Lagavulin New Make | 63.5% | Islay
, Scotland founded: 1816 | active
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Meet #35 | 23/02/13 | Hosted by Lagavulin Distillery
As part of our Islay trip, a few of the whisky gang did a premium tasting session at Lagavulin, with 5 drams, the rarest 2 of which we took down notes for.
Unsurprisingly, this has a strong whiff of a distillery tour, mash tuns and also conjured up aromas of poitin, tequila and a petrol station forecourt. As raw spirit, this is naturally unrefined and fiery, but the peatiness and Lagavulin flavours are there, perhaps just as a brief glimpse of the glory yet to come. There's damp sea air, chlorine, saltiness and sardines, which again isn't that surprising, but there's also a surprising sweet and savouriness, manifesting as salted caramel, burnt toast and hummus.
The taste split us a little bit, with most thinking it was surprisingly good, whilst it was also heard to 'slip away into a waterfall of sharp, angry tastes'. There was a chemical, acerbic edge but also a bountiful sweetness ("sweeeeeet", sweet pimentón), a fiery hit (hot Mexican) with some peaty warmth thrown in. Like the nose, things got a little savoury but more earthy, with some Valdeon Queso Azul (a salty, Spanish blue cheese), sea salt, a forest floor / moss, rotten logs, coal fires and wet driftwood. Despite something less intense featuring - chalk - there was a surprising fruitiness when peaches and Parma Violets came to the fore.
We were at Lagavulin for their "premium tasting", and these five offerings didn't disappoint...
Finish & Comments
A long finish with a slow fade away that's very sweet and salty, whilst a new creaminess comes to the fore multiplying the fruitiness and sweetness of the taste into some banana ice cream. The chalk also has its remnants here with a hint of talcum powder, but it's the sweet, salty length that dominates the final moments, for as long as piece of seaweed floats around in the sea.
Bonus quotes: "That mutha needs mellowin'!" and "I'd actually drink this!"
Bottle details: Sample # IT-WO-2011-1008, Date made: 21/06/11
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.
84 / 100
Detailed scores (out of 10)
Tasting Game Points (out of 0)
No scores available.
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