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The Islay representative in the 'Classic Malts' series is a deep, dry and exceptionally peaty bruiser. Probably the most pungent of all Islay malts, Lagavulin is not for the faint-hearted but inspires fanatical devotion in its many followers.Tasting Notes (1)
Tasting Notes by David Broom for Whisky Advocate
Lagavulin is a classic example of how smoke isn't a blunt instrument that covers everything in a fog, but an element that works with all the flavours produced in distillation and maturation. Lagavulin isn't 'smokey,' its peat moves into a weird territory of Lapsang Souchong tea and pipe tobacco, fishboxes and kippers. It smells of laurel and light cereal, but is always sweet. The palate shows more creosote, with hints of kelp and a little touch of iodine. Complex.
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A magnificent whisky. I came to this through my father's bottles, which were typically a collection of things that supermarkets sold on discount on occasion: Glenmorangie Laphroaig, Talisker, and Penderyn. I bought this for his 65th birthday having done a little research, and we spent a week together drinking it every night on a throwback family holiday in the Lake District. We both agreed it was the best whisky either of us had ever tasted. You pour a glass, and you can smell it on the other side of the room almost immediately. It's so pungent even hardened whisky drinkers think they hate it. There isn't really anything more intensely peaty, with all the medicinal character that you'd expect from an Islay single malt. I can't pretend to be able to couch my experience of this whisky in relative terms. I'm not going to say it tastes of orange or heather or any of that nonsense. This is definitely special, though I don't know why. I have since bought repeat bottles and compared with other Islays such as Port Charlotte, and it really stands up as a classic, hardy, Big Leagues drop of heaven that I have to have some of on the shelf, just in case.
The 16 is My favorite! So glad to see it in stores again!
Oo da loli! This was my first introduction of islay scotch whisky region. And its was an grand introduction of the most wonderful whisky in a bottle. Quite peaty though but with a grilled steak its perfect. Thank you Lain McArthur for just about fifty two years of experience of making Lagavulin whisky so special to us all scotch whisky lovers.
Spoiler: Quite possibly my favourite Islay Scotch to date. I bought this not long into my whisky journey, partly because I wanted to see what all the Islay fuss was about and partly down to Nick Offerman. Not being able to find a sample, and spending just shy of £60 on a bottle that could well have not been to my liking was a bit of a risk, but boy did it pay off. I opened up the box, popped the cork, and took a whiff. Not only were my wallet and I relieved how much I enjoyed the smell but what a smell it was. I never knew whisky could be so savoury and inviting. The smoke and sea salt, the smell of burning leaves and being outdoors, it was incredible! I quickly poured myself a dram and sat down to savour that first sip... it lived up to the smell and then some. A rich and delicious taste of smoke and caramel, with some fruity sweetness and a cool finish that lingers. Would recommend this to anyone who likes a refined drink with a punch. Can't wait to try more if their range!
Pendant les fêtes de fin d'année j'ai ouvert une bouteille de Lagavulin que j'avais achetée il y a quelques mois dans un supermarché français. Certes, ce n'est pas un mauvais whisky, mais il n'est plus que l'ombre du colosse qu'il était encore il y a dix ou vingt ans. Lagavulin n'est d'ailleurs pas un cas isolé. Des whiskies tels que Talisker, Highland Park ou Macallan, qui étaient de pures merveilles, ont perdu aussi une grande partie de leur caractère. La qualité baisse tandis que la production explose, sans parler du prix... Pour revenir à Lagavulin, il est devenu assez fin et léger, sans doute pour plaire à un plus large public. La richesse gustative s'est estompée. Le rapport qualité-prix est moyen, voire médiocre. Mieux vaut se tourner vers Ardbeg, Caol Ila ou Laphroaig, qui ont conservé une certaine authenticité et sont moins chers.
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