Next stop on Islay – Lagavulin. Quite early during our trip planning it was clear that we won’t have time for tour Lagavulin. So we checked what other events can we attend and found out we can attend the Premium Tasting event that is scheduled for 13:30 – just in time after one lengthy tour and before another tour, so we booked places in it. and boy, what a smart decision it was!
Don’t get me wrong – I’ll fix the wrongdoing and will tour Lagavulin next time I’m on Islay, but the Premium Tasting is one helluva bang for your buck event.
The cost of the tasting is £15 which £5 goes toward a Distillery Glencairn glass which you get as part of the deal and the rest, £10 are toward the drinks themselves. And what drinks! you get to drink new make and 4 whiskies where 2 are Festival bottlings (which you can’t purchase anymore now), so in short – if you don’t have time for a full tour, go for the tasting – you won’t regret it.
Lagavulin new make, 63.5%
Nose: Fruity, pears, sweet earthy peat behind, oily, quite rich. With water more peated, smoky, less sweet still fruity, peaches as well
Palate: Spirity, sweet peat, ashes. With added water much less peaty and fruity notes shine out.
Finish: Very warm, lengthy and quite complex. With water less warm and very smooth
Lagavulin 16 (43%, buy in any major store)
Nose: Less peat on front and more at the far background , sweet oak impact. Vanilla & honey, very fruity with some oranges thrown in. With added water more fruity notes exposed, pear drops, some spirity edge and it’s lighter.
Palate: Peated, sweet, fruits of pears, oranges, earthy, some vanilla and oak some bitter touch, with water less peaty and more fruity, quite light and fresh.
Finish: Lengthy and warm, oak and vanilla by the bonfire, with water still peaty and long bit mellow with more fruits, pears and peaches.
Jazz festival 2013 51.9%
Nose: Sherry impact, plums, soaked raisins, red berries, peat at the background, large sniffs reveals spicy notes behind the sweet sherry, dryness.
Palate: less sherry, more earthy peat, still stay sweet but not light fruits
Finish: warm and long, some oak. With water less peat and more oroloso sherry. Fantastic. More oak on palate and finish, spicy!
Lagavulin Feis ile 2013 51%
Nose: Almost no peat at first, fruity but more restrained sweet and is richerthen Jazz festival one (which is dryer oroloso). Peat smoke get stronger after few mins in glass.
Palate: Peat but smoother, a late punch comes through, very sweet oak.
Finish: Lengthy, less peaty but still has BBQ impact, sweet. holy shit, a bottle to purchase! (and I did got one)
Lagavulin 12 yo 2012 56.1%
Color: So clear and white for 12yo old
I did take notes for this one, but I think something was totally wrong with my glass. All the notes I got were totally off mark of my expectations, so I need to revisit this one with new sample some one day.
Conclusion: Don’t miss out this event at Lagavulin if you do not have the time to tour. The Festivals bottlings are ACE and the standard 16yo is classic for a reason. Make sure you have one on your whisky shelf. Slainte