Lagavulin 1985

Overall rating
Whiskybase ID
Single Malt
Distillery Bottling
Bottling serie
Diageo Special Releases 2007
Stated Age
21 years old
Spanish Sherry European Oak Casks
Number of bottles
56.5 % Vol.
700 ml 750 ml
Added on
27 Oct 2007 2:46 pm
Cask Strength

Average value

€ 3348.29

198 × in wishlist

522 × member ratings

734 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Lagavulin 1985

60 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 92.93 points

  1. jocmueller did not rate this whisky Expert Senior

    Bottles # 1145, # 3376 and # 3428 sold empty at ebay.

  2. hs305 scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    [October, 2016]  I had this dram during a "Lagavulin Bicentenary" tasting at Bonn.

    In my old rating system (ten scales that translate into WB points: 50 - 66 - 75 - 80 - 82,5 - 85 - 87,5 - 90 - 92,5 - 95) I scored it 87,5.  My notes state without the unpleasant and significant sulphurous flavours this would be a delicious dram that I most probably would have scored 90+ points.  But sorry folks, sulphur is simply a "no go" for my taste buds...

  3. peatjens did not rate this whisky Expert Senior

    Gods - what a epiphany !
    First of all I like and love Lagavulin in general because of its own fantastic character ( normally they would call me prejudiced ). So it was only a question of time to come across with that one.

    At first I heard about it at a bicentennary in a taste blindness tasting. Reasons enough for me to test it by myself.
    In my old rating system (not drinkable but drunken; don’t want more; got to much; not translatable into WB points) I forgot to score it. ;)

    I also cannot get that fuzz about this Lagavulin bottling is all about. But having it in your glas once means, try one of best ever created compositions of whisky possible. It apears to me to be magical.
    Apologies I won‘t bash this bottling to much.
    O.k., we should not take it too seriously. Important you will have it in your glas before you jugging truth.
    • Nose
      Extremely rich, complex and with an impressive aroma density paired with sweetness and creaminess. A veil of smoke reminding of peat and bonfire and the subtle sherry combine wonderfully with the rest of the impressions as orange marmalade, lemon cake, light fruitiness of dark and red fruits, fig, plums, toffee, caramel, vanilla, dark chocolate, brownie, fresh mushrooms, earthy, wet forest soil, woody, grass, licorice, smoked salmon, tar, peat, ash, tobacco and leather, sea salt and seaweed ...
      An impressive nose and despite of 56.6%, alcohol is barely noticeable, as thick as aroma density is.
    • Taste
      Miam - intense and powerful.
      The texture of maritime notes, citrus, peat and sherry is unique and multi-faceted.
      It starts out soft and very, very creamy. Milk chocolate. Then it shows a fruity sweetness, dark honey, which begins in the background and extends to the tip of the tongue. The malt quickly feels a bit dry as it rolls through the mouth in an intense yet elegant manner, unfolding the full range of flavors.
      Tobacco, earthy peat more than smoke, charcoal, burning wood and ash, iodine, black powder. Smoke and peat are getting stronger, underlaid with a great spice. A subtle fruit note flashes, from which aromas of tangerine and oranges develop. Plum, dried apricot, candied cherry, rose hip and apple. Finally he shows a little peppery sharpness.
    • Finish
      Also in the end, no weaknesses are shown. In the slowly fading aftertaste, saltiness, ash and sweet peat smoke with fruit aromas from orange peel, dried apricots and plums, complemented by milk chocolate, caramel and tobacco notes and a hint of delicate bitterness. It will stick to the palate for a long time.

      Comments: What else is there to say?
      Just a great sherry malt in itself.
      Getting botteled at the age of 21 year was perfect time. Unmistakable Islay character has combined perfectly with the sherry oak cask and gives a wonderful elegance and balance. 99 points because I wouldn't expect much more what whisky could offer you.

