Lagavulin whisky can only mean one thing… It’s Peat time, those big aromas and flavours that just scream Islay whisky are all perfectly summed up as soon as you mention Lagavulin.. Founded way back in 1816 when John Jonston and Archibald Campbell constructed two distilleries on the site where eventually one of them became Lagavulin and is believed to have taken over the other distillery. Owned by Diageo, this distillery has a massive following and is certainly very well received within the whisky circles..
The distillery is probably better known for its 16yo which certainly is a big dominant whisky, this whisky is predominantly the same whisky with just a finishing period in Pedro Ximenez sherry casks.
This vintage was distilled in 1995 and bottled in 2011 with an abv of 43%.
Nose.. Without stating the obvious, this starts off with big peat and smoke aromas, smouldering charcoal, and the early morning sea breeze but the sweetness from the Px cask really does help to just tame it down… Plums, dates, figs, sticky toffee pudding and Demerara sugar all mingle with damp musty earthy notes, damp moss, sugared almonds and seriously dark chocolate with espresso coffee.
Palate.. Once you get past the peat and smoke there is a quite an elegant sweetness, thick maple syrup, dried fruits, candied orange, chocolate and a real oily texture that coats the mouth.
Finish.. Smoke infused oak with a kick of peat..
Thoughts.. luckily for me the Px cask certainly helps to tame this beast, the smoke and peat are still very evident but the sweetness really does help balance it out. If like me your not into your big peated drams then this is just about the limit thanks to the sweetness, compared to the sister Release (the 16 yo ) this really is far more enjoyable for me .. It feels more balanced and a little more complex but that might be down to not getting passed the peat in the standard 16.. This is certainly one I’d buy again and is the perfect dram for those bitterly cold winter nights..