Lagavulin 8 Years - 200th Anniversary, released to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the founding of Lagavulin distillery by John Johnston in 1816, this eight-year-old is big and smoky, with sweet spice that becomes apparent with a drop of water. Inspired by the visit of Alfred Barnard to the distillery in the 1880s when he tried an 'exceptionally fine' eight-year-old from the distillery, this is a fitting tribute for the milestone.
I think it’s very smart that whilst the whisky’s quite young, they have decided to disclose its age, and to go ‘transparent’. That’s true modern luxury if you ask me (relation plus story plus DETAILS), while other, ach, erm, brands are issuing innumerable new NAS bottlings with only stories these days, and are really starting to blur their image and reputation (which are tomorrow’s sales, remember). As always, my humble opinion, and after all, we’re here for the whisky. So…
Colour: white wine.
Nose: precision, that’s the first word that springs to mind. Bandages, cane juice, hay, and marzipan, then seaweed, oysters, and diesel oil, then ink, mezcal, grist, and wet wool. Plus one blueberry.
Mouth: this is where it kills the IB. This is much better chiselled, purer, better focused, much more distillate-driven, and sharp. And it’s very ashy, sooty, smoky, you’d almost believe you just ate the ashtray. It surprises me a bit that they didn’t decide on a rounder and sweeter style, but for obvious reasons, I won’t complain. Love this style! It’s actually very dry. Also fresh walnuts. Salted fresh walnuts. Strength and body are perfect.
Finish: long and austere, on pretty much the same flavours, but drops of orange juice are playing it a little sexier in the aftertaste. Perhaps a little ginger tonic? Comments: it’s really the words purity and precision that rule here, there’s no make-up, no Botox, no dye, and no silicone. Some pure, totally crystalline Lagavulinity (what?) that makes you want to take the next flight(s) to Islay and to go kiss the Distillery Manager on both cheeks. Huge quality/age ratio. Happy 200th, Lagavulin! SGP:358 - 90 points.
|Classification||Single Malt Whisky|
|ABV/ Volume||48.0%/ 70cl|