Google Lagavulin si or no

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

April 18, 2018


Lagavulin si or no?

Many young undisclosed Islays are ‘said’ to be Lagavulin, but it’s hard to be sure since by essence, many are not exactly in the style of any of the OBs. Unless the distinguished independent bottlers give us wee clues, for example with names that do not leave much room for doubt, Laggan’s Mullin, Dunyvaig’s Tipple, or names like that. Here’s another good example, with high odds…

Lochan Sholum 14 yo 2003/2018 (50.3%, Maltbarn, sherry, 147 bottles)

Lochan Sholum 14 yo 2003/2018 (50.3%, Maltbarn, sherry, 147 bottles) Four stars and a half
Lochan Sholum? Don’t look for anagrams, I believe this is the name of Lagavulin’s loch, so its water source. Shouldn’t that give it away, knowing that this very honourable bottler just wouldn’t try to trick us? Colour: pale gold. Nose: wonderful. Very clean, and yet a tad fat as Lagavulin can be, with scents of green oranges, really a lot of seaweed, a slightly gingery/nutty side (from the sherry?), whiffs of swimming pool (soft chlorine), and a growing brine-y character, with touches of caraway hidden in the background. With water: gets kilny. Smoked malt (indeed they malt and then they smoke), a little shoe polish, Islay rain water in a wee pond… Mouth (neat): really very good, lemony and peppery at first, then typically smoky. Smoked grapefruits and once again, something nutty. Smoked almonds. Then touches of ginger again, ginger mints… With water: With water: lemons, fresh almonds, seawater, and touches of small berry spirit. Like, checkerberry. Finish: long, with Lagavulin’s typical sweetness, on a solid smoky base. Comments: perhaps not exactly the most complex Lagavulin ever, but it sure is worth every Deutschmark (no, not late, just trying to be funny). Less ashy than, say the official 12s SR.
SGP:457 - 89 points.

Let’s try to find another unusual one of similar age, as the mandatory sparring partner…

Lagavulin 15 yo 2001 2016 (54.2%, OB, 200th Anniversary Casks of Distinction, Private Collector’s Edition, cask #9554, 264 bottles)

Lagavulin 15 yo 2001/2016 (54.2%, OB, 200th Anniversary Casks of Distinction, Private Collector’s Edition, cask #9554, 264 bottles) Five stars
Another one of those single casks that they had always said they would never do. Way too complicated and costly at the time - that was when age was still mattering… Colour: pale gold. Nose: this one’s totally pure, with no flavourings or oak in sight, so obviously very perfect (I’m afraid). Crystal-clean brine-y smoke, lemon peel, embrocations, shoe polish, proper sauvignon blanc. And basta cosi. With water: ooh crushed fresh almonds, barley, Barbour grease, wee whiffs of horse dung, saddle, hay… A perfect development with water, although we couldn’t call it ‘crystal-clean’ anymore. May we say ‘farm-dirty?’ Mouth (neat): extremely Lagavulin, starting sweet and almost syrupy, and getting gradually sharper, more lemony, peppery, salty, ashy, and of course very smoky. Touches of plantains. With water: once again, some sweetness at first, almost barley syrup, then ashy/sooty lemons and polishes. Finish: long, quite fat, and yet kind of refreshing. And very more-ish. Comments: superb. I can’t argue, I really can’t. Very lovely Wealthy Collector’s Editi… I mean, Private Collector’s Edition.
SGP:557 - 91 points.

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






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