Lagavulin distillery is an Islay single malt Scotch whisky distillery in Lagavulin on the island of Islay, Scotland. … Lagavulin is produced by United Distillers & Vintners, which in turn is owned by Diageo plc. It is marketed under their Classic Malts brand.
Lagavulin is said to be one of the oldest distilleries consisting originally of 10 small illicit distilleries.
I’ve had the opportunity to taste this beautiful spirit when a fellow Whisky enthusiast / whisky influencer cordially offered to share his opened bottle with me. He mailed me a 1oz sample of the bottle that he recently opened and I was floored beyond belief. It’s not everyday that someone you just meet send you something so wonderful, elegant and something I will never forget tasting.
I’ve tried a numerous amounts of Lagavulin’s before giving this one a shot. I started with the classic and great everyday of Lagavulin 16, a staple in almost everyone’s collections. Then I tried the 8 year old, the 12 year old, the distillers edition and finally the coveted dram and to this day on of my favorites the Lagavulin 25.
Now having tried the Lagavulin 25, I did not think that a younger age statement Lagavulin would leave that much of an impression upon myself. Boy, was I wrong. Hand’s down wrong. The Lagavulin 21, had something so unique that it’s almost difficult to find words to describe, but let’s try to do so anyways.
Description: Lagavulin 1991 – boasting a Cask Strength of 52.1% ABV, and a fully sherried maturation.
Color: Deep, Dark Amber, almost brown. Nice hint of Caramel color as well.
Nose: Dark Bog and Peat. Subtle notes of leather and oily musk. As with all known peaty malts, I picked up hints of iodine, smoke and pepper. Spices initially overpower the nose. With a small drop of water to open up the dram, the sweetness pushed itself forward. Sherry, Raisins, and hint of caramel and brown sugar, swept up towards me. The blend between the smoke and sweetness, resulted in a beautiful essence that left me lingering for more. I knew I had to move on and taste this bad boy myself.
Palate: Apples, Currants and Tropical Berries hit you at the initial taste. Spices follow with vanilla and cardamom. A subtle smoke plays an elegant role across your tongue, almost caressing and never ending. A single drop of water, takes away some of the burn. It allows you to fully taste all the flavors without overpowering the dram. Also if you let the dram sit for 5-10 minutes undisturbed the strength of the spices slowly but surely dissipate out. The mouth is quite oily with hints of sultanas on the backend. This is not as heavily sherried as I personally prefer, but I can see how the peat and the sherry would make anyone, even a beginner appreciate such a dram.
Finish: Rough, burns and very creamy. Some hazelnut and cocoa appears at the end. The creamyness allows you to enjoy till the very last drop.