Dram Review: Lagavulin Bottled Especially to Celebrate Feis Ile 2010 Distilled in 1994

[52.7%・15 Years Old・ Distilled in 1994・Bottled in 2010・Official Bottling・Cask No. 3210・ Single Cask Release of 266 Bottles]

Nose:

A confectionary affair of toffee crisps and Seville orange marmalade marinated with a wee touch of ginger syrup; also greeted by iodine brushed leather and tobacco with a generous touch of chocolate sundae sauce with sea salt flakes.

Palate & Finish:

An exuberant swirl of raisins and chocolate sundae sauce, the mild creaminess extends the peat infused follow through.

Dried tannins, subtle notes of salted chocolate fudge and raisins, with a fine herbal and woody note.

Thoughts:

Ahh, this is what I want from a Lagavulin single cask, not an overly prestigious setting but something extravagant and balanced, nicely Sherried with plenty of strength to back the dram up.

☆ ☆ [Highly Recommended]

-Nicholas

Dram Review: Lagavulin Bottled Especially to Celebrate Feis Ile 2009 Distilled in 1995

[54.5%・13 Years Old・ Distilled in 1995・Bottled in 2009・Official Bottling・Cask No. 4556・ Single Cask Release of 660 Bottles]

Nose:

Smoked biltong, Chinese style jujubes, somewhat woody with notes of cream powder and peanut brittle.

Palate & Finish:

Oily and rather obviously Sherried, Chinese style jujube sweet soup with a herbal and chocolate-y surrounding.

Dry herbal notes and freeze dried blackcurrants.

Thoughts:

It’s rather much, if one is being rational. The elements are fundamentally sound and appealing but perhaps the principle is to not push so hard.

☆ [Recommended]

-Nicholas

Dram Review: Lagavulin Bottled Exclusively to Celebrate Feis Ile 2008 Distilled in 1993


[52.9%・Distilled in 1993・Bottled in 2008・Official Bottling・Cask No. 1403・ Single Cask Release]

Nose:

Endearingly rounded, gently Sherried and with an elegant sea breeze following through. This is this certain creamy tone with a soft umami touch.

Palate & Finish:

Delicious and gooey, immensely creamy for a Lagavulin with red fruits infused to the dense red tea before the earthier wave arrives.

Leather and chocolate powder with an oaky brush of herbs to even things out.

Thoughts:

Would love a bottle of this to help with the cabin fever.. makes for a perfectly cosy few days.

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]

-Nicholas

Dram Review: Lagavulin Available Only at the Distillery Distilled in 1993

[56.5%・Distilled in 1993・Bottled in 2007・Official Bottling・Cask No. 4893・ Single Cask Release]

Nose:

Ocean produce with a prominent presence of wet sand, some Chinese herbs mixed along with cocoa dust.

Palate & Finish:

Dry, dark and bitter, anise wrapped in peat smoke whilst being incredibly herbal.

A lengthy tail of peat smoke and bitter chocolate.

Thoughts:

A challenging and taxing genre, a technically sound single cask consistently deprived of joyous moments.

[Recommended if you like the distillery/style]

-Nicholas

Dram Review: Lagavulin Aged 16 Years (White Horse Distillers Bottling Bottled Circa Early 1990s)

[43.0%・16 Years Old・Bottled Circa 1990s・Official Bottling・General Release]

Nose:

Quite a spirited nose, the peat is fiery but not at all invasive, medicinal with green fruits and coal smoke combining really well together.  Iodine and campfire as it progresses, quite thrilling in a manageable manner.

Palate & Finish:

The soft fruits provide this pleasing sweetness and when combined with notes of plastic and dry twigs makes for an unexpected harmony.  Coal smoke side by side with lollies.

The peat extends softly in the finish.

Thoughts:

This one is a slightly earlier bottling to the other White Horse Distillers Bottling previously reviewed.

It’s a testament to the distillery that releases these days are not drastically compromised like many of its fellow key distilleries that were thriving a few decades ago.

But of course in saying that this White Horse is just finer and more special..

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]

P.S. Thank you Raf, thank you for this dramming experience my friend.

-Nicholas

Dram Review: Lagavulin Aged 18 Years Feis Ile 2018

[53.9%・18 Years Old・Bottled in 2018・Official Bottling・Limited Release of 6,000 Bottles]

Nose:

Surprisingly quite dirtily peated, the oak also comes on quite strong.  Powdery sugar sprinkled atop of dried fruits.

Palate & Finish:

Jammy fruits and oily toffee, the fiery and tarry peat punches through, a heap of black pepper atop of a slightly waxy underlay with some ripe fruits in the mix.

A mild brine-y finish, pepper casually sprinkled on oyster shells, with a thrilling oomph of peat.

