A classic stripped-down ‘acoustic’ Lagavulin, pure in style and from spirit specially selected for its high peating levels, this is a Lagavulin purist’s dream; wonderfully simple, and all the better for it.
Region The definitive Islay malt whisky.
Appearance Bright gold, polished brass. Good beading.
Nose A mild nose overall, with light prickle. Classic Lagavulin. The nose is highly phenolic, with clean, fresh top notes of medical supplies; carbolic, dentists’ mouthwash and medicine cupboards, all on an ashy base, reminiscent of a recently extinguished peat fire. A savoury note and a mineral, maritime note; sea air, tarry ropes, seaweed, sand. With water, the last comes to dominate, quietly.
Palate At natural strength, smooth in texture and unexpectedly sweet, intense and very smoky from the off. with light acidity, a sprinkle of sea-salt and a very smoky finish, long and warming. A little salt, no pepper. Benchmark distillery character throughout, exactly as is expected from a Lagavulin 12. At reduced strength the taste remains the same.
Finish Long, warming, sweet and delightfully smoky. Lightly drying, leaving the breath smoky. With water, sweeter and smoother, though the smokiness reasserts itself at the close.