Today’s the open day of Lagavulin (Always on the first Saturday of the festival) and as usual, I’ll try to review during the festival a corresponding whisky for each of the Islay distilleries.
Instead of going for an official bottling, I’m heading the independent bottlers way and checking a young 9 Year Old Kildalton whisky from a new bottler, The Spirit Still.
The Spirit Still can’t call it Lagavulin, but the name of the whisky is a masterful stroke and it’s pretty clear which distillery does it hails from.
This whisky was matured in bourbon cask before going a second maturation for 6 months in a Côtes du Rhône French Oak cask.
The Spirit Still “Like A Villain” – Lagavulin 9 Year Old Wine Cask Finish (52%)
Nose: Feeling the youth with earthy malt and vanilla so not too active a cask. then a generous layer of stewed apricot and cinnamon. Sourness and freshness of lemon peels a drizzle of seawater.
Palate: the whole 9 yards of Lagavulin fruity peat, smoke, sweet honeyed apricot, malt, metallic note, green apples, ashes and dryness in the end.
Finish: Medium length, lingering sweet apricot, peat, smoke, ashes, gentle oak spices and dryness.
Thoughts: A very interesting Lagavulin. The wine finish did it job rounding the young peaty spirit and imparting sweetness to balance the dry Lagavulin peat. However, I feel it’s a bit unripe and could use a few more years in the initial cask and/or a few more months in the wine cask, but still a good effort from this just starting business.