Lagavulin 12yr bottled 2009....$88.99
An annual special release from the essential Islay distillery; Seventh of a series from the original distiller’s stocks. Fabulously appetising. Less of the citrus acidity of earlier expressions. A fine example of the make. Very enjoyable straight and even classier with water.
STRENGTH: 56.4% ABV
APPEARANCE: Deep amber
NOSE: A typically full-on Lagavulin nose that also shows great finesse, with less ripe fruit than earlier bottlings. Bergamot scented wood-smoke surrounds a sophisticated complex of sweeter aromas; smooth and creamy toffee sauce on digestive biscuits with shavings of milk chocolate. Later, appetising lemon and white pepper notes. With water, the aromas embrace toasted cereal and take on a roasted, nutty quality but the fragrant smoke always returns.
PALATE: Dusty, very sweet, then positively smoky, as with roasted chestnuts from a street vendor on a winter’s morning; Or a real-wood fired pizza with fresh pesto and pine kernels. Leaves the tongue tingling. Cleaner with water, which brings a smooth mouth feel and sophisticated smoke.
FINISH: Long and smoky, with large amounts of exquisite smoke and a fragrant smoky aftertaste. Toasted sesame seeds and basil. Water brings out Indian spices (roasted cumin).
Lagavulin 16yr Single Malt....$75.99
A much sought-after single malt with the massive peat-smoke that's typical of southern Islay - but also offering a dryness that turns it into a truly interesting dram. Lagavulin is an intense, smoky-sweet single malt with seaweed flavours and a huge finish, aged in oak casks for at least sixteen years.
STRENGTH: 43% ABV
APPEARANCE: Deep amber gold.
NOSE: Intense peat smoke with iodine and seaweed and a rich, deep sweetness.
PALATE: A rich, dried fruit sweetness with clouds of smoke and strong, barley-malt flavours, warming and intense. At the back of the mouth is an explosion of peppery smoke.
FINISH: Huge, long, warming and peppery with a distinch appetising sweetness.
Lagavuilin Distillers 1991 bottled 2008....$89.99
LAGAVULIN DISTILLERS' EDITION
Each Distillers Edition expression undergoes a second (or ‘double’) maturation in casks that have previously held a fortified wine. A really distinctive and distinguished dram, full of peat while the Pedro Ximinez sherry wood naturally has a big say; A more mellow Lagavulin, not quite as deep or intense as the 16 year old.
APPEARANCE: Golden Treacle
NOSE: Intense peat and vanilla. A raisin sweetness checks the smoke. Iodine-edged peat and crisp, roasty malt. Satisfying and enticing.
BODY: Full and rich.
PALATE: Sweet and luscious; a clear, grassy malt, then the peat attacks, smoke filling the mouth. A very salty tang at one point; the middle offers coffee and vanilla with a glimmer of fruit.
FINISH: Incredibly long, even for Islay. Fruit, peat and long-lasting oak. Very chewable and “more-ish”.