lagavulin 10yo travel retail exclusive

Lagavulin 10 Years (Travel Retail Exclusive)

Lagavulin is one of the great distilleries—you can’t convince me otherwise. While it doesn’t reach the highs of 1960s Bowmore and Laphroaig, there came a point when it started to surpass both of those distilleries. Of course, there’s great Bowmore and Laphroaig from the 1990s and 2000s arounds, but Lagavulin outperforms either in those eras. I know that’s just my opinion, but it almost feels like fact.

The Lagavulin 25 bottled during the distillery’s bicentennial year is exquisite, while I think the Lagavulin 21 from 2007 (not reviewed here but I have tasted it) is in the race for one of the best single malts from this millennium. And if you’re looking for a more affordable option, the Lagavulin 16 outperforms most similarly priced malts.

There’s not much you can fault Lagavulin. Except, maybe, you’d like a few more affordable releases if you’re a fan? From that perspective, 2019 certainly delivered. Besides the annual Distillers Edition, we were also treated to the Lagavulin 11yo Offerman Edition and to a new Travel Retail Exclusive. Matured in rejuvenated and ex-bourbon casks, this matured for 10 years. Curious to see if it delivers…

Lagavulin 10 Years (43%, Travel Retail Exclusive, 2020)

Nose: Mature and elegant, more so than some other youthful Lagavulin from recent years. I enjoy the farmy influence, with plenty of straw and a touch of cow dung, quickly followed by overripe bananas, honey, sauerkraut and oats. There’s a nice balance between the aforementioned and the charcoal and smoke.
Taste: Feels a bit subdued, maybe because of the relatively low strength, but has a good body in general. A tinge of salt at first, combined with caramel—let’s call it salted caramel then. Some tar, green peat and a pinch of pepper.
Finish: Medium in length. Salty, ashy and some vanilla custard.

Score: 86

Overall, this Lagavulin is good whisky and you could do much worse in Travel Retail—although that’s not much of a benchmark, is it? Nevertheless, it is very satisfying. Doesn’t quite reach the highs of the Lagavulin 8 but I’m sure it’ll satisfy any Lagahead’s needs.


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