Whisky writer Alfred Barnard had in 1886 pressed his lips against an 8 year old whisky from the Lagavulin distillery, and so much did this tuple impress him, that he penned his thoughts in his book, “The Whisky Distilleries of the United Kingdom“. And to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the distillery, the folks at Lagavulin took inspiration from this very event and launched a limited edition 8 year old expression.
This young Lag is matured wholly in exbourbon american oak barrels for a minimum of eight years. The whisky is extremely light to the eye, and what you see is wholly its journey between barley, wood and water. There is certainly no artificial coloring and with that high an ABV it would be safe to say it isn’t chill filtered as well.
Consumer feedback since its launch in 2016 has been overwhelming, so much so that the distillers chose to make the expression more available to the masses.
ABV : 48%
Eye: Pale Straw
Nose : Brine, iodine and seaweed with mild hints of barley, honey and vanilla. Some cantaloupe, peat and earthy wood are greeted with sundried apricots, hints of cherry, followed by green pepper, licorice and spice.
Taste : Seaweed, wood ash and leather envelop a fusion of cream, candy and a muted caramel. Subtle traces of golden raisins with citrus lime and green pears are trailed by mint leaves and an earthy spice.
Finish : Earthy with bits of vanilla and wood.
This 8 YO exhibits very strong flavours, quite unorthodox considering it is an extremely amateur whisky. The peaty tones father much of the flavour profile, with honey, pear and the fruity sweetness nested nicely although quite loosely. The peat is not as earthy or damp as the Laphy 10, but does appear to force a more dry, smokier profile – possibly from its relatively short time in the barrel.
The higher ABVs guarantee relatively robust flavours, giving it heaps of depth and breadth, more evident once you add a few drops of water. And it is this characteristic that can easily fool your average joe into thinking it could very well be an aged whisky.
I can see why Lagavulins are quite highly regarded, and priced on the higher end of the spectrum. But having said that, this 8 YO is by far one of the most expensive amateur whiskies – almost ludacris!
But crack the top open, take a whiff, swirl it within the insides of your mouth and swivel your tongue over your whisky moistened moustache! Yum!!
Preference : Neat or with a drizzle of water!