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Lagavulin Jazz Festival (1995/2013, OB, 51,9%)

From 12th to 14th September will take place the sixteenth edition of the Lagavulin Jazz Festival, an exceptional event that every year brings internationally renowned jazz artists to Islay for two days of pure sensory enjoyment. Since 2011, the distillery has been helping to make it even more comfortable, with a dedicated bottling: limited editions that instantly become cult objects. The one we taste today has been produced in 1500 bottles.

lagavulin-jazz-festival-2013

N: the alcohol is completely absent and apart from this merit, the nose is the best you can expect from the marriage between an Islay peat monster and a sherry cask. Difficult to dissect, the two entities are magnificently fused; let’s try it though. First of all, there is a strong Lagavulin style smoke, tarry and peaty; it is also very marine, “salty”. All this sensations dance together with a really structured and composite ‘sweetness’: from pipe tobacco to earl grey tea, sour cherries in spirit, strudel, raisins and citrus fruits (bergamot, absolutely). And more salted licorice and beautiful tannin wood.

P: the alcohol must have remained in the sample, it is immediately very drinkable. The attack is dominated by an intense and mouth-wrapping sweetness: caramel, orange, tarte tatin (many apples!); it is very compact and it provides potentially endless suggestions. After this terrifying beginning, the island dna follows (without any real separation), with a “salty wood” and an amazing sense of burnt.

F: very smoky and brutal, but also sweet (strawberry and orange jam); tar, pollution, burnt wood. Infinite.

If we had to write a review with very few available characters, maybe with a tweet, we would have simply written: “N: classy P: powerful F: endless”. And everyone would have understood that this Lagavulin is yet another exceptional product from a distillery that just can’t go below certain quality standards: 91/100. Thanks to the infallible Sacile Team for the sample.

Recommended soundtrack: Charlie Mingus – Fables of Faubus.

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