Sunday, January 16, 2011

Review: Lagavulin Distiller's Edition

Lagavulin Distiller's Edition
Price: $100-$110
Strength: 43 %

Before I discovered the world of cask strength, non chill-filtered whisky, Lagavulin DE would have been a surefire A or A+.  It has great complexity and balance between peat and sherry, a long finish, and an overall refinement from 17 years in the cask.  However, I'm now used to the mouth-coating effect of most natural whiskies, and the result is that the DE, chill-filtered and bottled at a paltry 43 %, just doesn't feel that "big".  The body is a little thin, and thewhisky tastes a little diluted, especially when compared with the monster 12-year-old.

Still, there is a lot to love.  The peat is strongest on the nose, which also reveals sweet fruit notes.  The sherry casks mute the peat on the palate a bit and contribute cherry cough syrup flavor.  The peat and sherry actually balance pretty well though and produce a sort of caramel butteriness.  The long, pleasant finish lingers and leaves salty ashes.  92 points (A-).

Other Lagavulin reviews:


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3 comments:

  1. This one sounds interesting, though I'm with you on the superior mouth feel of non-chill filtered and cask strength malts.

    Does Lagavulin have a 16? I know I've had something from them before, I just can't remember the age, and it definitely wasn't the 12. It was the first time I'd really experienced sweetness balancing with smoke, which was interesting. A lot of drams later, I think it pales in comparison with the Laphraoig quarter cask, but still, I found it pretty good.

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  2. Lagavulin 16 is a great bottle (you might remember that we toasted you at your wedding with this). The Lag 16 is also chill-filtered and bottled at 43 %, but it is a good introduction to the world of peat monsters, as it is well balanced. I'd probably give it 90 points or so.

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  3. That's right, that was the Lagavulin 16 at my wedding, that had somehow slipped my mind.

    Which leads me to wonder, what did I try a few years ago that I am misremembering as Lagavulin? If only I had kept better notes...my notes tended to be kind of sporadic and scattered then. Actually, they're still pretty scattered, but at least I'm consistent about taking notes nowadays.

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