      Auction results:
      13.11.2013 602,- € on Ebay
      27.05.2018 1.300,- € on Ebay
      30.11.2019 1.563,- € on Ebay
      11.12.2019 1.578,- € on Ebay
      16.02.2020 1.568,- € on Ebay
      07.01.2021 1.909,- € on Ebay
      09.07.2021 2.066,- € on Ebay

  4. ctu scored this whisky 93 points Connoisseur

    Not the most complex Lagavulin, but the sherry with peat and the creamy milk chocolate is amazing! 93/94.
    • Nose
      93 93
      Peat and smoke, camphor, herbals, burned tire, sherry, forest fruits, antique leather and kerosene.
    • Taste
      94 94
      Powerful. Big sherry and peat. Very creamy milk chocolate. Honey and mixed fruit jam. Earth.
    • Finish
      93 93
      Long, peaty, sweet.

  5. WhiskyLovingPianist scored this whisky 93 points Connoisseur


    Following on from that fabulous 18yo comes this 21yo, rated by Serge at a whopping 95 points. How can one not have expectations?

    N: Objectivity, go! Wow, that is awesome though, an old Old & Rare style nose with oodles of freshness and strength. It reminds me of a number of [G&M] 45-50yo bottlings [Glen Grant, Strathisla etc,..] that I’ve tried and been disappointed by their fragility and impactfulness at 40% abv [and dropping]. A bottling like this, presented at cask strength, gives us the best of it all. Being creamy, phenolic and slightly mucky yet beautifully composed, those Spanish sherry butts help support that O&R air, with a certain nudge towards TTR [tamari, tomato and rancio]. Without doubt one of the most amazing contemporary old skool noses I’ve ever smelt, not quite in tOMoH’s 1955 Bowmore league [WLP96] just yet, but give it a few more decades. It’s delectable now with only 13 or so years in glass.

    T: The nose translates well on the palate, the sherry casks present yet respectful and positively influential. Unlike the 18yo, this needs a little water [in the mouth only], to help clear away any prickly palate shocks and allowing the flavour compounds to work their magic. Add a little water for a luscious yet slightly dry and somewhat heavy sweet < bitter peatiness to slowly emerge and expand. Reminding me more of a heavier dirtier Ledaig, this hasn’t the finesse of the 18yo, yet held in the mouth, the taste-combos are a real treat.

    F: Slightly drying oaky dried-fruity chocolate on the turn, eventually into light creamy milky chocolatey [again] barley – all slightly salty – and with any number of older whiskies & other spirit references from various eras that may ensue. Oaky O&R-sherried salty earthy-peaty coke combos ring and ring with a herbal Vermouth note at the death. There’s a slight lighter fluid note somewhere along the tail not to mention Milk of Magnesia and rose water, but these are fleeting top notes.

    C: With 6642 bottles released, is there a fair chance of finding one for a fair price one day? For the nose alone, I wonder how much I’d be prepared to pay for such an aromatic treasure? I find it less sublime on the palate but I’m nit-picking at this high level. Cracking whisky!

