Google Lagavulin including our 14000th whisky

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Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

September 3, 2018


Whiskyfun 14000

Little duets, today Lagavulin including our 14,000th whisky
I mean, LOL! I did some poll on Facebook the other day, asking good people about what I should choose as my 14,000th whisky. There were two options, Lagavulin or Macallan (simply because I don’t know how to do polls with more than two options on Facebook, or I would have added Springbank, Clynelish et al.).

Well, I had thought Lagavulin would probably win indeed, but it was actually a massacre. 81% for Lagavulin, 19% for Macallan. Total, 657 votes. So as they used to say in Middle-Italy, Vox Populi, Vox Dei, let’s do Lagavulin!


But isn’t it amazing that just everyone loves Lagavulin? As if the very fact that the owners preserved it from any tinkering whatsoever throughout the years was actually a major and permanent advantage, while so many other brands/distilleries were, and still are very busy doing marketing-driven ‘innovations’ (but they all do the same) that may actually damage the brands’ reputations sooner or later as, in my opinion, Scotch malts whisky’s rather about heritage and tradition. But there, only figures tell the truth and we’re here to taste whisky, aren’t we…

So, Lagavulin, one indie, one official.

Lg8 (59.5%, Elixir Distillers, Elements of Islay, 2018)

Lg8 (59.5%, Elixir Distillers, Elements of Islay, 2018) Five stars
Lg8 is not the latest smartphone by Samsung, it’s Elixir Distiller’s latest Lagavulin, stemming from two bourbon barrels. I usually like to try my ‘Lgs’ against the newer official 12 yo Special Release, but that one’s not in yet. Colour: white wine. Nose: no surprise, this is brilliant. Simply pristine, bright and brine-y, with some lemon, tree bark, Islay mud, oysters, unripe white peaches, fresh almonds, and roots. Boringly great, I’d almost take sides with Benjamin Disraeli, he who used to say that he hated good wine and preferred bad ones, because good wines were too boring. Well, exaggerating a bot now, I agree… With water: wet fabric, mud and all that. Mouth (neat): it’s the simplicity that’s striking. This is sweet, as any young Lagavulin usually is – it’s almost a tad syrupy actually – and then very smoky, very peppery, very lemony. It’s really simple, but it’s perfect. Malevich’s white square, made whisky. With water: lemon up, sweetness down. We won’t complain. Finish: long, crystal-clean, smoky. Comments: maturation mainly filtered out the undesired molecules here, all the rest remained extremely close to the original distillate. Like in the greatest white mezcals, pears, rums, gentians, grogues, cachaças… etc.
SGP:457 - 90 points (yup, as usual).

And so, our 14,000th… Well even if I do not have enough time to post much about jazz these days, and rather focus on the whiskies, I’m still totally into the bluer notes, and so just couldn’t miss the opportunity of writing notes for one of Lagavulin’s latest Jazz Festival bottlings. How does that sound? (that was really funny, S.)

Lagavulin ‘Jazz Festival 2016’ (54.5%, OB, 200th Anniversary, 6000 bottles, 2016)

Lagavulin ‘Jazz Festival 2016’ (54.5%, OB, 200th Anniversary, 6000 bottles, 2016) Five stars
6000 bottles are a lot, if only jazz would be this successful!… Anyway, the Lagavulin Islay Jazz Festival is a great event, it’s a total thrill to listen to, say Donny McCaslin at Lagavulin Hall with good friends and while sipping… Lagavulin. Yes I can speak from personal knowledge. And so, this is my 14,000th whisky, taking neither other spirits, nor Angus’s own tasting notes into account. Colour: white wine, so no sherry in sight this time. Excuse me? If I’m going to complain because this is NAS? Sure I will. Good, consider it done… Nose: we are, as expected, extremely close to the Lg8. Profiles are totally similar, this one being just a wee tad rougher, despite a lower strength. Let’s say it’s a notch grassier and muddier, and perhaps smokier, and perhaps a little more austere. With water: once again, we’re going towards more mud, damp fabric, wool… Mouth (neat): it’s a wee bit less sweet, and a wee tad more complex than the fantastic Lg8. Perhaps is that the lower natural strength? Hints of white currants and gooseberries, which were not to be found in Elixir’s. Other than that, peat smoke, clams, lemons, cane sugar, oysters, and perhaps a little more tar than in other Lagas. But Laga’s not a very tarry whisky, is it. With water: lovely fresh almonds, orgeat, a leafiness… Finish: long, a tad fatter and waxier this time, with small notes of smoked salmon and fat Loch Fyne oysters. Indeed that’s a matter of taste. Comments: let’s talk jazz, I’m totally in love with Kamasi Washington’s latest album. I know he’s big and that smaller players could be just as good if not better, but there, I just love it, can’t help it. It’s the same with this little Lagavulin.
SGP:358 - 90 points.

I know, all 10-15 yo natural Lagavulins do score 90-91 in my book, but that’s their fault, not mine. Good, anyway, next stop, our 15,000th whisky around the end of summer next year, if God lends me life, as my old aunt Jeanne used to say until she finally died at the ripe old age of 97. But Jeanne was more into Port and gewürztraminer and I believe she just never tried whisky… Or perhaps during the Liberation?

(With heartfelt thanks to Tom)

More tasting notesCheck the index of all Lagavulin we've tasted so far






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