This one had a pretty pungent nose, surprisingly close to a raw spirit: Lagavulin New Make or vodka, with hospitals and chlorine adding to the somewhat clinical feeling. A few citrusy vibes were also felt: orange oil, lemon meringue and roast fennel turning up to say hi. It's a mystery malt, but it was keenly thought to be a young Lagavulin, Laphroaig at a push, with seaweed coming through strongly. Almonds, billtong and a beef super noodles packet once empty gave a few savoury notes whilst chocolate brought a reach sweetness. Once all that was processed, silage came along to put an end to things. I'M A VEGETABRUH!
The taste made most say "obviously Islay" (as if the packaging hadn't give that away) although some felt it wasn't as exciting or deep as it could be - with one saying it just made them want a official-release Lagavulin. There was a chili heat and a liquid version of a log fire, but still lacking in feistiness - not angry nor a stampy Burlesque dancer. It was deemed great value for Islay, and some interesting tastes gave it a wee edge: toothpaste, tangerine, TCP and crème caramel. More unusually, we finally picked up hints of the aftertaste of a polystyrene cup you've had soup in and when you chew a pencil and get through to the lead..
Finlaggan from above - but was this aerial gem or a fall from grace?
Finish & Comments
Unusually for such a dram, we thought this had a medium-short finish - a stone's throw or the first plop of a skimmer - with a slightly watered-down ending. There were bananas, TCP and orange squash whilst things got slightly wackier with the introduction of cardamom tea, smoked mackerel and driftwood.
We've always scored out of 10 in our group (see number in red box, below), with scores regularly given across that spectrum. The value out of 100 below is adjusted to the scale most commonly used for whisky reviews, to allow for better comparison.