Nose: Classic Lagavulin wood smoke here, in addition to some paraffine lamps on top of sweet dried fruit that goes well with the peat smoke, vanilla, and earthy notes. There are also some toffee notes, with a hint of ripe blood orange, some stewed apples, moss, and marinated smoked meats with a tarry hint as well. very nice, very complex, and certainly Lagavulin.
Palate: Big and bold, mouthcoating and spicy (chili) – there are quite some wine tannins on the palate immediately after the first sip, with the peat smoke hovering above of course… More of the mossy, damp notes we’ve seen on the nose, in addition to soot and charcoal, with a sprinkle of cinnamon powder. More time reveals dried fruit and more of the ripe orange marmalade, and distant black pepper, and a drying end.
Finish: very long, the smoke and sweet fruit linger forever, it’s now more on the dried fruit: Sultana, fig, date and more of the orange marmalade keeping it all together, even some smoky chocolate, and more wood spices and quite some ash, soot, and coals. the smoke goes on and goes on… very nice!
Conclusion: A brilliant 22-year-old Lagavulin with classic Laga features in addition to dried fruit, and lots of ripe orange marmalade. I like that a lot. Excellent stuff, that comes at a price. I am not going to say 400 quid is not a hefty sum. But if you’ve got deep pockets, you’re in for major fun. Recommended!