It’s hard not to walk into a Lagavulin tasting without having preconceptions and high expectations. The spirit itself is just that good and that well-defined.
So, what happens when you take that lovely base spirit and flash-fry finish it in some sort of wine cask? Well…you end up with a damn good dram that struts and swaggers with a curious sort of crossdresser confidence. They call this ‘Double Matured’. A fancy term for ‘finishing’. Whatever. Call it what you like, in this case it works just fine.
This Lag is part of Diageo’s Distiller’s Edition range of their Classic Malts. Having said all that I just said…I admit to still preferring the standard Lagavulin 16 (or older!!) to this charming eccentricity.
Nose: Rubber. Barn-ish (iodine-rich urine and cowshit). Ash and asphalt. Sea spray and wet rock. Faint banana. Quite sweet on the nose. Peat and smoke? Yes, of course.
Palate: Smoke meets peat meets winegums. A little grape-y. Bandaid dryness. Camphor/menthol rub.
Thoughts: Neat and definitely Lag-ish, but ultimately a little too sweetened by the wine finish for my liking. Still enjoyable. (And yes…I realize your first question will be ‘how can it smell like urine and cowshit and be a good dram?’ You’re right to ask, o ye of little faith, but trust in me and I shall lead ye straight.)
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Curt