Whisky Review: Lagavulin 1977 25 Years Old Special Release 2002

Style: Spicy, Sweet and Smoky

Nose:
Round dark fruits and chocolate notes coating around the unyielding maritime, even slightly meaty spirit. Overripe strawberries, fig jam and blackcurrant gummies gradually give way to some spicy bird’s eye, unshucked oysters and limoncello. Mineral brushes and peat signatures forming alliance with black cardamom, nutmeg, stewed fruits at lower level. Deep sherry notes dialing back time and make another push. Malt biscuits to finish.

Palate:
Massive spice attack at the frontline, we are looking at Rare Malts level kind of bruteness here. Red chillies and searing-hot spirit punch a hole which allows the assorted sherry fruits to flow through it and build around its core. Limoncello, oysters, malt and peat prancing in the most sumptuous fashion – boy, this is why we love Laga! Aloe vera and iodine overtone swiftly dropping down to an earthier konjac side notes. Raisin chocolate, demerara sugar and even a taste of dark rum. Liquorice stroking with tar, some caramel cream at the end.

Finish:
Molten raisin chocolate bubbling gently, lemon candle and lobster shells shining through from the back, subtle but determined peated malt makes it stand.

Thoughts:
This is the classic, classy Lagavulin I know, this style of single malt at such a high calibre is so few and far between these days. Sure, the spiciness almost off the chart like most Rare Malts do (they are in similar vintage, similar bottling period after all), but in return it builds a Colosseum of space for the sherry and malt to roam and shine. Intense, but also satisfying. In terms of scoring/rating, maybe it is too blunt for some and probably with minimal cask fault hidden within, but it is still an incredibly good whisky.

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]

-Esmond

[57.2%| Original Bottling| 1977 Distilled| 2002 Bottled| Vatting | 9000 Bottles | Natural Cask Strength| Bottle Number: 7748| **]

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