The Lagavulin Distillery, easily recognized by It’s tall red smokestack is not a complete stranger to us. Our collection contains the 8yo 12yo CS, 16yo, the Distillers Edition and some indie bottlings which don’t bear their name, but obviously come from this distiller. So we thought Lagavulin couldn’t surprise us anymore, we were wrong.
Walking past it’s own water stream, we entered the visitors centre and they offered us a dram to kill time right away. In our opinion, there is no better way! In their beautiful tasting room, I’m talking ‘American Boathouse Style’-like, we enjoyed the rich and tasteful Lagavulin Jazz Festival Bottling from 2017 while we waited for the tour to start. Tasting notes of this one coming soon.
Our tour-guide Louise took us outside to talk about ‘safety-instructions’ (as in: Diageo not wanting you to take pictures of inside the distillery). We had beautiful weather, the best in years if we had to believe the residents. We talked about their own water stream which comes from the Solum Lochs, flowing through the peat which, in opinion of some, gives the water a bit of a peaty flavour that shines through the whisky. Nonsense, according to Louise, because the peaty water doesn’t contain any flavours after being distilled. Mythbusters, where are you guys when we need you?
We’ve seen the mill, the washbacks, the stillroom and went outside to catch sight of the name on the side of the warehouse, which has become a bit of a tradition to us. Shortly afterwards, we went back to the tasting room to do what we do best. Along with the 8yo and Distillery Edition, we had the Distillery Exclusive, that was a welcome change of pace. It did remind us of the incredible 12yo CS, but with a little more going on:
Smoky dark fruits, malty sweetness, a hint of pear and spicy oak.
Deliciously malty with tropical influences of pineapple and fresh cherries, then there are the salty and smoky notes, with oranges sealing the deal before continuing with the long finish.
Sweet and long with a whiff of smoke, smoked ham, leather, pineapples, puffed rice and delicate sulphur.
A solid and tasteful whisky, a nice combination of the smoky and salty character of Lagavulin and the tropical fruits which give this whisky some complex layers of flavours. We were in doubt which bottle we had to buy, The Jazz 2017 or the Exclusive 2017, with Dennis liking the former and me liking the latter. So guess what?
We bought them both!