Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Looking at Lagavulin

With the recent price reductions at Tesco and a little persuasion from the #whiskyfabric (@dvdbloke @ocdwhisky @DrinksByTheDram ) I bought a bottle of the Lagavulin Distillers Edition to join the 16yo in my 'collection'. Here's my side by side taste test.

DE and 16yo

Distillery : Lagavulin
Whisky : 16 Years Old

Presentation : Square box, dark brown bottle with some distillery and whisky information.
Source : Tesco
Price : £48

Characteristics : 700ml, 43% ABV, Not Coloured, Chill Filtered 😒
Box/Bottle Information : "Pungent and potent, this is the great Islay malt. With richly peaty, deep, smokey flavours, it has an intense, long, ambrosial finish."

Colour : Deep Copper.
Glance : Oily, leaves thin slow moving trails when swirled around the glass.
Nose : Medicinal, smokey with pears.
Taste : Tongue coating, oily, chewy, smoke and pears dominate and surprisingly very dry.
Finish : Medium length, drying finishing smoke with vanilla and pepper.
Link : 16 Year Old

Distillery : Lagavulin
Whisky : The Distillers Edition 1999-2015 (lgv. 4/504)

Presentation : Square box, dark brown bottle with some distillery and whisky information.
Source : Tesco
Price : £55

Characteristics : 700ml, 43% ABV, Not Coloured, Chill Filtered 😒
Box/Bottle Information : "Double maturation in specially crafted Pedro Ximenez cask-wood. Its accents of rich, sun dried grape sweetness have been chosen to complement this spectacular single malt's rich complex style. This is an unforgettable, richly flavoured malt whisky with intense layers of raisin sweetness and smokey flavour."

Colour : Deep Copper - the same as the 16yo
Glance : Oily, leaves thin trails when swirled around the glass.
Nose : Smoke like a bonfire, honey - quite different from the 16yo
Taste : Tongue coating, chewy, silky smooth, honey, vine fruits, vanilla, not dry like the 16yo.
Finish : Pepper, peat, vanilla - not as long as the 16yo.
Link : Distillers Edition

Overall : I love Islay malts, I love peat and I love Lagavulin, the bottle of 16yo sits proudly on my whisky shelf giving up regular drams for my enjoyment! When I saw the offer in Tesco for the DE, £55 from £70, I was tempted - a little banter from my friends on Twitter and I was persuaded!
They are two quite distinct drams, the sherry finish obviously making the difference but not in a overpowering sherry way. The dryness of the 16yo has gone and honey replaces the pear flavours on the nose and in the mouth. The DE is a lot 'easier' to drink if you aren't keen on Islay Peat Smoke - the sherry influence makes it smoother and less pronounced - but it is still there! Worth a try at £55 but maybe not at £70.

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