peat from Islay.
In a comment to a previous post I promised to write about something peaty but also matured in sherry casks. The choice fell on Lagavulin 16 years old. At least as I remember, it is kind of that whisky. It isn’t the best representative of that kind and obviously isn’t fully matured or finished in sherry casks. Sherry influence may not be that big. But it is worth to try it. For sure I am not mistaken to the peat, we’ll see how it is with sherry …
At preliminary point I must add that Lagavulin is one of the famous whisky from Islay. The distillery was founded in 1816 in the village of Port Ellen, to the south of the island. In the direct neighborhood there are also Ardbeg and Laphroaig. All these places you have to visit during your stay on Islay of Islay.
Lagavulin belongs to Diageo.
We can say that the base version of the single malt from this distillery is 16 year old. Quite unusually, especially in the current era of releasing whisky without specifying age (NAS), which is a bit like downsizing in the automotive industry. Here we have as many as 16 years old, pretty good. Of course, there are younger Lagavulin releases, usually 12 years old, with a higher alcohol content and often more influenced by sherry casks, for example finished in the Pedro Ximenez, but these are rather special editions. Most of maturing stocks are aged in bourbon casks.
My 16 year old is colored, chill filtered and bottled at 43% ABV.
N: first impression, which in fact stays till the end is a smokehouse, smoked sausage, well dried kabanos, seaweed, nori, ocean’s coast, warm asphalt, ash, smoke, earth after a rain storm, further a bit of nuts, over time you can feel the sweetness of biscuits, vanilla, peach and even a bit of fresh apples, a touch of sherry, a bit of sourness, maybe lime,
T: gently melts in the mouth with intensifying pepperness, peat, ash, vegetable notes – celery, kohlrabi, in the distance there is something like a red grapefruit, with the time that impression reinforces, a little dry with tannins,
F: long with peat, salt, ashes and a delicate hint of fruit.
The Peat in Lagavulin has a slightly different character than in the Laphroaig, it is more refined, less overwhelming and brutal. Very good multi-layered whisky. As for me, the addition of water does not help and is unnecessary, maybe just a drop (I think that a little of water over time triggers a delicate flavor of lemon). In fact, I do not know if in the process of creating Lagavulin 16 years old sherry casks are used. Considering the tasting experience, it is likely, but the proportion of such casks is certainly not substantial. Regardless of the technical details I like this single malt.