This summer Lagavulin has launched a new exclusive bottling for travel retail: it is a 10 year old, witness to Lagavulin’s love for even aging. There is a 8, a 9 (the GoT series), a 12, a 16 yo… At this point the sequence is missing a 14 years, but we expect it to come within a couple of years. Diageo, it was a pleasure to give you the suggestion. We approach this Lagavulin with mixed feelings: on one hand, how can you be disappointed by a Laga? On the other hand, how can you expect anything good from travel retail? Good or not, this is the result of the marriage between ex-bourbon barrels at first and second filling and “newly charred and rejuvenated” barrels, that are supposed to be very active woods. Let’s see.
N: uh, this is such a shy nose. We are immediately punched by a surprising and very fragrant note of lemon marmalade. Then there are cereal bars (the ones that stuck to your teeth at school), maybe with a little bit of chocolate. Notes of chlorophyll chewing gum, representing a sugared and minty sensation. After a while, the peat that at the beginning appeared in the background makes its way and arrives very Lagavulinish, fat and pleasantly smoky, with some nice marine and iodine scent.
P: it’s better to get used to it: you can’t shoot Lagavulin down even if you try with all your strength. At first it’s a little watery, the dilution is massive and would cripple every whisky… but not Lagavulin. After a short disconcertment, they explode both the sweet part (perhaps a bit excessive) all on honey and cereal bars again, and the mentholate and balsamic side, with Vicks Vaporub; Without forgetting the peaty, smoky, acrid and waxy part. Just a little bit of sapidity, without ever being too marine.
F: a sense of smoked cereal lasts for a long time. Cooked apples, dried fruit.
Let’s be clear: it isn’t the best possible Lagavulin, suffering a bit of excessive easiness, especially on the palate, but it’s still an excellent entry level. Of course, it costs about as much as 16 years (just over 50€), but it is still half of 12, right? Really, our thought is always the same: there are distillates that can face every adversity, and Lagavulin is part of the group. In the end the next time you come back from a trip and you forgot to pick up a souvenir for that friend of yours who collects fridge magnets, get yourself a Laga 10 yo and drink it up: 86/100.
Recommended soundtrack: Pearl Jam – Angel.