Lagavulin seems to do well at any age. There’s the wonderful Lagavulin 8 Years Old as an example of what impact young distillate can have, but also many examples of well-aged Lagavulin that reach stratospheric heights. However, today I’ve no idea how old the Lagavulin is that I’m about to review. The Lagavulin Islay Jazz 2017 doesn’t bear an age statement. All I can tell you is that it matured in refill American hogsheads and European oak butts.
And of course, that it was distilled in the most magical of places — the Isle of Islay…
Lagavulin Islay Jazz Festival 2017 (57.6%, OB, 6000 bts.)
Nose: Waxy, sweet and fruity, mainly apricots and peach with some bitter lemon peel thrown in. Some salty sea spray and vanilla too, accompanied by soft and gentle peat smoke and a nice minerality. Finally a tinge of menthol and tobacco. Really good!
Taste: Quite intense yet restrained, if that makes sense. A peppery arrival that goes hand in hand with subtle peat smoke, sauerkraut, and porridge. Somewhat briny too, as well as green olives and charred lemon.
Finish: Lingering vegetal peat, banana and herbs. Long.
Good, crisp Lagavulin with a decent complexity and plenty of richness.