Nose; musty and mushroom-y start to it, then your’e hit by soot / coal, and ash. On the 2nd wave of sensations the sherry influence kicks in with a sweet dark fruit sort of note, maybe ripe plums, smoky black tea leaves (Lapsang if you may), and a hint of cocoa and dark chocolate, with a touch of pine needles and pine sap as well. not and awful lot of smoke or peat, on the nose of this one. With water the oak is on, and it’s getting tarry and more coastal, and more pine-y.
Palate: Lovely mouthfeel on this one, with thick and oily entry, the fruit is more pronounced with dark cherries, plums, and even sultana sweetness, well integrated with the tar / soot / smoke and bitter notes of wood, ash and a touch of salt, quite complex with wood fire, dates and prunes, with the ash / peat balancing the sweet sherried fruit nicely, towards a dry and oaky finish.
Finish: Long smokey, sooty & ashy with oak spice, pepper, Lapsang tea, and a hint of sherry.
Conclusion: When I first sipped this whisky in a tasting event we held for Feis Ile 2019, I liked it, but 2nd time around it felt much better. It improves immensely with the addition of water, and time. Beatiful stuff, complex and loads of fun, for the Lagavulin lovers who appreciate nice sherry notes as well. Happy to own one.