it certainly punches above the weight of similarly priced Islay whiskies. Recommended!