Thoughts:

Slightly a bit on the brute and relentless side for me, just faring somewhat harsher than I would have hoped for even at 53.9%; may be it’s just me though, it’s probably a fittingly thrilling release for the festivities..

☆ [Recommended]

-Nicholas

Dram Review: Cask of Distinction Lagavulin Select Cask Aged 23 Years (Cask No. 9001)

[48.7%・23 Years Old・Distilled in 1995・Bottled in 2018・Official Bottling・Cask No. 9001・Single Cask Release of 396 Bottles]

Nose:

Surprisingly mellow, a relaxed setting of oyster shells, seaweed and iodine. A soft charcoal smoke ropes in plums and can pineapples as minerals run gracefully underneath.

Palate & Finish:

Bold entrance with the green fruits, the creaminess of the peat combines with the creaminess of the Sherry wood creating a comforting mouthfeel, the mellow tropical fruits make way for dark cocoa and leather as the vibrant citrus returns and intertwined with the spices.

Lingering finish of creamy oysters, ashes and minerals laid out in a refined manner, a decent barley crispness combines with the drying oak as the fruits spread out.

Thoughts:

A graceful Lagavulin that is actually much more approachable and comforting than what I had expected. There’s this relaxed demeanour with the dram, perhaps it’s the harmonious come together of ex-Sherry casks at a fitting strength, not overly exerting cask influence, a subtle confidence for a flawless whisky.

To some this may not be enough but I found myself quite attracted to the moreish nature and the maritime produce style of the dram and as such I think the two stars is earned.

Well picked Vincent and Rex!

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]

-Nicholas

Dram Review: Cask of Distinction Lagavulin Select Cask Aged 20 Years (Cask No. 0002)

[56.3%・20 Years Old・Distilled in 1997・Bottled in 2017・Official Bottling・Cask No. 0002・Single Cask Release of 240 Bottles]

Nose:

Mothballs and band-aid plasters, seaweed and diesel coming across as a tad muddy.  White fruits unfold in time with some smoked bacon getting baked in the background.

Palate & Finish:

Soft fruits poached in molasses, a nice dose of mushed pineapple chutney and thereafter it turns rather vegetal and leathery with the coastal influence setting in, pepper and iodine being carried by the sea breeze.

An earthy, peaty finish of copper coins and ashes, salty and herbal.

Thoughts:

This is a Cask of Distinction bottled for China, a rawer and dirtier take on the distillery, pretty darn good overall but perhaps not really an unique take, or am I being really picky right now? Anyhow, the world is a better place with this being released as a single cask than it going into a blue label..

☆ [Recommended]

-Nicholas

Dram Review: Lagavulin Islay Jazz Festival 2012

[54.5%・15 Years Old・Distilled in 1997・Bottled in 2012・Official Bottling・Cask No. 1894・Single Cask Release of 624 Bottles]

Nose:

The salty and metallic notes paint a scene of a fishing boat entering a small harbour.  Iodine and paprika mixed with menthol and a sly honey sweetness, nougat and seaweed followed by a casual splash of pepper.

In time, the nose transitions to an amateur rugby game at a muddy field on a cold winter morning.

Palate & Finish:

A good oily mouthfeel of mellow fairy floss sweetness with leather and herbal notes kicking around against some peppery spices and rubbery notes.  Citrus marmalade hitting on wheat grass mild way through with the peat smoke and spices hanging about, leaving some cigarette tar.

Sea salt and salted caramel with some salty peanut brittle at the end.

Thoughts:

A hearty Lagavulin single cask.  Colourful and exhilarating but nothing too hostile.  I imagine this would go really well with Ms. Etta James belting out I just want to make love to you..

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]

-Nicholas

Dram Review: Lagavulin Aged 16 Years (White Horse Distillers Glasgow, Bottled Circa 1990)

[43.0%・Bottled Circa 1990・16 Years Old・Original Bottling・General Release]

Nose:

The seaweed driven peat is fascinating, thin crust of sea salt brushed against fine layers of tar and curry spices; with a faint underlay of creamy fragrance.

Palate & Finish:

A refined cut of peat that draws out a burst of lemony zing; followed by a gentle insert of soft vanilla that comforts the tastebuds before a return of the sooty peat note.

The peat is lengthily drawn out with the dark chocolate mocha note chicly blended within.

Thoughts:

A classic peat-orientated dram from Islay, close to scoring two stars..

I actually know a few gentlemen who would only drink Lagavulin 16 as a rule of life because this was the whisky that roped them in all those years ago.

Who knows, I might just have been an one-whisky-guy too if this were my first proper scotch.

☆ [Recommended]

-Nicholas