…and the Lagavulin did it! This is the best special edition of Lagavulin since three years and very, very sip-able (I would call this dangerously quaffable, to be honest). If you are on Islay do not forget to pick a bottle (better two) - you will not regret it! The best "Distillery Exclusive" of all (drop the Dalwhinnie, Oban and Glen Ord in favour of this one - and if you can afford to buy just very few bottles during your Scotland trip go for the Lagavulin and Caol Ila if you prefer peaty drams and/or for the Blair Athol and Cragganmore if you like sherried ones)… And if you do not like it after you bought it - send it to me for a full refund!
The colour is yellow gold and the nose offers a rather delicate profile (for a Lagavulin - still it is bold and impressive) that is build around maritime-peaty, floral-herbal and spicy-wooden aromas. I miss the sweet ones a little and they pop up after some time of breathing, finally. It is all balanced and without any single off-note - and even the aggressive wooden aromas are not too strong (like in many other modern releases). Some water releases even more aromas, it is worth a try!
The taste is surprisingly much sweeter than the nose and offers some fine toffee-sherry-liquorice flavours in a balanced mix, again. Hey, this is very quaffable from the first sip on! Later delicious spices and some bitter wooden notes join in that are a greatly appreciated counter-attack to the first sweet taste (oh, I forgot to mention that the peaty flavours are all there all the time - hey, it's a Lagavulin). Water is not needed on both the taste and finish - some drops just increase the bitter flavours while a fair share seems to flatten the dram (but it gets more quaffable this way, for sure - this is a serious problem if you own just one bottle!!!)...
The initial mouthfeel is warming and coating without any distracting moment. The finish is long and more liquorice-driven with some delicious dark chocolatey notes that I really like. Again, no distracting bitter-drying-astringent moment what is a great achievement these days (given all the virgin oak or rejuvenated oak casks that are around because of the cask supply shortage crises due to the ongoing whisky boom). I like to nose this dram a little reduced and to drink it neat.