  6. Maltbehr64 scored this whisky 94 points Connoisseur

    Whiskyfun: The 16yo has long been to Lagavulin what the 911 was to Porsche but we’re more than happy to see more variants coming out, especially since those are more Turbos than Boxters in our opinion... Okay, enough crappy analogies, let’s try this brand new 21yo, due for later this autumn (we already had a taste of a pre-vatting at the Islay Festival). It’s an important bottling, as it comes from Spanish sherry European oak casks only – not American oak like often with sherry. Besides, we’ve been told that there won’t be any other ‘full sherry’ versions in the future. Colour: full amber. Nose: what is striking are the obvious common roots between the old 12yo and this new 21yo. This one is more ‘direct’ at first nosing, though. Sweeter, creamier, immediately on peat plus sherry plus the assembling of both (if you see what I mean)... Simple? Indeed, but just for a few seconds, as it then starts to shoot aromatic arrows one after the other. Menthol, hazelnut oil, oxtail, prunes, orange marmalade, smoked ham, curry, mustard (hints), walnut liqueur. Slight hints of phosphorus (although not like a ‘simple’ bunch of matchsticks). And it goes on, getting wilder now... Game (just like in the old 12yo), eucalyptus (I know brands are not cool but I’d dare to say ‘Vicks’)... And then strawberry jam, sea water... Please take your time when you’ll try this one, the development is ‘very gradual’ but it’s really worth it. A fireworks show. Mouth: here’s the punch that the 12yo was lacking, but also a slight ‘brutality’ at the attack. A true peaty grip in fact and an extreme ‘ampleur’. Quite some pepper, walnuts, crystallised ginger, strong liquorice, tar, mint and eucalyptus sweets again (very bold!), bitter oranges... And a powerful smokiness. The saltiness grows bolder as well... No sulphur that I can get... Wood ashes, herb liqueurs (green Chartreuse – are you listening, O.?), Havana tobacco (like when you chew your cigar). Also hints of ripe gooseberries and dried longans. And sticky toffee pudding, of course. Finish: very long, concentrated, ample, salty and liquoricy – amusing how this one makes you thirsty. We also tried it with water, it got more on mint and eucalyptus (and oranges) but other than that the general profile stayed the same. Who said this was an important bottling? 95 points. http://www.whiskyfun.com/archiveseptember07-1.html#040907

  7. penumbra scored this whisky 94 points Expert Senior

    Compared with the last time I drank this wine, it was still black pepper steak-style peat that made people drunk, but it lacked the power of three points into the wood, and added some unclear fruits.
    • Nose
      Turkish cuisine with ginseng sherry, black pepper tomato oxtail soup, yellow mustard, saffron, sage, herbs, lemon juice with smoked salmon, heavy oil billowing with thick smoke billowing to charcoal roasting Block fat, a good bacon dish. Obvious red phosphorus or tannin, but I prefer to call it tomato and garlic stew, very cooked red fruits of Solanaceae, Rosaceae and Citrus. Some white reefs, seaweed and maritime breath appeared briefly in the middle, but the whole is still very earthy and heavy, and the peach smell of ink, camphor pellets, diesel, fine cigarettes, grilled tricholoma, etc., shows a bit of violet quality, as for those Lagavulin No need to mention the iconic peat sherry smell. Finally, it ends with a hot mouth Italian concentration, a small amount of hazelnuts and pecans, and tar.
    • Taste
      The peat ppm is not high but it appears extremely depressed, roasted coffee beans, gingerbread man, white pepper, tar. Very special fruit, bitter orange, slightly astringent apricot, with nutty lipid and half-ripe unripe twisting feeling. Vanilla, toasted oak, Italian herbal liqueur, lower salt, creamy cream, toffee. On the whole, the background of rolling peat and fat is basic. Herbs and sugar are calm, but there are yellow peaks in the middle.

      Strong, rich in fat, low in sweetness, slightly sour, no tannins, no astringency, bitter bottom.
    • Finish
      Long-lasting, roasted hazelnuts, 80% cocoa, textbook-style Laga Shirley.

  8. CherryHeart scored this whisky 93 points Member Senior

    Nose: The smoky, mild fragrance wrapped in sea mud, kerosene, hawthorn, sherry vinegar, camphor balls.

    Palate: The flavours are long and thin, and the flavor of deep roasting is impressive, such as mountain spring, smoke, bonfire, oil fume on the barbecue, cumin, cigar leaf, and yaga snow brown.

    Balance, Body: Moderate weight on the body, outstanding balance, strong alcohol but not spicy

    Finish: Long and strong, oak, frosting, wax oil, earth, espresso.

  9. stf92 scored this whisky 95 points Expert Senior

    Yum, fine peat, complex with smoke, fruits (citrus fruits), chocolate, coffee ... one slap this Lagavulin and I tend the other cheek with pleasure.

  10. qxk990101 scored this whisky 96 points Member Senior

    best whisky ever tasted. big sherry and peat


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