2016 is the 200th anniversary of the founding of Lagavulin, and this bottle Lagavulin 25 Years Bicentenary Edition Feis Ile 2016 has been released in honour of the managers who have made the distillery what it is today. Aged for 25 years in sherry casks, it's a big and rich dram, with layers of smoke and dried fruit, all wrapped up in a bottle listing the name of each of the distillery managers.
Strength to be confirmed. Diageo’s motto is ‘Celebrating life, every day, everywhere’ and that comes at a price. But what’s the price of life? (so, Diageo, where’s that cheque?)
Colour: deep gold.
Nose: bang. In the style of the first 21 yo, just a little brighter, and a little less fat and sherried. First the greatest pu-erh tea (best wild tree on the best mountain, guarded by soldiers and all that) plus cigar ashes and smoke, then all things found in an old abandoned cellar (rusty pieces of iron, plaster, dust, saltpetre, soot…), then ‘a walk on a beach’ (with a wet dog, I’m sorry, dogs), then several smaller aromas, from beef jerky to cured ham, via crystallised oranges and just ‘brand new leather jacket straight from Pakistan’. Right, or Ventimiglia. And a barbecue. With water: goes towards precious woods, humidor, old Jag, fireplace, Barbour grease, porridge-and-mind, bandages… Mouth (neat): I totally hate it that it would be so good. Feels a little younger than 25, though (perhaps 18 or 20?), but the fat brightness, or the zesty richness are impressive. It’s really great that it would walk on this thin line, just when you think it’s fattish it starts to become lemony, and when you think it’s sharp and angular it starts to shoot fat tarry oranges. And tobacco and leather. Bugger! With water: happy memories of the very first 16 yo, the first Classic Malt. A brainwave. Moroccan mint tea, cider vinegar, ashes, peppermint… It’s hard to detect what comes from the wood(s), but I especially love these notes of bitter oranges mixed with coriander and cardamom. Wood or spirit? Both?
Finish: long, and unexpectedly grassy. Very grassy, and leathery, and leafy. The signature is pretty ‘austere’, but the lemon in the aftertaste just lifts it again. Comments: the Feis or this? This or the Feis? Shall we start to use half or quarter points? (Note to self, yeah, do that, how smart would that be!) Oh well, it’s going to be a tie. A Connors vs. McEnroe situation, really. SGP:567 - 92 points.
|Classification||Single Malt Whisky|
|ABV/ Volume||51.7%/ 70cl|