...and still this is a very quaffable dram. The nose offers a little too much (virgin?) oak notes (according to my olfactory cells, only) but luckily this did not continue in the taste and during the finish. So I simply skip nosing and go straight for the pleasure.
The colour is russetmuscat but this information is useless because Diageo uses caramel on almost all standard releases to adjust the colour (they have to state this on all bottles imported to Germany and it is stated on this bottle too). The nose offers the trademark fat Lagavulin profile with significant wooden notes, if my memory serves me well this is much more wood than in previous batches. Do they use some virgin oak casks on the DE now? It smells this way and I do not like it. But this is the whisky zeitgeist which came out of the "whisky-bubble-bottle" about 15 years ago. Still this is a nice nose, but it used to be much better.
The taste offers the traditional DE trinity of malt, wine and wood in a balanced setting. Compared to the nose the wood is absolutely okay in this setting without trying to dominate (which was the case in the nose). This is the Lagavulin DE profile as I like it even if it is a little less complex than older versions. Still very quaffable and without any flaw.
The initial mouthfeel is warming and coating with a minor drying moment from heavy peat (not tannins) which is absolutely fine. The finish is long and adds some dark chocolatey impressions and roasted coffee beans towards the end. No bitter-astringent moments here and the wood stays calm, as it should be. Water is not needed - it just flattens the dram.