Lagavulin 1997 Distillers Edition
If The Macallan is the Rolls Royce of single malt whisky, than Lagavulin is probably the Bentley. The whisky coming from this Diageo-owned distillery is held in high regard by both connoisseurs and the more common whisky drinking person. The 16 year old is thought to be one of the best signature expressions available. And the annual Lagavulin Distillers Edition has also received high praise.
The Lagavulin is easily the most popular of all of Diageo’s Distillers Editions, which all get a second maturation period in a different cask type. The Lagavulin has had a finish in casks that have previously held Pedro Ximenez-sherry. And before I continue to my tasting notes, I just want to comment on the bottle and label design. How pretty is that? Very classy!
Lagavulin 1997/2013 Distillers Edition (43%, OB, lgv. 4/502)
Nose: Peat, coastal spray, great salty sea air quality. Seaweed as well as smoke and leather. Cinnamon, lots of cinnamon. Tobacco, raisins, brown sugar and cherries.
Taste: Smoke, iodine. Very earthy and some black pepper as well. Plumbs and prunes but otherwise not much fruit. Sweet licorice. Slightly dry. It lacks strength.
Finish: Drying with peat and ash. Spicy (cloves). Very long.
A good and balanced whisky with plenty of depth, but not really my thing. I’m not a peat lover by any means, so if you are, you might rate this a bit higher.
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.