Lagavulin is the 2nd Islay distillery owned by Diageo. Yesterday we covered Caol Ila Festival bottlingCaol Ila 16 Year Old Fèis Ìle 2020 and today it’s the Lagavulin festival bottling turn.
Last Year we had a 19 Year Old Lagavulin in Sherry Treated casks which was fantastic as the festival bottling and this year we have a 20 Year Old Lagavulin initially matured in refill casks (ex-bourbon) and then finished in PX and Oloroso treated Hogsheads.
PX finish and Lagavulin? You’re right, we’re already familiar with this concept with the Lagavulin Distillers Edition. But here not all casks were finished in PX and the whisky is older. Let’s check it out.
Lagavulin 20 Year Old Fèis Ìle 2020 (54%, 6000 bottles)
Nose: Starts with gentle sweet dried fruits. Also getting some vanilla at first but it disappear (or just gets overrun) later on. Berries, purple plums, the expected peat smoke and ashes are here but currently playing 2nd violin. Then suddenly some flickers of Lagavulin DNA fruitiness and peat, raisins and caramel. After 30 minutes here comes the PX with thick syrup, dark chocolate, fruits cake with chocolate topping. And it’s very balanced and in harmony all through that time.
Palate: Starts with peat, thick sweetness, sour-sweet fruits, raisins, pepper, coals, old furniture, tobacco leaves, leather – leather coat and belt, ends dry.
Finish: Long finish, strong fruitiness linger in the background, but at the same time it’s also dry with oak spice, peat smoke, leather, tobacco leaves and ashy tinge.
Thoughts: So there similarities to the Distillers Edition but with the casks selection that includes Oloroso casks, higher ABV and extra 4 years makes it a fantastic whisky with great balance of peat and sherry but a bit on the sweet side. A worthy festival bottling and definitely a worthy of a return purchase if it was possible.