It’s once again the first day of the Fèis Ìle festival, which makes it time to taste a Lagavulin in celebration. Last year, I tasted the 2014 Festival bottling, but have somehow missed the 2015 release. I’m sure a sample will turn up eventually, but this is a good opportunity to reach back to the 2010 edition of the annual festival release and enjoy this single sherry butt to its fullest.
Lagavulin released a great video when Georgie Crawford was appointed distillery manager in 2010. I think it’s very fitting to hear Peter Campbell and Georgie Crawford talk about Lagavulin while tasting Peter’s last Fèis Ìle Lagavulin release:
And now, on to some Lagavulin:
Lagavulin 16 Year Old, Sherry Cask 3210, Fèis Ìle Lagavulin Open day 2010, 528 Bottles (52.7% ABV, NCF, NC)
Appearance: Copper, little beads off the necklace slowly form into slow moving droplets and legs down the glass. It seems really viscous and oily.
Nose: Despite being only in the low 50s, the alcoholic burn is the first thing on the nose. Cereal and varnish, over a wood fire smoky sweetness. It seems like the sherry is closed up and I wonder what it will be like with some water. Stone fruit, namely fresh diced peaches, salt and compost. More maritime than most Lagavulins. A few drops of water didn’t open up the sherry on the nose, rather strengthening the varnish. The second time I added a bit of water, the sherry and salt came out very clearly.
Palate: Full bodied with an almost beefy mouth feel. Sweet sherry, cinnamon, white pepper with a bit of black pepper thrown in, a very smoky and sweet peat. Water loosens up the sherry and brings out more and more of the spice.
Linger: Spice and peat, in a long and somewhat drying finish. The linger is not as sweet as one would expect from the sweetness of the palate although you can detect it in the undertones.
The most maritime Lagavulin I tasted to date, this is an example of a pretty extreme Lagavulin. Most enjoyable, and quite different than the standard 16 year old.