Distillery/Brand: Lagavulin | Region: Islay | ABV: 59.9% | Colour: Pale Straw
Nose: 22 | Taste: 22 | Finish: 22 | Balance: 22 | Rating: 88
I missed the Lagavulin open day during the Islay Festival. Which is a shame because I am genuinely a fan of this distillery. We did swing by on one of the off days and managed a distillery tour.
Though the first thing that greeted us as we made our way to the visitor centre was a large printed sign informing us that the Feis Ile bottling was all SOLD OUT!
Fine, we get it!
It was raining on and off with the wind threatening to push us off the pier as we stood staring at the LAGAVULIN written on the distillery wall. I managed to get some nice panoramic pictures before we decided to head on to see the Kildalton Cross. But that’s another story.
Since we couldn’t taste the Feis Ile bottling at the distillery we had to find one some where. This we managed to locate at a place called the Ballygrant Inn. Manned by an extremely anti-social bar tender it did have quite a wonderful whisky collection including the entire Feis Ile releases for this year.
And sitting among the lot was the Lagavulin. Triple maturation this expression. First in bourbon, then PX and finally a slow finish in old oak puncheons.
Distilled in 1991 my sample is from an open bottle and served at a stinging 59.9%
Nose: Burnt toast. Char. Smoke. Vanilla. Custard. Citrus. Green lime. Oysters. Gets fruitier over time as the nose adjusts. Pears. Lemon sorbet. Opens up a touch with water.
Palate: Intense. Maybe too intense. Spicy. Burnt toast. Char. Have to coax the sweetness. But it comes. Vanilla. Custard. Lemon tart. Hint of fruits. Gets fruitier and more lemony with a few drops of water. Certainly more palatable.
Finish: Long. Very long. Spicy. Lime.
Overall Comments: This is a solid dram. Not for the faint hearted. Reminds me a lot of the 12 Cask Strength even though it’s twice the age. I’m a sucker for high strength whiskies but even I feel that this needs to be mellowed out a touch. May have been perfect at around 55% but that’s just me.