Thursday, September 21, 2017

Whisky Review: Lagavulin 8 years single malt Scotch

Scotch Whisky Review
 Lagavulin 8 years 

Single Malt  

Port Ellen, on the Isle of Islay 

Age Statement
 8 years 

Cork Stopper


Limited Edition 
20,000 bottles released to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the distillery. 

Varies widely, but in New Hampshire I paid $60. Reasonable but I have seen some very high prices elsewhere in excess of $100 (not reasonable). 

Wood Management 
Aged exclusively in refill bourbon casks. No ex-sherry casks involved. 

Nose (undiluted) 
Without water, the aromas that lift out of your glass are delightful. Minty, hickory wood, seaside bonfire, hint of banana and lemons too. Add water and these aromas are blurred. 

Palate (diluted) 
You really have to add some water given the 48% ABV. With a little water you will get big time salt, loads of hard, coarse salt, custard and of course smoke and peat. There are green minty notes with wet wood smoke too. 

Finish (diluted) 
Dry zing of black peppercorns, dry ginger, camphor, menthol and phenolic notes abound. 

General Impressions
This is a bold expression from the Lagavulin distillery that serves up lively peat and smoke, lemon zest and banana, plus some wood char. It is really comparable in taste to Ardbeg 10 or Laphroaig Quarter Cask.

Lagavulin 8 years is a youthful, robust peat bomb in a glass. Do not think of this whisky as a younger version of Lagavulin 16 years. They are very different whiskies.

Definitely peat and smoke fans of Islay malts will enjoy, but if Islay malts are not your cup of tea, then probably best to avoid this expression and opt for something that is gentler like an easy going blend (Islay Mist, White Horse, etc.). Personally, I prefer a more refined taste of the 16 year old Lagavulin, but that is a different malt all together given the aging in sherry casks and much older malts. 

Thanks for reading!