Dec 20, 2016

Lagavulin 8 yo...

Lagavulin 8yo (48.0%): Lagavulin 8yo is one of the limited releases Lagavulin distillery bottled within 2016 to celebrate their 200th anniversary. This particular one is a tribute to Alfred Barnard and his legendary book "The Whisky Distilleries of the UK" published in 1887. In that book Barnard talks about an 8 year old Lagavulin he tasted during his distillery visit and refers to it as "exceptionally fine" and basically that was the line inspired the creation of this 8 year old whisky sitting on my desk now. I liked the idea of releasing also an affordable expression for their anniversary among other expensive ones... Aged in refill American and European oak casks.

Color: Almost clear... Straw, very pale lemon chiffon.

Nose: Salted bonitos, kippers and charcoal. Cold sea spray, unripe Concorde pears and sliced Granny Smith apples. Everything I want to nose on an Islay whisky... Dried hay, Belgian endives and bitter greens. Gum resin, spruce and juniper berries. Diesel fuel, sweet soot and wet soaked hemp rope. Cigarette ash... Young and beautiful... Just a drop or two of water works great, amplifies the aromas and opens it up. Sour milk, inflatable armbands and WD40.

Palate: Ashtray, sea water, kippers in olive oil... Barbecued banana peppers, vanilla and pineapple rings. Campfire on the beach, wet sand and grilled fatty fish. Salted butter, Catalan flan and black peppercorns. Hint of fresh spearmint leaves, milk chocolate and lemon zest. Again just a couple of drops of water is a huge improvement: Wool scarves, ginger tea and dried sour cherries.

Finish: Long... Soot, charcoal, chili oil and resin.

Overall: I wish it was a permanent addition to the line-up... Everything I like about a young peaty whisky: Less to none sherry cask influence, vegetal, coastal, briny and resiny... It is vibrant, dusty and chalky. I see now why hardcore Lagavulin fans kept their distance to this expression but I think I loved it for the very same reasons. I should have bought another bottle when I had the chance because I don't see this bottle lasting too long in this household.

Price: $60